Research Counts

The 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 articles that were published under the distinguished editorial leadership of Shih-Kai (Sky) Huang and 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 science journalist and editor, Zach Zorich, to develop and curate this special collection. It is broadly organized around the following phases of the disaster cycle:

  • Preparedness
  • Emergency Response
  • 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 and Disasters.

By Lori Peek, Heather Champeau, Jennifer Tobin, Sudha Arlikatti, Laurie Schmidt, and Zach Zorich

Read about the latest Research Counts Special Collection in this introduction to the series focused on international perspectives at every stage of disaster management.


By Alice Fothergill

Childcare center preparedness expectations are different from other child-serving institutions. This article uses a New Zealand case study to offer strategies to support childcare center preparedness and overcome obstacles in implementing policies and procedures.

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.

Emergency Response

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

Unsolicited donations after a disaster can create logistical challenges and aren't helpful to survivors. This article sheds light on the disconnect between what people want to give and what people actually can use after a disaster.

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

Health risk communications are more successful when conveyed by trusted stakeholders in ways sensitive to local contexts. Learn how perceptions of stakeholder expertise and trustworthiness impact decision-making.


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

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