The Research Counts series was established in 2017 with the intent to share rigorous and actionable research findings with policy makers, practitioners, and others who work to reduce the harm and suffering from disasters. In 2020, with the support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Natural Hazards Center team had the opportunity to work with talented authors from a range of disciplines to create this Special Collection on Mass Sheltering and Disasters.

We would like to acknowledge the time and effort that the authors dedicated to this process and their willingness to condense their ideas and findings into short, digestible articles. We know it’s never an easy task to reduce complex research in this way, but we hope that readers will find these brief pieces meaningful and that the findings can be moved into action.

We are thankful for the partnership of Tracy N. Thomas, senior health scientist, and Daire Jansson, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) fellow, who both work at the Center for Preparedness and Response at the CDC. Thomas and Jansson are smart, focused, and dedicated to evidence-informed practice. Their expertise strengthened this Special Collection considerably, and their suggestions for improvement will have a lasting impact on the Research Counts series. We are also so grateful for the enduring support of Robin Soler, who serves as the director of the Office of Applied Research in the Center for Preparedness and Response at the CDC.

Sandra Anaa Appiah, an undergraduate research assistant at the Natural Hazards Center, supported the development and prodution of this special collection. We acknowledge her contributions and those of the other students and staff at the Center who proofread and helped promote the articles in this collection.

Finally, we appreciate you reading this Special Collection.

Thank you for taking this research and making it count.

Special Collection Citation: Breeden, Jolie, Rachel M. Adams, Jessica Austin, and Lori Peek, eds. (2020). Special Collection on Mass Sheltering and Disasters. Volume 4, Research Counts. Boulder, CO: Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado Boulder.

If you have questions about Research Counts, please contact Jolie Breeden at or Lori Peek at

This Special Collection on Mass Sheltering and Disasters is supported by supplemental funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the National Science Foundation (NSF Award #1635593). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CDC, NSF, or Natural Hazards Center.