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Article

Funding Flows: Transboundary Considerations of Disaster Recovery  

Anuradha Mukherji

Scholars agree that the impact of a disaster in a globalized world increasingly extends beyond political and geographical boundaries, creating transboundary disaster events. Though not all disasters fit the description of a transboundary event, many embody transboundary characteristics. For instance, national and transnational financing and other resources directed toward postdisaster humanitarian relief and long-term reconstruction efforts can also create transboundary flows that cross political and geographical lines. Rebuilding after physical damage and economic losses during a disaster, the impacts of which are disproportionately higher in the poorest countries, is a costly endeavor that requires multiple sources of finance. Depending on the scale and visibility of the disaster and local capacities, financial arrangements, resources, and assistance can come from a variety of sources including the government, international institutions, and private-sector, and nongovernmental, and civil society organizations. In particular, transnational financing from bilateral donors and international financial institutions, which constitute multilateral and bilateral streams of financing for postdisaster recovery, comprise a significant percentage of recovery funding globally. Such flows, although inherently transboundary, are not well understood as a phenomenon within the transboundary disasters literature. Three major types of agencies provide funding for postdisaster reconstruction including multilateral development banks (MDBs), also referred to as international financial institutions (IFIs); bilateral development agencies within donor countries; and United Nations (UN) development agencies. MDBs such as the World Bank are created by a group of countries that utilizes pooled contributions from national governments and additional resources, such as interest collected from loans, to finance development projects. Bilateral development agencies such as the United States Agency for International Development are institutions established by individual countries to provide development funding to nation-states; they work closely with IFIs. Numerous questions about transnational financing for postdisaster recovery as an important component of the transboundary disaster literature remain unanswered and need further insights. What are the links among transnational stakeholders (i.e., MDBs, bilateral donors, UN agencies, and international nongovernmental organizations) and transboundary financial arrangements for postdisaster recovery? What are the aggregate impacts of transboundary financing on postdisaster reconstruction? How do transboundary financing flows occur among bilateral donors, MDBs, and local and international nongovernmental organizations? Where can scholars find data sets on postdisaster transnational financing? How does transboundary financing impact postdisaster recovery governance in recipient countries? The current state of knowledge on transboundary financing of postdisaster recovery provides some guidance on best practices and the challenges with coordinating and monitoring.

Article

Assessing Gender Leadership and the Cultural Aspect of Disaster Response in Developing Context Focusing on the Case of the Beirut Explosion  

Fatima Nasser, Tania Haddad, and Hala Mezher

Disaster risk reduction (DRR) addresses social equity, environmental protection, and economic growth risks. It is defined as the conceptual framework that involves carefully examined elements for their potential to reduce vulnerabilities and mitigate disaster risks across a society. The primary goals are to prevent or, alternatively, to minimize the adverse impacts of hazards through mitigation and preparedness measures, all within the overarching context of promoting sustainable development. DRR should be a significant component of policies and development strategies for governments since it minimizes vulnerabilities; hence, it is important to build a culture of prevention to identify daily hazards and reduce the effects of disasters. Due to gender inequalities, women are disproportionately affected by disasters, as they are more vulnerable to losing their livelihoods and houses, gender-based violence, and loss of life pre- and post-disaster. Disaster response and risk reduction policies and practices often replicate existing social structures that sideline and de-prioritize marginalized groups. However, women are showing their capability to respond to and recover from crises by building community resilience and participating in DRR at the forefront of the recovery response. Women contribute firsthand insights and solutions, possessing a nuanced understanding of their vulnerabilities and recognizing disasters’ distinct impact on both women and girls. This is evident as women within a patriarchal system actively assumed leadership roles, challenging the established norms. Their engagement reflects a steadfast commitment to promoting a more equitable approach to disaster response. There is a lack of empirical research that indicates how gender leadership can lead to risk disaster reduction and social changes in Lebanon. In order to expand the existing literature on women’s leadership in disaster management and to ascertain the substantial contribution of women in fostering resilience for DRR, thereby instigating societal change in developing contexts, there is a need to tackle two core inquiries: What is the role of women’s leadership in disaster management in Lebanon? How does women’s leadership lead to DRR and social changes in the context of disasters in developing countries?

