The World Bank says Pacific nations would benefit hugely if they were better prepared for natural disasters.
In a report called "Not If But When" the Bank says opting to rely on international donor assistance once the damage has been done is a far worse strategy than being prepared.
One of the report's writers, Professor John Hay, from the International Global Change Institute at New Zealand's Waikato University, says many island countries and their aid donors need to change their approach.
He says both parties need to realise that there are enormous economic, social and environmental benefits in being prepared for when disasters strike.
"So that when they do occur the results are minimised, the effects are minimised, and the countries don't take giant steps backwards in terms of their economic and social development."