Article Index

Towards a Moral Philosophy of Natural Disaster Mitigation

Authors
Timothy Beatley
Issue
March 1989
Description
While there is often considerable discussion about the effectiveness, political feasibility, legality, and other aspects of natural disaster mitigation, moral and ethical dimensions are usually overlooked. This paper argues that the disaster planning community should begin to explicitly consider the moral foundations of public natural disaster mitigation policy. At the most basic level the key question arises: what is the extent of government\\'s moral obligation to protect people and property from natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes? While no definitive theory or position is put forth here, the author identifies several possible bases or elements of such moral theory of mitigation. Among the moral criteria considered are: utilitarian and market failure rationales; the concept of basic rights; culpability and prevention of harm standards; and paternalism. Other non-disaster moral obligations, some conflicting and some complementary, are also identified and discussed.

Towards a Theory of Economic Recovery from Disasters

Authors
Stephanie E. Chang and Adam Z. Rose
Issue
August 2012
Description
Economic recovery refers to the process by which businesses and local economies return to conditions of stability following a disaster. Its importance and complexity are being increasingly recognized in disaster risk reduction research and practice. This paper provides an overview of current research on economic recovery and suggests a research agenda to address key gaps in knowledge. Empirical studies have provided a number of robust findings on the disaster recovery of businesses and local economies, with particular insights into short- and long-term recovery patterns, influential factors in recovery, and disparities in recovery across types of businesses and economies. Modeling studies have undertaken formal analyses of economic impacts of disasters in which recovery is usually addressed through the incorporation of resilience actions and investments in repair and reconstruction. Core variables for assessing and understanding economic recovery are identified from the literature, and approaches for measuring or estimating them are discussed. The paper concludes with important gaps in the development of a robust theory of economic recovery. Systematic data collection is needed to establish patterns and variations on how well and how quickly local economies recover from disasters. Research is urgently needed on the effectiveness of resilience approaches, decisions, and policies for recovery at both the business and local economy levels. Detailed, testable theoretical frameworks will be important for advancing understanding and developing sound recovery plans and policies. It will be especially important to consider the relationship between economic recovery and recovery of the built environment and sociopolitical fabric of communities in developing a comprehensive theory of disaster recovery.

Town Watching As A Tool For Citizen Participation In Developing Countries: Applications In Disaster Training

Authors
Antonio L Fernandez, Teruhiko Yoshimura, Yujiro Ogawa
Issue
August 2005
Description
Town Watching As A Tool For Citizen Participation In Developing Countries: Applications In Disaster Training\r\nAuthor(s): Yujiro Ogawa, Antonio L. Fernandez, Teruhiko Yoshimura\r\nPages: 5-36

Traditional Families in Turkey

Authors
Cigdem Kagitcibasi
Issue
March 1983
Description
Though disasters, especially earthquakes, floods and landslides, are common in Turkey, policy making, planning, and even research have ignored their social -psychological aspects. In this paper an attempt is made to build a hypothetical model for conceptualizing disaster-related coping behavior in traditional society. It is based on individual, familial and social behavior and values, derived from research conducted in Turkey. In this model it is proposed that belief in external control, in fitting with the objective conditions, results in resignation and in the conception of disaster as inevitable. Close-knit family and community ties provide further relief and security in the face of disaster. This primary group solidarity also provides the mechanisms necessary for coping with disaster in the context of underdevelopment where formal social welfare organizations are inadequate.

Traditional Societies in the Face of Natural Hazards: The 1991 Mt. Pinatubo Eruption and the Aetas of the Philippines

Authors
Jean-Christophe Gaillard
Issue
March 2006
Description
This article explores the response of traditional societies in the face of natural hazards through the lens of the concept of resilience. Resilient societies are those able to overcome the damages brought by the occurrence of natural hazards, either through maintaining their pre-disaster social fabric, or through accepting marginal or larger change in order to survive. Citing the case of the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines and its impact on the Aeta communities who have been living on the slopes of the volcano for centuries, it suggests that the capacity of resilience of traditional societies and the concurrent degree of cultural change rely on four factors, namely: the nature of the hazard, the pre-disaster sociocultural context and capacity of resilience of the community, the geographical setting, and the rehabilitation policy set up by the authorities. These factors significantly vary in time and space, from one disaster to another. It is important to perceive their local variations to better anticipate the capability of traditional societies to overcome the damage brought by the occurrence of natural hazards and therefore predict eventual cultural change.

