Cuba has effectively implemented a system of popular mobilization and education to prepare people for such natural disasters as hurricanes. Compliance with evacuation orders is impressive. Top priority is attached to saving lives. The country’s acclaimed programme accounts for the limited toll of Hurricane Michelle in November 2001, which was the most powerful storm since 1944. Five Cubans died in the storm, which wreaked havoc in Jamaica, Honduras, and Nicaragua. This article reviews recent Cuban experience in disaster preparedness, which was achieved despite material scarcity. Since the prestigious Intergovernmen- tal Panel on Climate Change warns of increased susceptibility to disasters in future, Cuba’s record deserves wide attention.
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