A Flood of Information? The Challenges of Natural Disaster Research — ASN Events

A Flood of Information? The Challenges of Natural Disaster Research (14630)

Dale Dominey-Howes 1 , Sarah English 1 , Filippo Dall'Osso 1 , Tom Fitzgerald 1
  1. The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Natural disasters are complex and multifaceted phenomenon with numerous challenges. These challenges may be broadly categorized into three main domains:  the physical domain, encompassing the geography, frequency, intensity and probability of the event; the institutional domain, focusing on the governance, execution, evaluation and refinement of policy and practice within existing arrangements and the assessment of potential alternatives; and the social domain, which examines how people prepare, react, cope, and recover from natural disasters.

Each of these three disciplinary areas presents its own unique set of challenges for ‘hazard and disaster researchers’ ranging from evaluating and accessing disaster sites, through to identifying, orientating and implementing ameliorative strategies that effect genuine situational change.  We examine a range of real life research experiences drawn from these three domains, identify the major considerations and constraints for researchers involved in researching these areas, and offer some insights into formulating effective research programs. We trust these insights will be useful for those embarking on investigative programs focusing on hazards, risks and disasters.