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Environmental Hazards and Disasters: Contexts, Perspectives and Management

Environmental Hazards and Disasters: Contexts, Perspectives and Management

ISBN: 978-0-470-66002-7

Nov 2011

334 pages


Environmental Hazards and Disasters: Contexts, Perspectives and Management focuses on manifested threats to humans and their welfare as a result of natural disasters. The book uses an integrative approach to address socio-cultural, political and physical components of the disaster process. Human and social vulnerability as well as risk to environmental hazards are explored within the comprehensive context of diverse natural hazards and disasters.
In addition to scientific explanations of disastrous occurrences, people and governments of hazard-prone countries often have their own interpretations for why natural disasters occur. In such interpretations they often either blame others, in order to conceal their inability to protect themselves, or they blame themselves, attributing the events to either real or imagined misdeeds. The book contains a chapter devoted to the neglected topic of such reactions and explanations. Includes  chapters  on  key topics such as the application of GIS in hazard studies; resiliency; disasters and poverty; climate change and sustainability and development.

This book is designed as a primary text for an interdisciplinary course on hazards for upper-level undergraduate and Graduate students. Although not targeted for an introductory hazards course, students in such a course may find it very useful as well. Additionally, emergency managers, planners, and both public and private organizations involved in disaster response, and mitigation could benefit from this book along with hazard researchers. It not only includes traditional and popular hazard topics (e.g., disaster cycles, disaster relief, and risk and vulnerability), it also includes neglected topics, such as the positive impacts of disasters, disaster myths and different accounts of disasters, and disasters and gender.

Preface ix

1 Introduction 1

1.1 Hazards and disasters: definitions and distinctions 2

1.2 Types of hazards 15

1.3 Physical dimensions of natural hazards 21

References 33

2 History and Development of Hazard Studies in Geography 37

2.1 Historical perspective 37

2.2 The focus of hazard research 44

2.3 Conclusion 60

References 61

3 Vulnerability, Resiliency, and Risk 67

3.1 Vulnerability 67

3.2 Resilience 85

3.3 Risk 93

References 110

4 Disaster Effects and Impacts 119

4.1 Disaster effects 119

4.2 Disaster impacts 138

References 151

5 Disaster Cycles: Mitigation and Preparedness 157

5.1 Mitigation 158

5.2 Preparedness 169

References 192

6 Disaster Cycles: Response and Recovery 197

6.1 Response 197

6.2 Recovery 217

References 233

7 Disaster Relief 237

7.1 Providers and distributors of disaster aid 237

7.2 Conclusion 263

References 264

8 Hazards/Disasters: Special Topics 269

8.1 Gender and natural disasters 269

8.2 Global warming and climate change 277

References 302

Author Index 307

Subject Index 315

“The book is a necessary component of any interdisciplinary course in environmental management and the supporting library.”  (International Journal of Environment and pollution, 1 November 2012)

“The text is well written, and the binding and general appearance of the book is excellent.   Summing Up: Recommended.  Academic and professional audiences, all levels.”  (Choice, 1 August 2012)

"I highly recommend the landmark and essential book Environmental Hazards and Disasters: Contexts, Perspectives and Management by Bimal Kanti Paul, Ph.D., to any undergraduate or graduates students in any of the related disciplines, business leaders, executives in risk management fields, emergency measures personnel, disaster relief agencies, and public policy makers seeking an authoritative and understandable book on both the human and physical aspects of environmental hazards and disasters. This book is an ideal introduction to the subject matter." (Blog Business World, 11 March 2012)