National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×

FACING HAZARDS AND DISASTERS

UNDERSTANDING HUMAN DIMENSIONS

Committee on Disaster Research in the Social Sciences: Future Challenges and Opportunities

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×

ÿþ

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine


The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.


The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.


The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.


The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.


www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×

This page intially left blank

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×

COMMITTEE ON DISASTER RESEARCH IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES: FUTURE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

Gary A. Kreps, Chair,

College of William and Mary

Philip R. Berke,

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Thomas A. Birkland,

University at Albany, State University of New York (until December 31, 2005)

Stephanie E. Chang,

University of British Columbia

Susan L. Cutter,

University of South Carolina

Michael K. Lindell,

Texas A&M University

Robert A. Olson,

Robert Olson Associates, Inc.

Juan M. Ortiz,

Tarrant County, Texas Office of Emergency Management

Kimberly I. Shoaf,

University of California, Los Angeles

John H. Sorensen,

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Kathleen J. Tierney,

University of Colorado at Boulder

William A. Wallace,

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Anthony M. Yezer,

George Washington University

National Research Council Staff

William A. Anderson, Study Director,

Division on Earth and Life Studies

Byron Mason, Program Associate,

Division on Earth and Life Studies

Patricia Jones Kershaw, Senior Program Associate,

Division on Earth and Life Studies (until December 2004)

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×

This page intially left blank

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×

Preface

The United States and many other countries throughout the world are vulnerable to a wide variety of natural, technological, and willful hazards and disasters. In this nation, while local decision makers and other stakeholders have the final responsibility for coping with disaster threats, federal agencies have developed science-based activities, including research and applications programs that are intended to further the understanding of such threats and provide a basis for more effective risk reduction efforts in vulnerable communities throughout the country. The National Science Foundation (NSF), sponsor of this study, has been in the forefront in providing support for social science hazards and disaster research, including research carried out through the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), which was established in 1977. Since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, that agency also has emerged as a potential major sponsor of social science hazards and disaster research.

Given the changing hazards and disasters landscape in recent years, brought on by such factors as new demographic trends and settlement patterns and the emergence of new kinds of disaster threats discussed in this report, NSF requested that the National Research Council (NRC) conduct an analysis of hazards and disaster research in the social sciences, a research community that is vital to understanding societal responses to natural, technological, and willful threats. In particular, NSF asked the NRC to provide the agency and other stakeholders with an appraisal of the social science contributions to knowledge on hazards and disasters, especially as a

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×

result of NEHRP funding; the challenges facing the social science hazards and disaster research community; and opportunities for advancing knowledge in the field and its application for the benefit of society. The study is expected to provide a basis for planning future social science disciplinary, multidisciplinary, and interdisciplinary research and application activities related to the threat of natural, technological, and willful disasters.

In response to this charge, the NRC established the Committee on Disaster Research in the Social Sciences, an ad hoc committee under the Division on Earth and Life Studies. The committee was comprised of experts from various social science disciplines, public health, and emergency management. The committee met six times during the course of the study. As part of the input to the study, the committee reviewed in detail the scientific literature in the field. The committee also benefited from presentations and discussions that took place during two workshops held in conjunction with committee meetings, one in Washington, D.C., at the National Academies’ Keck Center and the other in Irvine, California, at the National Academies’ Beckman Conference Center. Participants in the first workshop included researchers from the multidisciplinary hazards and disaster research community, practitioners, and representatives from various agencies. All participants in the second workshop were practitioners.

The many people who provided input to the committee through oral presentations or in writing are listed in the acknowledgments. On behalf of the committee, I extend appreciation and thanks to all of these individuals for contributing to the study. The committee also extends special appreciation to William A. Anderson, study director for the project, whose substantive knowledge and experience in hazards and disaster research are enormous and whose contributions to the study were essential to its successful completion. Thanks also to Patricia Jones Kershaw, who was senior program associate during part of the study, and especially to Byron Mason, program associate, who provided very effective substantive and logistical support for all phases of the committee’s work. Finally, I wish to thank the members of the committee for devoting substantial time and effort to the project. Their commitment to the field has been matched by their hard work on this committee.

Gary A. Kreps

Chair

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×

Acknowledgments

This report was greatly enhanced by the participants of the three public meetings, including two workshops, held as part of this study. The committee would like to acknowledge the efforts of those who gave presentations at the meetings: James Ament, Michel Bruneau, Caroline Clark, Joseph Coughlin, Penny Culbreth-Graft, Frances Edwards, Joshua M. Epstein, Steven French, Gerard Hoetmer, Eric Holdeman, Howard Kunreuther, Rocky Lopes, Larry Mintier, Jack Moehle, Poki Namkung, Robert O’Connor, Anthony Oliver-Smith, Laura Petonito, Ralph B. Swisher, Roger Tourangeau, Larry Weber, Dennis Wenger, Thomas Wilbanks, and Rae Zimmerman. The committee would also like to acknowledge the written contribution of Thomas E. Drabek.

