This conclusion presents some closing thoughts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book focuses on the recent natural disasters affecting urban areas, with the exception of one historical catastrophe. The disaster events described in it represent a wide range of circumstances and contexts, ranging from seasonal flooding in a developing country to major storms and earthquakes in highly industrialized nations. The book refers to Hurricane Katrina as an example of inadequate preparedness and, especially, an ill-conceived and poorly deployed evacuation strategy. Communities and governments must begin planning their responses to disasters well before such events occur. The book presents the role of governments as essential actors at all stages of responses to natural disasters. The last phase of the disaster process requires careful planning to determine the nature of the redevelopment that will occur as well as how the reconstructed area will relate to the surrounding areas.