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 lori.peek@colorado.edu.


By Susan Cutter and Christopher Emrich

As emergency officials attempt to allocate scarce resources following disasters, systematic measurements of social vulnerability—such as the Social Vulnerability Index—can assure help goes to those who need it most.


By Craig Trumbo

The decision to evacuate or shelter in place during disasters can sometimes seem black and white, but many elements are at play—not the least of which is how individuals perceive risk.


By Nicole Hutton

It's not necessary to rebuild buildings after a disaster to rebuild thriving city centers. Nicole Hutton explains how simple projects can create gathering spaces that help cities begin to hum again, even amidst construction.


By Katherine Browne

Recovery is not one-size-fits-all and emergency officials that incorporate a sense of place and community identity into recovery efforts can have a huge impact on the success of the people who live there.


By Samantha Montano and Paolo Cavaliere

Including the public in disaster recovery planning might seem obvious, but it's a step that's often not given enough attention. This article offers tips to make sure recovery is a participatory process.


By Steve Kroll-Smith, Pamela Jenkins and Vern Baxter

The devastation caused by disaster can reverberate through people’s lives for years, causing a cascade of other problems. This article reflects on the elusiveness of true recovery.


By Rachel Luft

After disaster, communities talk about building back better, but often reconstruct problems of the past. This is true of social infrastructure, as well. Rachel Luft examines how we must rebuild from the intersection of race, class, and gender to create truly effective recovery.


By Stefanie Haeffele and Virgil Henry Storr

Most people want to return home after a disaster, but they need something to return to. Learn about how community leaders and entrepreneurs provide the seeds to regrowing communities.


By Alice Fothergill and Lori Peek

What do children need after a disaster? Drawing from lessons learned after Hurricane Katrina, Fothergill and Peek highlight six critical spheres in a child's life that need additional support when disaster strikes.


By Sarah DeYoung

Safe and contamination-free spaces in shelters for infant feeding can substantially improve the evacuation and displacement experience for families in disaster.