If something like a massive flood, hurricane, volcanic eruption, aftermath of war, or plague happened, should the government attempt to mitigate that destructiveness? Should say, the National Guard, be the government agency of response to these crisis?
I'm not talking about year round assistance, government medical and public health initiatives, and such, only short-term emergency things. Thanks in advance.
I've noticed that many people today hold a "paternalistic government" perspective," in which government acts as a central authority to provide "care" to everyone who needs it (always, not just in emergencies). Objectivism asks: (a) What is government? (b) Why (for what purpose) does man need it? And (c) what do these answers imply about the proper functions of government? The result is a completely non-paternalistic government. Our Founders, for example, were primarily concerned about man's "inalienable rights" and how to protect them. And Objectivism does not recognize an emergency situation as justification for paternalism. As Anthony's comment mentions, Objectivism's view of government includes only protecting individuals and enterprises from physical force by others, i.e., protection from looters, rioters, vandals, common criminals, foreign invaders, etc., but not providing other services that private individuals and businesses could provide (which, if provided by government, would require initiation of physical force against others, since government does not create wealth but obtains it from individual producers). Under non-paternalistic government that is limited to protecting individual rights, individuals are free to rely on insurance, personal savings and other assets, charity, voluntary help from neighbors (as an act of good will), etc., to deal with emergencies that do not involve an initiation of physical force against them by others (or their government).
Update: Victims of Governmental "Services"
From a comment by the questioner:
... isn't government intervention into emergency situations useful? ... [What is the] evidence [that] non-paternalism during non-man made emergencies [is] working?
"Useful" -- to whom and for what? "Working" -- by what standard? Governmental "intervention" inevitably depends on initiation of physical force against innocent victims who are viewed as a social "resource" for others to dispose of as the "society" deems fit. Government does not create wealth, but obtains it only from individual producers and enterprises.
The initiation of physical force against others is evil, whether it is done by other individuals or by government. It is destructive of human life. This is true regardless of whether or not there might be some limited peripheral "good" coming out of it in some cases. Government services are not "good" if they depend on initiation of physical force. For evidence, one need only look at what physical force does to the victims, at how it paralyzes their minds and thereby diminishes their lives and their capacity for living. The questioner may already know all this without ascribing any particular significance to it, and other readers of this website may not already know it.
The question and comment express the moral-practical dichotomy, i.e., morality and practicality as separate and distinct and unrelated. But there is no dichotomy between the moral and practical when morality is reality-based and rationally integrated. And Objectivism vigorously opposes the sacrificing of the individual to the collective.