Research Counts

The Research Counts series serves as a platform for hazards and disaster scholars to provide insights about research findings and the enduring lessons of disaster, as well as to raise new questions that are worthy of exploration. The pieces in the series are brief, drawn from a variety of disciplines, and intended for a broad audience.

By Jamile Kitnurse, Hans Louis-Charles, and Benigno Aguirre

This Research Counts explains how community solidarity can discourage criminal activity, even in the absence of a timely humanitarian response. By focusing on the needs of disaster survivors instead of sensationalized stereotypes, this research in the U.S. Virgin Islands explores the power of community.

By Mary M. Nelan, Samantha Penta, and Tricia Wachtendorf

An influx of unwanted donations after a disaster can cause serious logistical challenges and leave disaster survivors without what they need. Drawing on interviews after Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and tornadoes in Oklahoma in 2013, this Research Counts sheds light on why a disconnect often emerges between what people want to give, and what people actually can use, after a disaster.

By Alice Fothergill

Children and the centers that care for them are uniquely vulnerable when disaster strikes. This Research Counts describes five strategies to support preparedness in childcare centers using a case study from New Zealand, an island nation threatened by multiple hazards.

By Carla Prater, Jiuchang Wei, Fei Wang, Yue Ge, Michael K. Lindell, and Hung-Lung Wei

Health risk communications are most successful when conveyed by a trusted stakeholder in a manner sensitive to local customs and contexts. This Research Counts describes how the kind of stakeholder sharing information influences perceptions of expertise, trustworthiness, and responsibility for others’ well-being.

By Harri Raisio, Alisa Puustinen, and Vesa Valtonen

Finnish society provides an example of how non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other groups can co-create safer and more secure societies together—as well as the challenges co-creation processes can introduce. This Research Counts explores a framework for co-creation using regional forums with 188 participants from public entities and NGOs.

By Timothy J. Haney

This Research Counts focuses on the 2013 Calgary floods. It underscores the importance of social capital in disaster while also illustrating how perceptions of place can change after a major event.

By Kyle Breen and Michelle Annette Meyer

This Research Counts highlights the experiences of college students after the 2016 Louisiana floods. It highlights how social stratification influences education, family obligations, and the balance between stress and motivation. The piece underscores how institutions of higher education can best support students’ education and emotional health when disaster strikes.

By Karen Engel, Jeroen Warner, and Georg Frerks

Chile lies near the intersection of three tectonic plates, and many Chileans have developed a strong disaster subculture for dealing with severe natural hazard threats. This Research Counts shows how the disaster subculture helped save lives in the Greater Concepción area after a magnitude 8.8 earthquake that triggered a tsunami struck the region in February 2010.

By Natalie D. Baker

This study of New Orleans bounce rap lyrics before and after Hurricane Katrina reflects the diverse lived experiences that defy racialized narratives of violence and neglect. This Research Counts challenges common perceptions that marginalized communities must “build resilience” and instead focuses on acts of everyday resistance in the face of institutional neglect and patterns of racial exclusion.

By Haorui Wu

This Research Counts focuses on how survivors of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake developed community-driven recovery strategies. These grassroots efforts led to more culturally competent rebuilding strategies, improved livelihoods, and strengthened community capacity.

If you are interested in contributing to this series, please contact Natural Hazards Center Director Lori Peek directly at


Research Counts is made possible with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF Award #1635593) and supplemental support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-National Integrated Drought Information System (NOAA-NIDIS). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF, FEMA, NOAA-NIDIS, or Natural Hazards Center.