Article

Natural Hazards Governance in the Philippines  

Kanako Iuchi, Yasuhito Jibiki, Renato Solidum Jr., and Ramon Santiago

Located in the Pacific Ring of Fire and the typhoon belt, the Philippines is one of the most hazard prone countries in the world. The country faces different types of natural hazards including geophysical disturbances such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, meteorological and hydrological events such as typhoons and floods, and slow-onset disasters such as droughts. Together with rapidly increasing population growth and urbanization, large-scale natural phenomena have resulted in unprecedented scales of devastation. In the early 21st century alone, the country experienced some of the most destructive and costliest disasters in its history including Typhoon Yolanda (2013), Typhoon Pablo (2012), and the Bohol Earthquake (2013). Recurrent natural disasters have prompted the Philippine government to develop disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) strategies to better prepare, respond, and recover, as well as to be more resilient in the face of natural disasters. Since the early 1940s, the governing structure has undergone several revisions through legal and institutional arrangements. Historical natural disasters and seismic risks have affected and continue to threaten the National Capital Region (NCR) and the surrounding administrative areas; these were key factors in advancing DRRM laws and regulations, as well as in restructuring its governing bodies. The current DRRM structure was instituted under Republic Act no. 10121 (RA10121) in 2010 and was implemented to shift from responsive to proactive governance by better engaging local governments (LGUs), communities, and the private sector to reduce long-term disaster risk. This Republic Act established a national disaster risk reduction and management council (NDRRMC) to develop strategies that manage and reduce risk. Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 was the most significant test of this revised governance structure and related strategies. The typhoon revealed drawbacks of the current council-led governing structure to advancing resilience. Salient topics include how to respond better to disaster realities, how to efficiently coordinate among relevant agencies, and how to be more inclusive of relevant actors. Together with other issues, such as the way to co-exist with climate change efforts, a thorough examination of RA 10121 by the national government and advocates for DRRM is underway. Some of the most important discourse to date focuses on ways to institute a powerful governing body that enables more efficient DRRM with administrative and financial power. The hope is that by instituting a governing system that can thoroughly lead all phases of preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery, the country can withstand future—and likely more frequent—mega-disasters.

Article

Gender, International Law, and Disasters  

Marie Aronsson-Storrier

Charting gender within international law on disasters is a twofold exercise: The first, more limited, inquiry concerns the development of regulations on disasters and disaster risk and the position of gender within these instruments. The second, more foundational, question is that of the position of gender and the space allowed for feminist and queer perspectives within international law itself, which, in turn, relates strongly to the root causes of disasters and the creation of disaster risk. References to a “gender-based” approach to disaster risk management are abundant in international law and policy instruments and can be seen in, for example, both the United Nations Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 (Sendai Framework) and the International Law Commission’s (ILC) 2016 Draft Articles on the Protection of Persons in the Event of Disasters (ILC Draft Articles)—two leading international law and policy instruments on disasters. However, neither of these instruments accounts for a particularly inclusive view of gender, nor do they engage with the underlying reasons for gender inequality. This is illustrative of broader issues concerning gender in international law and policy, and many of the challenges and shortcomings of international law and policy on disasters are inherent and (re)produced in the very fabric of the international legal system. Therefore, in addition to exploring the extent to which gender has been incorporated into the legal frameworks on disasters to date, it is essential to also critically explore core structures and practices of international law.

Article

Natural Disaster Risk Financing and Transfer in ASEAN Countries  

Sommarat Chantarat and Paul A. Raschky

ASEAN countries are frequently hit by a variety of natural disasters, and a large fraction of economic activity in ASEAN countries is located in areas exposed to these natural perils. Increasing disaster damages require ASEA countries to manage the financial losses in a more efficient and proactive manner. Currently, most risk-transfer mechanisms in this region rely on ad-hoc government relief, which is not sustainable. Multilateral cooperation in the areas of risk-modeling and mapping as well as joint efforts to establish financial risk-transfer solutions could help to overcome existing challenges in this area.

