Responding to Catastrophes
Human decisions frequently exacerbate the effects of disaster agents, as, for example, when earthquakes tear through areas that either should not have been populated in the first place or should have been retrofitted once the area's vulnerability became clear. In this sense, all disasters are "man-made," and the dichotomy between acts of war and acts of God is largely false. Unfortunately, catastrophe response organizations-both within the United States and abroad-mostly have not incorporated this thinking into their practices. Responding to Catastrophes seeks to integrate thinking about the nature of-and response to-future catastrophes into the policymaker's decisionmaking process.
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