Disaster Risk and Vulnerability

Disaster Risk and Vulnerability: Mitigation through Mobilizing Communities and Partnerships

C. EMDAD HAQUE
DAVID ETKIN
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 320
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt8066v
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  • Book Info
    Disaster Risk and Vulnerability
    Book Description:

    From the Asian tsunami of 2004 to hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Tohoku earthquake of 2011, our century has been fraught with catastrophic natural disasters. Disaster Risk and Vulnerability assesses the human toll and economic losses of natural disasters and reasserts the importance of human collaboration and organization in disaster management. In most cases, policy makers, planners, managers, and regulators who implement disaster risk reduction response planning and management strategies remain detached from local conditions, failing to address them effectively. Presenting case studies from Asia and North America, as well as a broad range of approaches to community mobilization and partnership development, contributors show that local communities, all levels of government, and non-governmental organizations must work collectively in order to reduce the harm caused by disasters. Despite unprecedented progress in science and technology and governments' continued efforts in disaster risk reduction, socioeconomic losses due to environmental disasters continue to rise. Disaster Risk and Vulnerability provides knowledge and information that will benefit anyone working in the fields of environment, disasters, and community mobilization in an effort to reverse this trend.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8706-9
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    Salvano Briceno

    The experience of the last century and the first decade of the new millennium has revealed that the nature of disaster risk is changing in an unprecedented manner due to rapid shifts in the global economic system, the volume and range of movements of people and commodities, rapidly expanding urban density, local and regional climate and weather patterns, and above all the interface between the physical, biological, and human spheres. The human cost in lives and livelihoods resulting from nature-triggered and vulnerability-induced disasters has multiplied in recent decades. The United Nations General Assembly, observing these trends and patterns, launched the...

  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-2)
    C. Emdad Haque and David Etkin
  7. INTRODUCTION: Dealing with Disaster Risk and Vulnerability: People, Community, and Resilience Perspectives
    (pp. 3-24)
    C. EMDAD HAQUE and DAVID ETKIN

    Two major themes constitute the focus of this book: the significance of societal analysis for disaster research and human actions, from the perspective of integrated social-ecological systems; and the reduction of disaster risk by mobilizing communities and building partnerships among institutions. In this introduction, we assess, from a historical perspective, the magnitude of the human cost of nature-induced catastrophes; evaluate changing trends in approaches to risk, hazard, and disaster analysis; describe the context of disaster risk and vulnerability; and summarize the contents of the individual articles of this volume.

    The argument that we reinforce is that without humans and their...

  8. PART ONE CONCEPTUAL CONSIDERATIONS IN RISK AND VULNERABILITY REDUCTION
    • 1 Understanding Uncertainty and Reducing Vulnerability: Lessons from Resilience Thinking
      (pp. 27-44)
      FIKRET BERKES

      Many studies of natural hazards focus on floods, hurricanes (cyclones), earthquakes, wildfires, ice storms, and other extreme weather events, examining why people move into disaster-prone areas and how they understand risk. Most research has taken either a physical or a human emphasis. I discuss an approach – resilience – that integrates the two and helps to explain uncertainty and reduce vulnerability. Throughout the chapter, I pursue two arguments. The first concerns the irreducible nature of uncertainty in complex systems and the necessity of living with change and uncertainty. The second relates to reducing vulnerability by building resilience.

      A key concept of natural...

    • 2 Community-Level Emergency Management: Placing Social Capital
      (pp. 45-70)
      BRENDA L. MURPHY

      Emergency management, despite the involvement of upper levels of government, tends to concentrate responsibility for the delivery of services with local authorities. It is in local spaces in most industrialized countries that planning, mitigation, and emergency preparedness take place in advance of any risk event and where response and recovery efforts occur (R.W. Perry and Nigg 1988; Mileti 1999; Canton 2007; Haddow, Bullock, and Coppola 2011). On closer examination, however, we see that what “local” entails is not at all clear. Does it equate with cities, towns, and rural spaces, or does it mean neighbourhoods and other types of social...

    • 3 Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction: Realizing the Primacy of Community
      (pp. 71-90)
      MIHIR R. BHATT and TOMMY REYNOLDS

      From 1987 to 1989, communities in rural Gujarat, India, experienced a prolonged drought. The crisis decreased the savings of poor families, reduced food stockpiles, and damaged soil. The combined impact left agricultural workers and consumers of their produce more vulnerable; it depleted savings and decreased purchasing power. A task force that later became the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) studied the impact of the drought on local development and found progress impeded. The disaster derailed hard-won development gains by diverting precious resources from long-term goals. At the household level, assets diverted might instead have been saved to purchase shelter,...

  9. PART TWO INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT AND PUBLIC POLICIES
    • 4 The Intersection of Policies on Disaster Management, Climate Change, and International Development
      (pp. 93-107)
      G.A. McBEAN

      Often the major news in international media is about how a hazardous event has devastated a country and set back development there. Although the occurrence may be an earthquake, most often it is a typhoon or hurricane, a flood or a drought, or some other catastrophe relating to weather or climate. The intersection of disasters, often relating to climate and its variability and change, on countries trying to further develop is the topic of this chapter.

      At least since the 1990s, the annual number of natural disasters has been rising (Gall, Borden, and Cutter 2009; Munich Re 2010a; Vos et...