Article

Old Media, New Media, and the Complex Story of Disasters  

Josh Greenberg and T. Joseph Scanlon

Media have always played an important role in times of emergency and disaster. Undersea cables, international news agencies, the press, radio and television, and, most recently, digital and mobile technologies—all have played myriad and complex roles in supporting emergency response and notification, and in helping constitute a shared experience that can be important to social mobilization and community formation. The geographical location of disasters and the identities of victims, the increasingly visual nature of disaster events, and the ubiquitous nature of media in our lives, all shape and influence which kinds of emergencies attract global media and public attention, and how we come to understand them. Globalization has compressed time and space such that a whole range of disasters—from natural events (cyclones, earthquakes, and hurricanes) to industrial accidents and terrorist attacks—appear on our television and mobile screens with almost daily frequency. There is nothing inherent about these events that give them meaning—they occur in a real, material world; but for many of us, our experience of these events is shaped and determined in large part by our interactions with media industries, institutions, and technologies. Understanding the media’s construction of these events as disasters provides important insight into the nature of disaster mitigation, response and recovery.

Article

Natural Hazards and Their Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa  

Dewald van Niekerk and Livhuwani David Nemakonde

The sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region, along with the rest of the African continent, is prone to a wide variety of natural hazards. Most of these hazards and the associated disasters are relatively silent and insidious, encroaching on life and livelihoods, increasing social, economic, and environmental vulnerability even to moderate events. With the majority of SSA’s disasters being of hydrometeorological origin, climate change through an increase in the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events is likely to exacerbate the situation. Whereas a number of countries in SSA face significant governance challenges to effectively respond to disasters and manage risk reduction measures, considerable progress has been made since the early 2000s in terms of policies, strategies, and/or institutional mechanisms to advance disaster risk reduction and disaster risk management. As such, most countries in SSA have developed/reviewed policies, strategies, and plans and put in place institutions with dedicated staffs and resources for natural hazard management. However, the lack of financial backing, limited skills, lack of coordination among sectors, weak political leadership, inadequate communication, and shallow natural hazard risk assessment, hinders effective natural hazard management in SSA. The focus here is on the governance of natural hazards in the sub-Saharan Africa region, and an outline of SSA’s natural hazard profile is presented. Climate change is increasing the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events, thus influencing the occurrence of natural hazards in this region. Also emphasized are good practices in natural hazard governance, and SSA’s success stories are described. Finally, recommendations on governance arrangements for effective implementation of disaster risk reduction initiatives and measures are provided.

Article

Natural Hazards Governance in Ghana  

Paulina Amponsah

Ghana faces a very low range of perennial natural hazards but high catastrophe due to the lack of proper planning and preparedness. Floods, drought/famine, landslides, fires, climate change, and sporadically earthquakes are some natural hazards that plague the tropical West African country, Ghana. Floods, the most common disaster in the country, cause epidemics of water-related diseases like cholera, typhoid, and malaria. The disaster governance in Ghana was mostly in a conventional ad hoc mode of response and relief-centric manner. However, since the early 21st century, understanding has grown on risk causes; therefore, the paradigm shift to prevention–mitigation and thus mainstreaming disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into development is forming an agenda in development governance. Legal and policy framework has given the mandate to some key institutions for policy guidelines, capacity development, and emergency response at national, regional, and local levels, although without implementation hitches. Disaster risk reduction in Ghana is spearheaded by the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), established in 1996. NADMO has been at the forefront of managing disasters in the country since its establishment, but due to the limited resources, it is seen to do more postdisaster management. Postdisaster management is the sharing of relief items and offering help, after disasters, to affected persons. Nonetheless, we have seen a tremendous increase in the management of disasters in Ghana.

