Three New QR Reports from the Hazards Center

The Psychology of Disasters

Researcher David N. Sattler has done quite a bit of research into the psychological response of disaster victims both in the U.S. and abroad. Some of his recent work is profiled in two recent Quick Response (QR) reports: QR 160: El Salvador Earthquakes: Resource Loss, Traumatic Event Exposure, and Psychological Functioning (2002, 22 pp.) and QR 158: The September 11th Attacks on America: Relationships Among Psychological Distress, Posttraumatic Growth, and Social Support in New York (2002, 27 pp.). Both reports use survey questionnaire data to examine student reactions to prolonged and recent disasters, such as terrorism, war, tornadoes, and earthquakes. In the case of El Salvador, the situation was especially unique in that serious life threats due to multiple earthquakes were present for over two months. Reports in the San Salvador media suggested these reoccurring earthquakes were creating extreme concern and distress. In New York City the situation was equally unique, and students responded to questions about the possibilities of future attacks, post-traumatic stress variables, and personal coping characteristics.

Arkadelphia Tornado

In QR 159: Defining Sustainable Development: Arkadelphia, Arkansas (2002, 10 pp.), Cheryl Childers and Brenda Phillips explore the recovery, and subsequent redevelopment, of the town of Arkadelphia, which experienced a series of F-3 to F-4 tornadoes that cut a swath through the state of Arkansas. An F-4 tornado passed through a series of farm areas and into Arkadelphia’s residential neighborhoods and downtown business district, devastating approximately 60 blocks of the community and causing tremendous property damage for such a small town. As the community initiated recovery, leaders defined the rebuilding effort as the creation of a “sustainable” community. This report examines how Arkadelphia came to understand and act upon a sustainable recovery.

These three reports (and many others), may be downloaded from the Natural Hazards Center web site: QR reports are the result of the Natural Hazards Center’s Quick Response Program, which allows researchers to examine the effects of disasters immediately after they happen. Besides being available free on the web, the reports can be purchased for $5.00, plus $4.50 shipping, from the Publications Administrator, Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado, 482 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0482; (303) 492-6819; fax: (303) 492-2151; e-mail:

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