Recent Publications

Below are summaries of some of the recent, most useful publications on hazards and disasters received by the Natural Hazards Center. Due to space limitations, we have provided descriptions of only a few key publications or those with a title that may not indicate content. All items contain information on how to obtain a copy. A complete bibliography of publications received from 1995 to the present can be found on our web site:

All Hazards

The Socioeconomic Benefits of Earth Science and Applications Research: Reducing the Risks and Costs of Natural Disasters in the United States. Ray A. Williamson, Henry R. Hertzfeld, Joseph Cordes, and John M. Logsdon. 2001. 24 pp. Free. The report can be found on the web site of the Space Policy Institute of the Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University:
Within the United States and its territories between 1980 and 2001, major weather and climate disasters resulted in more than $248 billion in losses and killed 690 people. In that same period, earthquakes and volcanoes cost the U.S. an additional $541 billion and 193 lives. The federal investment in earth science research from space, funded primarily through the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has led to an improved understanding of weather, climate, earth movement, and other terrestrial phenomena. The authors of this report examine losses caused by Hurricane Floyd in 1999, the western wildfires in 2000, flooding in the northern plains in 1997, and the Northridge earthquake in 1994. They also discuss the economic value of better information and issues related to obtaining it. Tables present data that compare the losses for various types of disasters

Establishing a Mass Casualty Management System. 2001. 58 pp. $12.00. Order Code: OP 139, English; OT 139, Spanish. This document can be downloaded for free from:
Humanitarian Supply Management and Logistics in the Health Sector. 2001. 176 pp. $20.00. Order Code: OP 145, English; OT 145, Spanish. Copies of this publication are also available free on-line from:
Printed copies of both documents may be obtained by contacting the Pan American Health Organizations (PAHO); (800) 472-3046; e-mail: WWW:

The Ten Most Wanted: A Search for Solutions to Reduce Recurring Losses from Natural Hazards. 2002. 29 pp. Free. The full report can be downloaded as a PDF file from the IBHS Web site:
The Ten Most Wanted, published by the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), outlines 10 of the most important solutions to decrease recurring losses from natural disasters. The 29-page report is the result of a June 2000 workshop convened by the American Society of Civil Engineers and IBHS. It addresses why losses from natural disasters are increasing and offers recommendations and priorities for future research and development of cost-effective solutions to reduce these losses. Participants identified research needed regarding both residential and commercial buildings and prioritized mitigation methods that would offer the biggest loss reductions in the shortest time for damage from hurricanes/windstorms, earthquakes, floods, hail, wildfire, and winter storms. They concurred on incorporating holistic measures that integrate research, development, and education with professional practices and public policies.

Vital Signs: Anticipating, Preventing and Surviving a Crisis in a Nonprofit. Melanie L. Herman and Barbara B. Oliver. 2001. 94 pp. $20.00. Copies can be obtained by contacting the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, 1001 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20036; (202) 785-3891; fax: (202) 296-0349; e-mail:; WWW:

Rapid Environmental Impact Assessment: A Framework for Best Practices in Emergency Response. Charles Kelly. 2001. 22 pp. Free. The report of the field test and lessons learned is online at the Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre's web site: (go to the "Disaster Studies" page and click on "projects.")

It's a Disaster!... And What are You Gonna Do About It?: A Basic First Aid and Disaster Preparedness Manual from Fedhealth. Second edition. Bill and Janet Liebsch. 2001. 212 pp. $19.95, plus $2.75 shipping. Copies can be obtained from Fedhealth, (888) 999-4325;
This is a manual for emergencies ranging from sunburn to building explosions. It focuses on how to prepare for any situation through mitigation and planning and what to do if you are a victim of a disaster. It includes basic first aid and CPR tips as well as ideas on fireproofing a home.