Article

The Production of Natural Hazard Services by Public Agencies and Private Contractors in the United States  

Alessandra Jerolleman

Natural hazard services include a wide range of activities, many of which are allied with public safety, but can also be taken to include natural resource management, land-use planning, and other related activities. These activities are considered to be part of emergency management, and have come to be seen as a public sector responsibility even though they are often carried out by contractors. They take place across all of the phases of the emergency management cycle: response, recovery, mitigation, and preparedness. The prevalence of private sector utilization is such that many services, such as hazard mitigation planning, grants administration, and various components of recovery, can be argued to be largely privatized due to the extent of market penetration and control from the private sector, including in the creation of policy and its implementation. However, there are unique challenges that arise when private-sector provision of services, and not just products, is utilized. Partnerships and other collaborative models are utilized frequently, including not just private sector firms, but also non-profit organizations, academic institutions, community organizations, and other groups to help overcome these challenges.

Article

Post-Disaster Housing Recovery  

Anuradha Mukherji

Rapid urbanization and growing populations have put tremendous pressures on limited global housing stocks. As the frequency of disasters has increased with devastating impacts on this limited stock of housing, the discourse on postdisaster housing recovery has evolved in several ways. Prior to the 1970s, the field was largely understudied, and there was a narrow understanding of how households and communities rebuilt their homes after a catastrophic event and on the effectiveness of housing recovery policy and programs designed to assist them. Early debates on postdisaster housing recovery centered on cultural and technological appropriateness of housing recovery programs. The focus on materials, technology, and climate missed larger socioeconomic and political complexities of housing recovery. Since then, the field has come a long way: current theoretical and policy debates focus on the effect of governance structures, funding practices, the consequences of public and private interventions, and socioeconomic and institutional arrangements that effect housing recovery outcomes. There are a number of critical issues that shape long-term postdisaster housing recovery processes and outcomes, especially in urban contexts. Some of them include the role of the government in postdisaster housing recovery, governance practices that drive recovery processes and outcomes, the challenges of paying for postdisaster housing repair and reconstruction, the disconnect between planning for rebuilding and planning for housing recovery, and the mismatch between existing policy programs and housing needs after a catastrophic event—particularly for affordable housing recovery. Moreover, as housing losses after disasters continue to increase, and as the funding available to rebuild housing stocks shrinks, it has become increasingly important to craft postdisaster housing recovery policy and programs that apply the limited resources in the most efficient and impactful ways. Creating housing recovery programs by employing a needs-based approach instead of one based solely on loss could more effectively focus limited resources on those that might need it the most. Such an approach would be broad based and proportional, as it would address the housing recovery of a wide range of groups based upon their needs, including low-income renters, long-term leaseholders, residents of informal settlements and manufactured homes, as well as those with preexisting resources such as owner-occupant housing.

Article

Natural Disasters and Cross-Border Implications  

Elena McLean and Muhammet Bas

Natural disasters such as cyclones, droughts, earthquakes, floods, landslides, volcanoes, or pandemics routinely have cross-border implications. Transboundary risks of natural disasters tend to be the greatest for neighboring countries but often extend regionally or even globally. Even disasters with seemingly localized impacts contained within the national borders of a given state may have indirect short-term or long-term effects on other countries through refugee flows, conflict spillovers, volatility of global commodity prices, disruption of trade relations, financial flows, or global supply chains. Natural disasters may increase the risk of interstate conflict because of commitment problems, reduced opportunity costs of conflict, shocks to status quo divisions of resources, or demarcation of territories among countries, or because of leaders’ heightened diversionary incentives in favor of conflict. In some cases, disasters may have a pacifying effect on ongoing hostilities by creating opportunities for disaster diplomacy among conflict parties. Population displacement in disaster zones can send refugee flows and other types of migration across borders, with varying short-term and long-term socioeconomic and political effects in home and host countries. Adverse effects of natural disasters on regional and global economic activity shape patterns of international trade and financial flows among countries. To mitigate such risks from natural disasters and facilitate adjustment and recovery efforts, countries may turn to international cooperation through mechanisms for disaster relief and preparedness. Regional and global governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are common means to initiate and maintain such cooperative efforts.

