different impact on mitigation, preparedness, and response when compared with natural and technological disasters?

The application of social science knowledge by hazards and disaster management practitioners is an important issue for the committee. The reorganization during the mid-1970s that led to the creation of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) was based on the principle that federal mitigation, preparedness, emergency response, and recovery programs related to peacetime and wartime disasters should be integrated. A major rationale underlying this principle was that multigovernmental responses to more frequent peacetime disasters provide an essential experience base for dealing with lower-probability, albeit enormously important, wartime events. The integration principle has remained sound for decades, central to FEMA’s cross-hazards approach, and consistent with support for social science hazards and disaster research within NEHRP. The recent inclusion of FEMA in the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appears to be based on the same principle and rationale. This means that FEMA’s continuing and highly visible role in peacetime disasters serves as a potential resource for societal response to terrorist events. The extent to which that potential will be realized in the future is an empirical question.

Figure 1.1 is useful for highlighting substantive and overlapping foci of hazards and disaster research. Through overlapping circles and two-directional arrows the figure directs attention to essential interactions among these topics and the simultaneity of collective actions related to them. For example, vulnerability assessment informs mitigation and disaster preparedness activities. These relate to each other and, in turn, influence conditions of vulnerability. Insurance programs can further disaster mitigation as well as preparedness, and under certain circumstances, disaster recovery influences insurance policy and actuarial rates. Disaster preparedness affects emergency response and recovery, and the experience of disasters has important (short- and longer-term) consequences for the level of preparedness, the conditions of vulnerability, and mitigation adjustments, and so on. The interactions among these topics are numerous and varied, as are systemic adjustments related to them, which require analysis for both theoretical and practical reasons (Bankoff, 2004).


Figure 1.2 adapted from Kreps (1985), Cutter (1996), Lindell and Prater (2003), has been constructed to represent a more refined conceptual model developed by the committee to complete its charge from the NSF. The mainstream research topics depicted in Figure 1.1 appropriately remain central to Figure 1.2, thus again capturing the primary research interests of hazards and disaster research. However, what is now represented, in effect,

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