    • 5 Mountain Hazards and the Resilience of Social-Ecological Systems: Examples from India and Canada
      (pp. 108-136)
      JAMES S. GARDNER and JULIE DEKENS

      Until recently, perceptions of mountains often evoked danger (Nicholson 1963). Nevertheless, for generations people have inhabited mountains, living with dangers posed by earthquakes, landslides, avalanches, flash floods, fires, cold temperatures, storms, wild animals, and so on (Hewitt 1997a). Any process or condition that constitutes a threat to human safety and property may be considered a hazard. Today, perceptions of danger in mountains have eased, record numbers of people travel through, visit, and inhabit mountain regions, and levels of risk and vulnerability are still high, if not increasing (Hewitt 1997a). During the past three decades, stresses on the physical and biological...

    • 6 Grassroots Participation versus Dictated Partnership: Anatomy of the Turkish Risk Management Reality
      (pp. 137-153)
      P. GÜLKAN and A.N. KARANCI

      Even in the period following a realignment of its fundamental premise, the disaster management system in Turkey remains highly centralized and hierarchical and works according to a parent law supported by a wide array of regulations that are in the process of revision. The system has been criticized for being passively reactive because its administrative provisions relate almost entirely to post-disaster response. The underlying assumption would seem to be that other legal or administrative instruments were adequate for mitigation and social preparedness – on occasion a clearly incorrect hypothesis. Figure 6.1 outlines the organizational structure of Turkish disaster management. In this...

    • 7 Disaster Management and Public Policies in Bangladesh: Institutional Partnerships in Cyclone Hazards Mitigation and Response
      (pp. 154-182)
      C. EMDAD HAQUE, MIZAN R. KHAN, MOHAMMED SALIM UDDIN and SAYEDUR R. CHOWDHURY

      Nature-triggered disasters, including extreme weather-related events such as heat waves, droughts, excessive precipitation, floods, and cyclones, have increased worldwide in recent years, both in frequency and in intensity. Such was the conclusion of the IPCC Assessment Reports (IPCC 2001a; 2001b; 2007b). Cyclones have intensified with increased sea surface temperature as a consequence of global warming (AMS 2006; WMO 2006; Emanuel 2008; Karim and Mimura 2008; Frank et al. 2010). Economic losses from disasters of all kinds are rising dramatically – almost nine-fold in real terms between 1960 and 1990 – and insured losses more than fifteen-fold. Of these, losses due to extreme...

  10. PART THREE NATURAL HAZARDS AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IN CANADA
    • 8 Emergency Management Education in Canada: A View from the Crossroads
      (pp. 185-199)
      LIANNE M. BELLISARIO, JACK McGEE and NIRU NIRUPAMA

      Consistent with global trends, the frequency of natural disasters in Canada is increasing (Etkin et al. 2004; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies 2004; Cutter and Emrich 2005). Urbanization, ageing and more diverse populations, the exploitation of vulnerable land, and reliance on increasingly interconnected and poorly maintained infrastructure are all contributing to increased societal vulnerability and more frequent disasters (Robert, Forget, and Rousselle 2003; Pielke and Sarewitz 2005). Add to this the expected impact of climate change on extreme weather events and wildfires (Houghton et al. 2001; Wotton, Martell, and Logan 2003; Nicholls et al. 2007), anticipated...

    • 9 Public and Expert Knowledge and Perception of Climate Change– Induced Disaster Risk: Canadian Prairie Perspectives
      (pp. 200-234)
      PARNALI DHAR CHOWDHURY, C. EMDAD HAQUE and GRAHAM SMITH

      This chapter proposes a theoretical and empirical framework for investigating the juxtaposition, overlaps, and gaps in public and experts’ knowledge and perception of climate change–induced environmental extremes and their associated disaster risks. The empirical context involves three types of disaster risk relating to climate change or variability – floods, droughts, and heat waves – in the prairie region of Canada. The province of Manitoba occupies a large part of the region, and its location predisposes it to climate extremes and considerable climate change–induced disaster risks (Francis and Hengeveld 1998; IPCC 2007). The commonalities and gaps between residents and experts are...

    • 10 Natural Hazard Identification, Mapping, and Vulnerability Assessment in Atlantic Canada: Progress and Challenges
      (pp. 235-274)
      NORM CATTO

      Atlantic Canada is commonly perceived by both its residents and others to have relatively few natural hazards. Even though the Burin Tsunami of 1929 and its death toll of 27 people in Newfoundland and one in Cape Breton (see Ruffman 1991; 1993; 1995b) is regularly recalled on its anniversary of 18 November, few Newfoundland residents outside the communities directly affected appear to remember the event until it is brought to their attention. Repeated informal surveys and conversations between 1989 and 2010 in St John’s high schools, and in Memorial University classes ranging from introductory courses to graduate school, in disciplines...

    • 11 Infrastructure Failure Interdependencies in Extreme Events: The 1998 Ice Storm
      (pp. 275-294)
      STEPHANIE E. CHANG, TIMOTHY L. McDANIELS, JOEY MIKAWOZ and KRISTA PETERSON

      The impacts of natural disasters are often greatly prolonged and exacerbated by disruptions to critical infrastructure systems, such as electric power, water, and transportation. These lifelines provide vital services for societal functions. Canadians rely on infrastructure essential to their health, safety, and security, in addition to their economic well-being. The loss of any of it in disasters – whether natural or human-induced – can result in widespread, catastrophic effects and seriously disrupt patterns of human activity (PCCIP 1997; Rinaldi, Peerenboom, and Kelly 2001). In fact, the government of Canada (GOC) defines critical infrastructure as “physical and information technology facilities, networks, services and...

  11. Contributors
    (pp. 295-300)