Communicating Risk and Uncertainty: Science, Technology, and Disasters at the Crossroads

  • Havid´an Rodr´ıguez
  • Walter D´ıaz
  • Jenniffer M. Santos
  • Benigno E. Aguirre
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


It is estimated that about 80% of all disasters are directly tied to weather events; thus forecasting weather has become a very important scientific, economic, and political endeavor. With the development of new and enhanced technology, weather forecasting skills have improved significantly both in the United States and internationally (National Research Council [NRC], 1999, 2003). However, weather forecasting is a probabilistic science and many uncertainties still remain (see National Science Foundation [NSF], 2002). Indeed, despite significant improvements in our ability to predict the weather in the short and long-term, recent experiences with natural hazards show that we continue to confront important challenges regarding lead times, false alarm rates, the accuracy and reliability of the information that is being communicated, and in our ability to elicit the appropriate response from the local, state, and federal governments as well as the general public, as the case of Hurricane Katrina (2005) clearly demonstrated.


Lead Time Geographic Information System Weather Forecast Warning System Disaster Preparedness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Havid´an Rodr´ıguez
    • 1
  • Walter D´ıaz
    • 2
  • Jenniffer M. Santos
    • 1
  • Benigno E. Aguirre
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Criminal JusticeUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Center for Applied Social Research, Department of Social SciencesUniversity of Puerto Rico-MayagöezPuerto RicoUSA

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