It’s no secret that 2011 was the story of one disaster after another. There were floods and typhoons in Queensland, a historic earthquake in New Zealand, a series of nuclear meltdowns in Japan, and it went on from there.
Add it all up around the world and it was the most costly year of disasters ever recorded by the insurance industry. That is only one way of measuring disasters, but by any broad measure, 2011 was a year of an extraordinary number of disasters.
I personally experienced, only a few days apart, an earthquake and a hurricane. I was far enough from the center of each, but they were nevertheless very worrisome events.
That was in August, and by then, people had become so accustomed to a steady stream of disaster headlines that many were dismissive of the worst hurricane and earthquake to strike my local area in decades.
The coming year may have been tipped as a year of major, sweeping changes, but there is reason to hope that we may have better luck in 2012 when it comes to disasters.