At Risk: Natural Hazards, People's Vulnerability and Disasters

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Psychology Press, 2004 - Science - 471 pages
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The term 'natural disaster' is often used to refer to natural events such as earthquakes, hurricanes or floods. However, the phrase 'natural disaster' suggests an uncritical acceptance of a deeply engrained ideological and cultural myth. At Risk questions this myth and argues that extreme natural events are not disasters until a vulnerable group of people is exposed.

The updated new edition confronts a further ten years of ever more expensive and deadly disasters and discusses disaster not as an aberration, but as a signal failure of mainstream 'development'. Two analytical models are provided as tools for understanding vulnerability. One links remote and distant 'root causes' to 'unsafe conditions' in a 'progression of vulnerability'. The other uses the concepts of 'access' and 'livelihood' to understand why some households are more vulnerable than others.

Examining key natural events and incorporating strategies to create a safer world, this revised edition is an important resource for those involved in the fields of environment and development studies.

 

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Contents

1 THE CHALLENGE OF DISASTERS AND OUR APPROACH
3
2 THE DISASTER PRESSURE AND RELEASE MODEL
45
3 ACCESS TO RESOURCES AND COPING IN ADVERSITY
79
PART II VULNERABILITY AND HAZARD TYPES
111
4 FAMINE AND NATURAL HAZARDS
113
5 BIOLOGICAL HAZARDS
145
6 FLOODS
174
7 COASTAL STORMS
210
8 EARTHQUAKES AND VOLCANOES
237
PART III TOWARDS A SAFER ENVIRONMENT
277
9 TOWARDS A SAFER ENVIRONMENT
279
BIBLIOGRAPHY
329
INDEX
395
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Ben Wisner is retired Professor of Geography and Director of International Studies at CSU at Long Beach, California and is co-editor of Towards a New Map of Africa (2005). Published with ProVention Consortium, UNDP and UN-Habitat

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