From ‘superstorm’ Sandy in 2012 to the countless forest fires that ravage the West every year, natural disasters are increasingly becoming a large part of American life. As a result, combating Mother Nature when she’s at her angriest requires not just innovation, but education, too.
That’s exactly what a new exhibit at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. aims to do, according to Next City. Organized into categories of earth, wind, fire, and water, “Designing for Disaster” is educating visitors about the history of disaster relief and prevention, as well as what works and what doesn’t.
Tales of large-scale projects such as flexible staircase joints at UC Berkeley’s California Memorial Stadium will surely draw in visitors, though it is the hands-on demonstrations and focus on everyday solutions that this exhibit is making the most difference with.
As the Washington Post writes, “The exhibit’s most compelling demonstrations show how innovative engineering solutions can reduce the impact of disasters and, in fact, already are.”
Whether highlighting family disaster plans, showcasing earthquake drills, or using an interactive feature to help visitors learn about the durability of different roof styles, Designing for Disaster is spreading knowledge.
As Americans flock to our nation’s capital during the summer vacation months, they can learn how others are preparing for natural disasters. And with that education, perhaps they can educate members of their own communities on how best to prevent future damage.
After all, while you can’t avoid Mother Nature’s fury, you can make sure you’re ready to meet it head on.