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Statistics indicate that, unfortunately, ‘natural’ disasters are on the increase.  Irrespective of the uncertainty associated with predicting when and where they will occur, we must do more to prepare for future shocks. In 2010, 110 million people were affected by disasters. There is a pressing need for more pre-emptive policies i.e. actions taken before the disaster strikes. Only through these actions will it be possible to curtail unnecessary suffering and realign both poor and rich countries towards a greener more equitable development path.