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Ruzena K. Bajcsy, University of California, Berkeley

Eve Gruntfest, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×

Peter J. May, University of Washington, Seattle

Dennis S. Mileti, University of Colorado at Boulder

Robert B. Olshansky, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Adam Z. Rose, Pennsylvania State University, University Park

David M. Simpson, University of Louisville, Kentucky

Neil J. Smelser, University of California, Berkeley

Seth A. Stein, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

Susan Tubbesing, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Oakland, California

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Enrico L. (Henry) Quarantelli, Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware, and Carl Wunsch, Massachussetts Institute of Technology. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of the report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×
   

  

 

 

   

 Environmental Change,

 

69

   

 Conclusions,

 

70

3

 

SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH ON HAZARD MITIGATION, EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS, AND RECOVERY PREPAREDNESS

 

71

   

 Further Comments on the Conceptual Model of Societal Response to Disaster,

 

71

   

 Hazard Vulnerability,

 

72

   

 Disaster Event Characteristics,

 

75

   

 Disaster Impacts,

 

76

   

 Pre-Impact Emergency Management Intervention,

 

86

   

 Community-Level Emergency Response Preparedness Practices,

 

95

   

 Community Disaster Recovery Preparedness Practices,

 

102

   

 Adoption of Hazard Adjustments Within Communities,

 

104

   

 Recommendations for Research on Pre-Impact Hazard Management,

 

115

4

 

RESEARCH ON DISASTER RESPONSE AND RECOVERY

 

124

   

 Research on Disaster Response,

 

125

   

 Public Response,

 

131

   

 New Ways of Framing Disaster Management Challenges: Dealing with Complexity and Accommodating Emergence,

 

142

   

 Economic and Business Impacts and Recovery: The Challenge of Assessing Disaster Losses,

 

160

   

 Other Disaster Recovery-Related Issues,

 

168

   

 Research Recommendations,

 

171

5

 

INTERDISCIPLINARY HAZARDS AND DISASTER RESEARCH

 

180

   

 Definitions,

 

180

   

 Challenges,

 

183

   

 Factors in Success,

 

186

   

 Interdisciplinary Trends in Social Science Hazards and Disaster Research,

 

191

   

 Exemplars and Lessons,

 

200

   

 Recommendations,

 

212

6

 

INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH: CONFRONTING THE CHALLENGES OF DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT

 

216

   

 Global Patterns in Disaster Risk and Vulnerability,

 

217

   

 Sustainable Development and Disasters,

 

220

Page xiii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×
   

  

 

 

   

 Coping with Obstacles to Linking Sustainable Development to Disasters,

 

223

   

 Models of Development and Humanitarian Aid Delivery Systems,

 

228

   

 Collaborative International Research,

 

239

   

 Recommendations,

 

243

7

 

THE ROLE OF STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGIES AND METHODS FOR ENHANCING STUDIES OF HAZARDS AND DISASTERS

 

248

   

 Doing Hazards and Disaster Research,

 

250

   

 The Challenges of Post-Disaster Investigations and Increasing Their Value,

 

254

   

 The Hazards and Disasters Informatics Problem,

 

259

   

 Relationship of State-of-the-Art Technologies and Methods to Hazards and Disasters Informatics Issues,

 

269

   

 Recommendations,

 

282

8

 

KNOWLEDGE DISSEMINATION AND APPLICATION

 

286

   

 Social Science Research on the Utilization of Hazards and Disaster Information,

 

287

   

 General Insights on Knowledge Dissemination and Application,

 

290

   

 Vignettes from the Knowledge Delivery System,

 

293

   

 Interpersonal Contact,

 

295

   

 Planning and Conceptual Foresight,

 

298

   

 Outside Consultation on the Change Process,

 

301

   

 User-Oriented Transformation of Information,

 

303

   

 Individual and Organizational Championship,

 

306

   

 User Involvement,

 

308

   

 Nonadoption of Social Science Knowledge,

 

309

   

 Disaster Research and Application and Hurricane Katrina,

 

313

   

 Recommendations,

 

313

9

 

THE PRESENT AND FUTURE HAZARDS AND DISASTER RESEARCH WORKFORCE

 

317

   

 Workforce Structure,

 

319

   

 Workforce Profile,

 

322

   

 Work Settings,

 

328

   

 Designing a Workforce to Meet Future Challenges,

 

329

   

 Recommendations,

 

331

   

 Conclusion,

 

339

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×
   

  

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

 

340

 

 

APPENDIXES

 

 

   

 A  Acronyms

 

379

   

 B  Recommendations

 

383

   

 C  Committee Biographies

 

388

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×
Page R1
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×
Page R2
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×
Page R3
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×
Page R4
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×
Page R5
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×
Page R6
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×
Page R7
Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×
Page R8
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×
Page R9
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×
Page R10
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×
Page R11
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×
Page R12
Page xiii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×
Page R13
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11671.
×
Page R14
Next: Summary »
Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $75.00 Buy Ebook | $59.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

Social science research conducted since the late 1970's has contributed greatly to society's ability to mitigate and adapt to natural, technological, and willful disasters. However, as evidenced by Hurricane Katrina, the Indian Ocean tsunami, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, and other recent events, hazards and disaster research and its application could be improved greatly. In particular, more studies should be pursued that compare how the characteristics of different types of events--including predictability, forewarning, magnitude, and duration of impact--affect societal vulnerability and response. This book includes more than thirty recommendations for the hazards and disaster community.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!