How Cuba deals with hurricanes

Lying as it does at the heart of the hurricane hot zone, Cuba has ample experience in dealing with tropical storms. Yet, in stark contrast to its equally hard-hit neighbors, it suffers few deaths. Maybe this is why:

They are much better prepared than Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and other Caribbean hurricane hotspots. They have no qualms about ordering and executing mass evacuations, and they even supply food and medical care to the displaced. They are better prepared even than the US–which, one would think, being bigger and richer, would have more money and better planning at its disposal. But, as Katrina has shown, that notion is a fallacy. Where there is no government will to intervene and protect the citizenry, there will be thousands of needless deaths. The only reason Gustav didn’t kill as many as Katrina is because this time, the authorities–chastened by the beating their image took over the catastophe of Katrina–actually got their act together reasonably well and arranged evacuations ahead of time.

Do you think they absorbed the lesson? Cuba learned it long ago, and puts it to work every time there is a hurricane.

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