2002 Environmental Sustainability Index. 2002. 301 pp. Free.
Pilot Environmental Performance Index. 2002. 31 pp. Free.
Copies of both documents can be downloaded from Columbia University's Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) web site:
The Environmental Sustainability Index consists of 20 indicators for 142 countries that track the relative success of five components: environmental systems, the reduction of environmental stresses, the reduction of human vulnerability, social and institutional capacities, and global stewardship. It evaluates current conditions, pressures on those conditions, human impacts, and social responses to those conditions in order to gauge the long-term prospects for sustainability. The first report presents data enabling cross-national comparisons, identifies areas in which national performance is above or below expectations, outlines priority policy areas within countries and regions, tracks environmental trends, provides quantitative assessment of the success of policies and programs, and provides data to support investigations into interactions between environmental and economic performances and the factors that influence environmental sustainability.
The Pilot Environmental Performance Index measures data in four main areas: air quality, water quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and land protection at a national scale.


Rebuilding the World Trade Center: A Report by the Construction Institute-American Society of Civil Engineers. A report from ASCE's Committee on Social and Environmental Concerns in Construction. 2002. 32 pp. Free. The complete text is available on-line at:
Intended as a starting point for planning the rebuilding of the World Trade Center, this report examines issues from New York City traffic patterns to future security issues. Among two dozen discussed trends in this volume are: the decrease in New York office leases since September 11, green building designs, and decentralization of Manhattan's financial district. The report also explains how shorter building designs could address emergency evacuation, traffic congestion, and security.

Assessment of Federal Terrorism Preparedness Training for State and Local Audiences. 2002. 62 pp. Free. The report can be found on FEMA's web site at
The current federal terrorism training effort is frequently fractionalized, redundant, and wasteful and leaves many of the needs of states and local communities unmet, according to this report prepared by FEMA at the request of Congress. The report includes a comprehensive accounting of federal terrorism preparedness training, an assessment of the effectiveness of the training, and recommendations on how to improve the system. Its conclusions focus primarily on emergency response aspects of federal terrorism preparedness training.
Communities involved in the assessment indicated that training is needed that focuses on interoperability among various response communities. Local officials said there is considerable confusion regarding operations requirements for dealing with a terrorist incident. City officials that participated in the study also said there is a need for large-scale disaster training focusing on command and logistics, special training for command personnel, and training courses on public information outreach in emergency and crisis situations.

High-Impact Terrorism: Proceedings of a Russian-American Workshop. 2002. 296 pp. $47.00; $37.60 if purchased on-line. Copies are available from the National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (888) 624-8373 or (202) 334-3313; WWW:
This proceedings volume contains papers that address terrorism and the law; biological, chemical, nuclear, explosives, agricultural, and cyber terrorism; and future trends and international cooperation to combat terrorism. Appendices include an outline of the goals of the Russian program on "Problems of Natural and Technological Security."

Preparing for Terrorism: What Governors and Mayors Should Do. John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. 2001. 9 pp. Free. Available on-line at
This memorandum contains the recommendations of a working group of domestic preparedness specialists, elected officials, federal agency representatives, and academics that convenes semi-annually at the Kennedy School of Government. It addresses initial issues that elected officials should consider regarding domestic preparedness. Specifically, it highlights components of a comprehensive preparedness strategy and outlines state and local government priorities for change.

Community Response to the Threat of Terrorism. Issues and Ideas Papers Presented During a Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) Internet Symposium. 2001. 59 pp. Free. Copies can be downloaded or ordered from the PERI web site:


An Evaluation of the Boulder Creek Local Flood Warning System. Eve Gruntfest, Kim Carsell, and Tom Plush. 2002. 100 pp. Copies of this report are available from the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, P.O. Box 7150, Colorado Springs, CO 80933; e-mail:
Boulder Creek in Boulder, Colorado, poses a high flash flood danger not only because of its physical characteristics, but because so many people work and live along its floodplain. Even if all aspects of the warning system set up to protect citizens worked perfectly, a flash flood might take many lives. This study, conducted to improve flood warnings, reviews the flood warning literature, provides a brief overview of the nationally recognized flash flood warning system in Boulder, reviews detection and warning practices in other communities with innovative flash flood warning operations, presents a survey of local emergency planning officials, describes an in-depth survey of floodplain residents along Boulder Creek, and reviews flash flood plans for several non-residential Boulder floodplain occupants. Recommendations from those conducting the study relate to public education, use of new technologies and education techniques, and the involvement of local businesses and schools in the warning system.