Article

Disaster Anthropology  

Adam Koons and Jennifer Trivedi

Disaster Anthropology uses theoretical and methodological tools from across anthropological subfields to understand the effects of disasters. Anthropologists based in academia and practice, often working collaboratively or across disciplines, seek to understand the relationships among historical, social, cultural, economic, political, environmental, and climatic factors in every type of disaster and humanitarian crisis across the globe. Practitioners often work within disaster response agencies in such functions as policy reform, program design, and disaster response management. Academics work in anthropology and interdisciplinary centers and departments, studying and teaching about disaster and anthropological issues. Disaster anthropologists link closely with broader interdisciplinary disaster studies and practices. They contribute an anthropological, holistic, and long-term perspective, including the use of ethnography and participant observation, theories, and analyses. In the early 21st century there has been considerable, and constantly increasing, recognition of disaster anthropology. This area of work includes recognition of what disaster anthropology has to contribute and its place as an appropriate field of engagement for anthropologists. This recognition has been demonstrated by the publication of numerous books, chapters, articles, special journal issues, and hundreds of conference presentations. Disaster anthropology has gained the support of the major anthropology associations such as the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA), resulting in the formation of specialized formalized bodies such as the Risk and Disaster Topical Interest Group (RDTIG) within the SfAA, and the Culture and Disaster Network (CADAN). Accordingly, there are also an increasing number of targeted university anthropology courses on disasters. Disaster anthropologists contribute to the overall understanding of how and why disasters have the impacts that they do and what the consequences of disasters can be. By examining disaster contexts, disaster anthropologists improve understanding of pre-existing circumstances that contribute to those disasters, including people’s perspectives on hazards, risks, uncertainty, inequality, and inequity. Disaster anthropologists have shown that disasters are the visible, explicit result of deeper and more complex processes. Anthropologists share this work in governmental, nongovernmental, academic, and public arenas. Disaster anthropology brings together critical lines of inquiry from the larger fields of anthropology and disaster studies, offering valuable perspectives not only on understanding but also on improving disaster conditions.

Article

Natural Hazards Governance Practices and Key Natural Hazards in Latin America and the Caribbean  

Ivis García

Along with sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean is among the geographic regions most exposed and vulnerable to the occurrence of disasters. The vulnerability is explained by geography and climate, but also by prevailing poverty and inequality. Year after year, multiple disasters such as landslides, hurricanes, floods, rains, droughts, storms, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis, among others, threaten the region. Natural disasters reveal the deficiencies of infrastructure and essential services. In particular, they highlight the lack of an institutional framework for effective governance with clearly defined goals of how to prevent, respond to, and reconstruct after a natural catastrophe. One of the priorities of governments in the region is to achieve resilience—that is, to strengthen the capacity to resist, adapt, and recover from the effects of natural disasters. To be able to accomplish this, governments need to prepare before a natural disaster strikes. Therefore, disaster risk management is critical. A fundamental element in the strategy of increasing resilience is good planning in general—that is, to reduce inequality, manage urbanization, and invest in necessary infrastructure such as energy, sewage, and water management. Because climate change increases the risk of disasters, it is generally understood that good governance practices can prevent further global warming. Governments might achieve this, for example, by investing in renewable energy and financing other environmentally friendly initiatives. Unfortunately, most current governance models in Latin America and the Caribbean are characterized by bureaucratic structures that are fragmented into different sectors and whose actors do not have much interaction between them. With technical assistance from organizations, such as the World Bank and the United Nations, stakeholders in Latin America and the Caribbean are learning how to develop plans that encourage the collaboration of multiple sectors (e.g., transportation, housing) and improve the working relationships between various institutions (e.g. local associations, NGOs, private and public organizations). To be adequately prepared for a disaster, it is necessary to establish a network of actors that can engage quickly in decision-making and coordinate effectively between local, regional, and national levels.

