Once the ability to prepare for a natural disaster has been lost all that is left in people's hands is the ability to cope. The governments of Turkey and Thailand have learnt a lesson albeit at the cost of human life.

Turkish authorities admitted that failure to organise initial rescue efforts — and refusal of international aid — has led to a larger casualty toll in the earthquake that hit the Van province. The state was caught on the wrong foot in providing relief. Most of Turkey is earthquake prone, but the area around Van has been particularly at risk. This magnifies the lack of preparedness. Those seeking to make political capital out of this apathy have raked up an age-old Kurd-Turkish debate as it is a Kurdish-dominated region.

Thailand's tourism industry has taken a heavy hit thanks to the floods which show no sign of abating. Life in the capital Bangkok has ground to a standstill. Lack of resources in fighting the rising flood waters has been highlighted as well as the absence of a proper rehabilitation plan for the victims.

Thailand's novice Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra faces a severe test to her leadership and like the flood waters, her detractors and political opponents are rising up to identify any misstep.