Mitigation Success Stories in the United States. Fourth Edition. 2002. 102 pp. Free. Copies can be downloaded from the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) web site:
Since the 1980s, mitigation activities have been implemented throughout the U.S. to save lives and reduce property damage. In many cases, mitigation success has been achieved following devastating disasters, when local officials and the general public have realized the need to effect change in their community. Major recent efforts to reduce flood damage include programs such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and Flood Mitigation Assistance Program. Mitigation Success Stories IV, a joint effort between FEMA and the ASFPM, showcases mitigation activities, demonstrating the benefits of mitigation in 39 communities in 24 states. The examples presented in this document can be used by other communities and can provide decision makers with valuable information about how to achieve natural hazard reduction. Topics include flood control projects, elevation issues, acquisition efforts, floodproofing, and watershed management.

Dam Safety

Dam Removal: Science and Decision Making. 2002. 224 pp. Free. Single copies of the report can be requested from the Heinz Center, 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 735 South, Washington, DC 20004; (202) 737-6307; fax: (202) 737-6410; e-mail:
Widespread interest in dam removal has been spurred by the aging of many dams, by evolving societal values, and by new scientific understanding of the changes brought by dams. Property owners, public utilities, state and local governments, and private citizens are faced with complex and difficult decisions, and they need guidance as they attempt to incorporate scientific information into the decision-making process regarding whether or not to remove dams. This report, the result of 18 months of research and deliberation by a panel of experts, outlines the current state of research on and experience with dam removal. It contains sections on the federal legal context, informed decisions, environmental outcomes, economic issues, and the social aspects of dam removal.

Success and Challenges: National Dam Safety Program 2002. Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO). 2002. 96 pp. Free. A limited number of copies are available by contacting the ASDSO, 450 Old Vine Street, Second Floor, Lexington, KY 40507-1544; fax: (859) 323-1958; e-mail:

Success and Challenges highlights achievements realized as a result of the National Dam Safety Program Act of 1996, which expires in FY 2002. The National Dam Safety Program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has fostered significant improvements in state dam safety programs and cooperation between state and federal programs. However, as the report points out, there is still much to be done to increase dam security, improve dam failure flood inundation maps, and develop more and better emergency action plans.

Dam Removal Success Stories: Restoring Rivers Through Selective Removal of Dams that Do Not Make Sense. Trout Unlimited and the National Park Service. 1999. 125 pp. Free. Hard copies can be ordered on-line at:

Dam Removal: A Citizen's Guide to Restoring Rivers. Wisconsin River Alliance and Trout ce/hot/wtc/wtcreport.htm"> A seven-page executive summary, as well as Unlimited. 2000. 130 pp. $15.00, non-River Alliance members; $10.00, members. An order form is available online at:

Ecology of Dam Removal: Summary of Benefits and Impacts. American Rivers. 2002. 17 pp. Free. Copies are available on-line at:


National Review of Hurricane Evacuation Plans and Policies. Brian Wolshon, Elba Urbina, and Marc Levitan. 2001. 32 pp. Free. The complete text is available on-line at: For additional information contact The Hurricane Center, 3513 CEBA Building, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803; (225) 578-4813; fax: (225) 578-7646; e-mail:

Extreme Weather and Climate Change

"Damaging Thunderstorm Activity in the United States," Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 82, No 4, pp. 597-608. Stanley Changnon. Free. Abstracts for all AMS articles are available to everyone. Subscribers have access to full-text HTML and PDF articles. For information on how to obtain copies and to join the American Meteorological Society, contact AMS, 45 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108-3693; (617) 227-2425; fax: (617) 742-8718; e-mail:; WWW: (click on "Browse to get the article).

