Research Counts

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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.

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

By Courtney Welton-Mitchell and Andrew Riley

After suffering persecution in their homeland, many of the Rohingya that escape find their new lives come with an entirely different set of threats to their mental well-being.

By Lori Peek

Of all the threats that America's children must face to get an education, school buildings themselves could be the most dangerous.

By Tricia Wachtendorf and James Kendra

Early this year, a human—using a systems interface—mistakenly sent a false alert warning of an incoming missile threat. Here's why we should focus on the error, and not the human.

By Richard Olson

Although hazards may be natural, we've long known that the disaster aspect is human-caused. This edition of Research Counts examines how a seemingly innocuous turn of phrase impacts how the public thinks about disasters.

By June Gin

The needs and experiences of those who are homeless during disasters can be very different from other populations, yet often emergency planning doesn't account for their specific needs. A recently released toolkit will make it easier to address that gap.

By Michal Linder

Libraries play a central role in many communities; but when it comes to participating in disaster response, managerial outlooks might make all the difference.

By Kevin Simmons

Stronger building codes might be seen as costly, but for communities with the will to enact them, they save money in the long term.

By Kai Erikson

In this piece, Kai Erikson reminds us that lessons from Katrina are enduring and that the harm and suffering from the most recent disasters will trace a similar trajectory if we do not address the social injustices that existed long before the shock.

By Lynn Weber

In the rush to help people recover after disasters, inequitable systems are often put into place that promote injustice and discrimination. This piece examines how that happened after Hurricane Katrina—and how it's likely to happen again following Maria.

By Alexa Dietrich, Adriana Garriga-López and Aman Luthra

Months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is far from recovery and in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. This piece looks at how U.S. territorial status has led to mounting woes before and after the storm that affect the welfare of its residents.