Trapped in Politics: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of the Utah Seismic Safety Advisory Council

Authors
Robert A. Olson, Richard Stuart Olson
Issue
March 1994
Description
Utah faces serious earthquake risk from the alignment of its major population centers with the historically active Wasatch fault. This paper identifies the origins and traces the life history of the Utah Seismic Safety Advisory Council, paying special attention to the partisan political shift which contributed to its 1981 legislative failures and organizational demise.

Trauma, Victims, Time, Changing Organizations and the Nepal 2015 Earthquake

Authors
Samantha Penta, Sarah DeYoung, Daryl Yoder-Bontrager
Issue
November 2016
Description
This paper summarizes findings from reconnaissance fieldwork conducted five weeks after the Nepal earthquake in 2015. Data were collected using an exploratory, qualitative, semi-inductive approach. Themes converged through classic disaster research theoretical ideas but were also evident through the unique convergence of globalization and development in Nepal. Findings from informal conversations, photographs, and observations of relief and recovery efforts revealed several key themes: the occurrence of organizational transitions in activities and tasks, psychosocial well-being of Nepalese individuals and communities, issues in qualifying the definition of an earthquake victim, and the importance of chronological and social time in recovery processes. Other findings gleaned from fieldwork included uncovering complexities of cultural and social systems such as caste structure in Nepal, issues related to humanitarian logistics, and the vulnerability of special populations such as new mothers and migrant Nepalese. The massive presence of international non-profit organizations created an interesting setting for relief and recovery, mostly described in the section on organization evolutions and transformation. Finally, we also encountered various perceptions about what it means to shift from “relief” to “recovery”- a notion which intersected with all of the four main themes from our findings.

TV Network News Coverage of Three Mile Island: Reporting Disasters as Technological Fables

Authors
Dan Nimmo
Issue
March 1984
Description
Nightly network news coverage of the accident at Three Mile Island raised questions about the nature of TV news as well as the capacity of the three major networks to inform viewers during disasters. A key emphasis in TV news is story-telling, especially the weaving of fables. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of the content of network news coverage of TMI reveals differences between networks in techniques of newsgathering and reporting, but even more so in stories told: CBS narrated a tale of responsible political and technological elites, ABC a nightmare of common folk victimized by elites, ABC a nightmare of common folk victimized by elites, and NBC a story of resignation and demystification. Coverage of TMI, when compared to network coverage of other crises, suggests that in reporting disasters CBS, ABC, and NBC respectively and consistently construct rhetorical visions of reassurance, threat, and primal assurance.

Uncommon Hazards and Orthodox Emergency Management: Toward a Reconciliation

Authors
Neil R. Britton
Issue
August 1992
Description
Effective emergency management requires a close fit between state of risk and state of hazard management. If these components get out of phase, a marked increase in societal vulnerability is likely to prevail. Recognizing that the major burden for developed societies has shifted from risks associated with natural processes to those arising from technological development and application, disaster-relevant organizational networks have adopted a Comprehensive Emergency Management \\"all-hazards\\" approach.

Understanding Divergent Constructions of Vulnerability and Resilience: Climate Change Discourses in the German Cities of Lübeck and Rostock

Authors
Gabriela B. Christmann and Thorsten Heimann
Issue
August 2017
Description
In social-science based research, it is still an open question how cities cope with the multi-faceted challenges of climate change. Via the example of the German coastal cities of Lübeck and Rostock and on the basis of a discourse analysis (of news articles and expert interviews), this paper contributes to this research question by asking how cities actually perceive their vulnerability and resilience related to climate impacts. The study reveals that perceptions in the two cities differ considerably and are idiosyncratic when compared to each other. This is remarkable because both cities share similar geographic conditions as well as climate forecasts. Furthermore, they both have in common a long history as Hanseatic cities. What makes Rostock special, however, is that it was part of the former German Democratic Republic and that, after the German reunification in 1990, it suffered from socio-economic problems and marginalization. The paper’s findings raise the question of how divergent local knowledge about climate-related vulnerability and resilience can be conceptualized. It is also imperative to consider how local experiences of economic problems and social marginalization influence local knowledge regarding climate change. Consequently, the authors suggest a theoretical approach which is mainly based on social constructionism. Furthermore, they highlight the role that locally shared experiences—such as of social marginalization—play in the emergence of climate change constructions.