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 and 2021, 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 Robin Soler, who is director of the Office of Applied Research in the Center for Preparedness and Response at the CDC, Tracy N. Thomas, senior health scientist, and Daire Jansson, who served as an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) fellow at the CDC. Soler, 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.

Jennifer Tobin, deputy administrator of the Natural Hazards Center, Jeffrey Gunderson, web and data manager, and Sandra Anaa Appiah and Megan Costa, both undergraduate research assistants, played substantial roles in the production and publication of this special collection. In addition, undergraduate research assistant Zoe Boiarsky provided much support to the editorial team. We acknowledge their contributions and those of the other staff and students at the Center who proofread and helped promote the articles in this collection.

Finally, we appreciate you reading this Special Collection on Mass Sheltering and Disasters.

Thank you for taking this research and making it count.

Special Collection Citation: Breeden, J., Adams, R. M., Austin, J., Peek, L. and Appiah, S., eds. (2021). Research Counts, Volume 4, Special Collection on Mass Sheltering and Disasters. 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.