Natural Hazards, Unnatural Disasters


Natural Hazards UnNatural Disasters CoverEarthquakes, droughts, floods, and storms are natural hazards, but unnatural disasters resulting from human activity cause deaths and damage. Every disaster is unique, but each one exposes actions by governments and individuals which, had they been different, would have resulted in fewer deaths and less damage.

The book Natural hazards, unnatural disasters: the economics of effective prevention, published by the World Bank, examines disasters mostly from an economic perspective. However, it also draws on other disciplines, such as psychology (to examine how people may misperceive risks), political science (to understand voting patterns), and nutrition science to see how undernutrition in children after a disaster impairs cognitive abilities and can affect their productivity as adults. It asks provocative questions, such as: Should all disasters be prevented? Do disasters increase or decrease conflict? Does foreign aid help or hinder prevention? How do growing cities and a changing climate shape the disaster prevention landscape?

This book will appeal to government officials, urban planners, aid agencies, NGOs, donors, and other development professionals. The English version can be accessed online at: 

Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

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