Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky

Human Impacts of Hazards

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_172

Synonyms

Disaster preparedness; Disaster resilience; Disaster vulnerability; Response and recovery; Risk management

Definition

The human impact of hazards is the product of the interaction between hazard characteristics and the personal, community and societal factors implemented to influence people’s capacity to cope, adapt, and recover from hazard effects.

Introduction

Throughout human history, people have established and developed communities and societies in locations that allowed them to take advantage of the resources and amenities (e.g., fertile soils, natural harbors, navigable rivers that serve as commercial highways, and coastal scenery) afforded by the action of natural and geological processes. However, periodically the processes that create such benefits (e.g., tectonic activity) become hazards (e.g., tectonic activity can create earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunami). For instance, the volcanic processes that contribute to creating fertile soils and scenic...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of TasmaniaLauncestonAustralia
  2. 2.Joint Centre for Disaster ResearchGNS Science/Massey UniversityLower HuttNew Zealand
  3. 3.GNS Science/Massey UniversityWellingtonNew Zealand