Article

Natural Hazards Governance in South Asia  

Mihir Bhatt, Ronak B. Patel, and Kelsey Gleason

South Asia is faced with a range of natural hazards, including floods, droughts, cyclones, earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis. Rapid and unplanned urbanization, environmental degradation, climate change, and socioeconomic conditions are increasing citizens’ exposure to and risk from natural hazards and resulting in more frequent, intense, and costly disasters. Although governments and the international community are investing in disaster risk reduction, natural hazard governance in South Asian countries remain weak and often warrants a review when a major natural disaster strikes. Natural hazards governance is an emerging concept, and many countries in South Asia have a challenging hazard governance context.

Article

Natural Hazards Governance in South Africa  

Dewald van Niekerk, G.J. Wentink, and L.B. Shoroma

Disaster and natural hazard governance has become a significant policy and legislative focus in South Africa since the early 1990s. Born out of necessity from a dysfunctional apartheid system, the new emphasis on disaster risk reduction in the democratic dispensation also ushered in a new era in the management of natural hazards and their associated risks and vulnerabilities. Widely cited as an international best practice in policy and law development, South Africa has led the way in natural hazard governance in sub-Sahara Africa as well as in much of the developing world. Various practices in natural hazard governance in South Africa are alluded to. Particular attention is given to the disaster risks of the country as well as to the various natural hazards that drive this risk profile. Statutory and legislative aspects are discussed through a multisectoral approach, and by citing a number of case studies, we show the application of natural hazard governance in South Africa. Certain remaining challenges are highlighted that are faced by the South Africa government such as a lack of political will at the local government level, deficits in risk governance, difficulties in resource allocation, a lack of intergovernmental relations, and a need for enhanced community participation, ownership, and decision making.

Article

Queering “Gender and Disaster” for Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction  

Louise Baumann, Aditi Sharan, and JC Gaillard

In disaster studies, the “gender question” has so far been mainly addressed through the conceptual Western binary sex/gender alignment. This results in excluding from the conversation a large part of the population: those who live and present themselves in gender roles that do not match the one assigned to them at birth, do not experience gender in a way that is exactly male or female, or sometimes even reject the simple existence of what we call “gender.” Trans, nonbinary, queer, and other nonconforming gender identities’ experience of disasters remains therefore largely excluded from broader gender and disaster literature, policy, and practice. Yet, by endorsing the Western binary sex/gender alignment, gender and disaster scholars and practitioners not only risk reproducing the same oppressive discourses they intend to dismantle but also might miss the opportunity to advance their objective of implementing effective and inclusive disaster risk reduction policies and practices.

Article

Natural Hazards Governance in Zimbabwe  

Thabo Ndlovu

The frequency and complexity of hazard occurrences in rural and urban Zimbabwe has made the governance discourse fashionable in efforts to mitigate the devastating effects in contemporary settings. So common is the reactive attitude at national and subnational levels that hazard governance has been made inescapable in aligning with the notion that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” through design and implementation of context specific interventions. The 1992 drought is one unforgettable occurrence which triggered a plethora of actions such as dam construction, irrigation development, and the establishment of agricultural banks to support recovery initiatives in Zimbabwe. Strides to embrace the role of science and technology are evident through the establishment of research and academic institutions to anchor disaster risk management. Despite these efforts, vulnerable groups, government institutions, NGOs, and donors have invested less than in the predisaster phase.

