Recently Students Social Welfare Society of Commecs Institute of Business and Emerging Sciences conducted a seminar addressing the desperate need to implement better and holistic strategies in the face of natural disasters. The seminar was initiated with a simple and yet daunting question: Is Karachi prepared to face the ravages of an impending earthquake? It was well attended by government officials, students, activists and media personalities as well as other civil society members. The speakers at the event pointed toward a developing collaboration between the government and aid agencies that will proactively handle natural calamities.

Although all parts of Pakistan, given its extremely diverse geography, remain exposed to natural disasters at any time, Karachi remains the most vulnerable to catastrophic earthquakes while directly facing the Arabian Sea. In addition to the looming danger of a tsunami, the development-industrial complex plagues the city – with mushrooming apartment complexes and congested neighbourhoods – and leaves millions and millions of people at the mercy of little to no protection during Mother Nature’s rage. The need of the hour is to address these structural voids and fill them before calamity strikes.

Social power determines who is most easily hurt during these emergencies and for this reason, poverty-stricken communities living within Ghotki, Kashmore, Shikarpur etc, deserve dedicated and honest attention so that they can be shielded from future quakes. Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) declared to devise more efficient mechanisms to deal with the aftermath of an earthquake in the region, including the biological hazards during those times. Relief organisations also announced to monetarily assist other agencies to help those affected. Furthermore, students as well as non-affiliated workers vowed to selflessly volunteer whenever needed. Such an attitude at a macro-level helps tremendously and also reinforces a good approach: It is always better to be safe than sorry.