Long-Term Fluctuations in Hail Incidences in the United States. Stanley Changnon and David Changnon. Journal of Climate, Vol 13. Free. 6 pp. Copies may be obtained from the American Meteorological Society, 45 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108-3693; (617) 227-2425; fax: (617) 742-8718; e-mail:; WWW:

Data and Approaches for Determining Hail Risk in the Contiguous United States. Stanley Changnon. Journal of Applied Meteorology, Vol 38. 2000. 9 pp. Copies may be obtained from the American Meteorological Society, 45 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108-3693; (617) 227-2425; fax: (617) 742-8718; e-mail:; WWW:

Losses Caused by Weather and Climate Extremes: A National Index for the United States. Stanley Changnon, Joyce Changnon, and Geoffrey Hewings. Physical Geography,. Vol 11,. No. 1. 2001. 28 pp. Subscriptions: $58.00, individual; $309.00, institution. To subscribe, contact Physical Geography, Bellwether Publishing ltd., 8640 Guilford Road, Suite 200, Columbia, MD 21046-2612; (410) 290-3870; fax:(410) 290-8726; e-mail:

Wildlife Responses to Climate Change: North American Case Studies. Stephen H. Schneider and Terry L. Root, editors. 2002. 437 pp. $60.00. Copies can be purchased from Island Press, 58440 Main Street, P.O. Box 7, Covelo, CA 95428; (800) 828-1302; fax: (707) 983-6414; e-mail:
In 1997, the National Wildlife Federation provided fellowships to eight graduate students to conduct research on global climate change. This volume presents the results of their work. The eight case studies provide information about how biotic systems respond to climate change. They also examine the complex problems likely to arise from changes in climate and demonstrate the types of scientific questions that need to be explored in order to improve our understanding of how these changes and other human impacts affect wildlife and ecosystems.

Natural Hazards and Environmental Change. Bill McGuire, Ian Mason and Christopher Kilburn. 2002. 187 pp. $29.95, paperback; $72.00, clothbound; plus $4.75 shipping. Copies can be ordered from Oxford University Press, Inc., on-line at:

Analysis of Costs and Loss Reduction Benefits of Windborne Debris Protection: North Carolina. 2002. Free.
Analysis of Costs and Loss Reduction Benefits of Windborne Debris Protection: South Carolina. 2002. Free.
Copies of each report can be downloaded from the Institute for Business and Home Safety's web site:
These recent studies point to the importance of windborne debris protection during hurricanes and other severe weather. Average losses from hurricanes in the coastal Carolinas could be reduced by up to 36% with proper protection. IBHS, which helped fund and develop the studies, is presenting these findings to the states' building code councils to inform their decisions regarding structural techniques that reduce losses from strong winds and hurricanes.

El Niño in History: Storming Through the Ages. César N. Caviedes. 279 pp. $24.95. Available from the University Press of Florida, 15 N.W. 15th Street, Gainesville, FL 32611; (800) 226-3822; fax: (352) 302-7302; WWW:


Earthquake Culture and Corporate Action. Dennis S. Mileti, Daniel M. Cress, and JoAnne DeRouen Darlington. Sociological Forum, Vol. 17, No. 1. 2002. Subscriptions: $79.00, individual; $385.00, institution. To subscribe, contact the Sociological Forum, New York University, Sociology Department, 269 Mercer Street, Fourth Floor, New York, NY 10003; (212) 992-9513; fax: 443-0451; e-mail:; WWW:

Arresting the Growth of Earthquake Vulnerability: Needs and Opportunities for Earthquake Engineering. Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. 2002. 55 pp. Free. Copies can be obtained on-line from:


Burning Questions: A Social Science Research Plan for Federal Wildland Fire Management. Report to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. 2002. 260 pp. For a copy, contact Sheila Williams, National Interagency Fire Center; (208)-387-5203; e-mail:
Understanding the relationship between people and wildland fire is crucial to how federal agencies respond, and, according to this research, an expanded program of social science research is needed for an accurate and comprehensive understanding. Burning Questions presents an interagency social science research plan for wildland fire management, commissioned by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, which includes representatives from the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Park Service. The plan covers evaluation of the harmful and beneficial effects of fire; social science research in the fields of anthropology, economics, geography, psychology, political science, and sociology; and interdisciplinary research. The three key elements of the plan are policy analysis, literature review, and needs assessment.