Article

Natech Emergency Preparedness and Response  

Georgios Marios Karagiannis

Industrialization, urbanization, and climate change are all increasing the risk from Natech events in the world. Hazardous materials incidents present a significant threat to life and property, involve high values at risk and political sensitivities, cross jurisdictional boundaries, require numerous kinds and types of resources, entail complex strategies and tactics, may be affected by weather, and are relatively non-routine. They can thus be quite complex in and of themselves, even without the occurrence of natural hazards. Because of the confluence of natural disasters and industrial facilities involving hazardous substances, Natech events may pose additional challenges, including the compromise of response capabilities, multiple incidents occurring simultaneously, poor access, utility damage, and evacuation constraints and limitations. As with all emergencies, a Natech response cannot be improvised. Improving Natech response capabilities requires enhanced preparedness efforts. Risk assessments should consider the impact of natural hazards in industrial facilities using or storing hazardous substances. This kind of analysis should allow planners to determine the specific capabilities and activities to respond to and recover from Natech incidents. Once the required capabilities have been determined, communities will need to determine the best way to build the additional capabilities required given funding limitations. Emergency planning for Natech incidents should not be done in isolation but should be integrated in all-hazards, jurisdiction-wise planning. A hybrid approach, which combines planning based on scenario, function, and capabilities, is recommended. Collaborative planning helps individuals and organizations understand their roles, as well as the roles and contributions of other organizations, which ultimately leads to successful operations. Therefore, the first milestone in the planning process is to form a collaborative team, including facility owners or operators as early as possible in the process. Emergency planners are also advised to consider the potential of science and technology for improving preparedness efforts and response capabilities. Furthermore, exercise practitioners designing natural disaster exercises should consider including Natech events in scenarios to add realism and explore response capabilities. In a Natech emergency, data are frequently incomplete and can even be contradictory, so responders should be as conservative as practicable so that they can protect both themselves and the public. Technical specialists for both hazardous materials and natural hazards should be integrated early in the incident command structure. Phasing the operation to protect resources, by keeping them out of the hazard zone, may be a useful strategy in some weather-related emergencies. Emergency managers should also consider how Natech evacuations may disrupt evacuations stemming from the need to protect people from a natural hazard. And first responders should consider a mix of offensive, defensive, and passive tactics.

Article

Hurricane Sandy: A Crisis Analysis Case Study  

Sara Bondesson

Spontaneous, so-called emergent groups often arise in response to emergencies, disasters, and crises where citizens and relief workers find that pre-established norms of behavior, roles, and practices come into flux because of the severity and uncertainty of the situation. The scholarship on emergent groups dates to 1950s sociological theory on emergence and convergence, whereas contemporary research forms part of the wider disaster scholarship field. Emergent groups have been conceptualized and theorized from various angles, ranging from discussions around their effectiveness, to their possibilities as channels for the positive forces of citizen’s altruism, as well as to more skeptical accounts detailing the challenges emergent groups may pose for established emergency management organizations in relief situations. Scarce scholarly attention, however, is paid to the role of emergent groups when it comes to empowering marginalized and vulnerable communities. The few empirical studies that exist suggest linkages between active participation in emergent groups and empowerment of otherwise marginalized communities, as shown in an ethnographic study of the work of Occupy Sandy that emerged in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy that struck New York City in 2012. Although more systematic research is warranted, such empirical examples show potential in terms of shifting emergency and disaster management toward more inclusionary, participatory, and empowering practices. As low-income communities, often of color, experience the increasingly harsh effects of climate change, important issues to ponder are inclusion, participation, and empowerment.

Article

Understanding and Analyzing Natural Hazards Governance  

Brian Gerber

Governance is a complex, highly elastic term used in a wide range of settings which sometimes leads to ambiguity. As a result, defining natural hazards governance as a unique and specific construct is needed for conceptual clarity and analytic precision. At core, natural hazards governance pertains to two fundamental considerations: reducing risk and promoting resilience. While not always recognized as such in the hazards and disasters literature, risk reduction and resilience promotion are two pure public goods. But they are also highly complex public goods—amalgams of a series of distinct but interrelated public policy choices and the administrative systems that put those choices into effect. To understand better a logic for defining and assessing natural hazards governance it is essential to consider it as a set of explicitly collective choices over the production of a complex of public goods aimed at addressing hazards risk reduction and promoting resilience within or across defined political jurisdictions. Those choices create frameworks permitting a set of authoritative actions (lawful and legitimate) to be stated and executed by governmental entities, by non-governmental agents on their behalf (in some form), or for goods and services to be jointly co-produced by governmental and non-governmental actors. Those collective choices in a given setting are influenced by the institutional structure of formal public policy decision-making, which itself reflects variations in the political efficacy of community members, competing interests and incentives over policy preferences, and level of extant knowledge and understanding of critical challenges associated with given hazards. Those formal collective choices are also reflective of a broader cultural context shaping norms of behavior and conception of the relationship between communities and hazards.