The nice and neat probabilities of a bell curve may work when we discuss height and weight, because the averages of human norms are well measured and accounted for. On the other hand, we do not yet know enough of the variables that go into creating a natural disaster to be able to define the costs of repairs. Before Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, Hurricane Andrew was the most costly hurricane in the U.S. Using 2011 values for dollars, Hurricane Andrew cost $41.5 billion in damage, and Katrina cost $91 billion. There isn’t a simple way to determine these values because of the variables, and instead we have to rely on the art of resilience; the art of putting everything back together again.
What do we do when these variables we rely on don’t play well together?
Read the full article in the Nikkei Asian Review: Probabilities and possibilities or download the pdf here. Also read Bob Geller’s article Back to the future: Restarting Japan’s nuclear power plants.