We have very capable scientists who are very good at figuring out the potential risks of involved in natural disasters. The trouble is in communicating that information to the people, and the people aren't always listening.
There are many steps involved with keeping people safe during natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tsunamis. Gathering information on wind speed and storm surge is one thing, translating that information into something people can understand is another. You add another level of complication when you call for an evacuation. Cesariojpn made this point very clear when we noted that not evacuating when you're supposed to is a good way to get yourself killed.