Mapping Wildfire Hazards and Risks. R. Neil Sampson, R. Dwight Atkinson, and Joe W. Lewis. Journal of Sustainable Forestry, Vol. 11. $59.95 hardbound; $39.95, paperback. Copies can be ordered from Haworth Press Inc., 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904; (800) 429-6784; e-mail: getinfo@haworthpressinc; WWW:

A Slew of Reports from GAO

As usual, the General Accounting Office has been hard at work, cranking out reports that examine issues of national importance. In order to include all titles, rather than describe each report, we simply list them below.

Copies of these reports are free and can be obtained from the U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 37050, Washington, DC 20013; (202) 512-6000; fax: (202) 512-6061; TDD (202) 512-2537; e-mail: The complete text of each report is also available on-line at:

Combating Terrorism: Intergovernmental Cooperation in the Development of a National Strategy to Enhance State and Local Preparedness. Patricia A. Dalton. Report No. GAO-02-550T. 2002. 23 pp.

Combating Terrorism: Intergovernmental Partnership in a National Strategy to Enhance State and Local Preparedness. Paul L. Posner. Report No. GAO-02-547T. 2002. 22 pp.

Combating Terrorism: Key Aspects of a National Strategy to Enhance State and Local Preparedness. JayEtta Z. Hecker. Report No. GAO-02-473T. 2002. 23 pp.

Combating Terrorism: Critical Components of a National Strategy to Enhance State and Local Preparedness. Randall A. Yim. Report No. GOA-02-548T. 2002. 22 pp.

Combating Terrorism: Enhancing Partnerships Through a National Preparedness Strategy. Patricia A. Dalton. Report No. GAO-02-549T. 2002. 22 pp.

Homeland Security: Progress Made; More Direction and Partnership Sought. Henry L. Hinton, Jr. Report No. GAO-02-490T. 2002. 18 pp.

Homeland Security: Responsibility and Accountability for Achieving National Goals. David M. Walker. 2002. 11 pp.

National Preparedness: Integration of Federal, State, Local, and Private Sector Efforts is Critical to an Effective National Strategy for Homeland Security. Randall A. Yim. Report No. GAO-02-621T. 2002. 28 pp.

Send Us Your Reprints!

The Natural Hazards Center would like all hazards authors to send us their recently published articles. We promise to give them a good home among the other works that comprise our extensive collection of documents on human adaptation to natural hazards and related events. As an added incentive, works will be accessible via our on-line bibliographic database, HazLit, to other researchers, practitioners, and individuals with an interest in natural hazards and disasters.

So, please send or fax your article reprints to Wanda Headley, Library Manager, Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, University of Colorado, 482 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0482; fax: (303) 492-2151.

A Fond Farewell

Dave Butler, the Natural Hazards Center's long-time senior editor, web wizard, and notorious name-changer, has finally decided to hang up his hard drive and retire.

Dave began working at the center when the Natural Hazards Observer was still produced with a typewriter and rubber cement. He ushered our Information Dissemination Program into the 21st century by designing and constructing the Hazards Center's web site; writing and distributing Disaster Research, our electronic newsletter (which was a pioneering effort); contributing a substantial portion of the material found in each Natural Hazards Observer; and editing countless books, working papers, quick response reports, special publications, and whatever else required his erudite wit.

In addition, Dave has been a delight to work with, always willing to go the extra mile to increase the quality of the Hazards Center's products. He also served as a mentor, friend, and confidante to the many graduate students who have passed through the Hazards Center over the years.

Dave did it all with good humor and considerable editorial talent, and he will be greatly missed. We wish him good luck and best wishes for the future.

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