The Role of the For-Profit Private Sector in Disaster Mitigation and Response

August 1993 (VOL. 11, NO. 2)

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In an era in which free-market capitalism has been showered with more accolades than anyone ever expected it to receive, it seems especially timely to reassess economic sectors traditionally regarded as the preserve of nonprofit or governmental supply and off-limits to for-profit private activity. Of particular interest in this regard is the whole area of disaster mitigation and response, which, in the United States, at least, is experience an explosion of for-profit private-sector initiatives. I will survey and analyze some of these developments and offer some suggestions for policies to promote the role of private enterprise in both disaster anticipation and recovery.