From the Editor
Welcome to the September 2015 issue of the Natural Hazards Observer, dedicated to social memory and disasters.
Perhaps more than before, societies remember disasters. In the past nine months alone, we have commemorated the tenth anniversary of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, the fifth anniversary of the Haiti Earthquake, the fifth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, and the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. During and after these contemporary disasters, emergency managers, decision makers, and those affected have shared their experiences. Through personal interactions and in the media, they testified—and continue to do so at yearly commemorations—about how the disasters affected them physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Why do we remember and commemorate? And why is it important to have a well-rounded narrative of a disaster that includes both the emotional and physical impacts?