Research Counts

Disaster Cycle Special Collection

This special collection of Research Counts grew out of a longstanding collaboration between the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters (IJMED) and the Natural Hazards Center. Our commitment in this collection is to bring key findings and ideas from recent IJMED scholarly articles to a broader audience to ensure that this important research makes a difference in reducing disaster risk.

For this special collection, we identified 10 IJMED that were published under the distinguished editorial leadership of Dr. Shih-Kai (Sky) Huang and Dr. Tristan Wu. These articles were selected because they cover a range of hazard types, geographic locations, cultural contexts, and population groups. In addition, they are methodologically rigorous and that have strong practical implications.

Once the articles were selected, we then worked with the original article authors, science writer, Laurie Schmidt, and freelance journalist and editor, Zach Zorich, to develop and curate this special collection. It is broadly organized around five of the phases of the disaster cycle:

  • Preparedness
  • Emergency Response, Risk Communication, and Protective Actions
  • Impacts
  • Recovery
  • Mitigation and Resilience

Research Counts articles are intended for a broad audience of emergency managers, public health practitioners, policy makers, journalists, and others interested in the causes and consequences of disaster. The Natural Hazards Center regularly publishes Research Counts contributions. We have also developed two other special collections to date, with one focused on Children and Disasters and the other focused on Mass Sheltering.

Articles will be added to this collection on the Disaster Cycle on a rolling basis, so please check back often.


Coming soon!

Emergency Response, Risk Communication, and Protective Actions

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 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 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.

Mitigation and Resilience

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.

Special Collection Citation: Zorich, Z., Peek, L., Tobin, J., Huang, S., Wu, T., Arlikatti, S., & Schmidt, L., eds. (2023). Research Counts, 5 Special Collection on the Disaster Cycle. Boulder, CO: Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado Boulder.