Hazards and disasters

When we see images of an overwhelming earthquake, volcano, tsunami, drought or tropical storm we can see the power of natural forces and we can reflect on how powerless we are as humans faced by these 'natural' hazards. 

But in this topic we will study how these hazard events and the disasters which can result are caused by a multitude of contributing factors both natural and human. The probability of a hazard event causing harmful consequences (risk) and the susceptibility of a community to a hazard (vulnerability) are greatly influenced by human socio-economic factors as well as natural factors.

Key Questions

  • What natural processes and human influences lead to hazards and disasters?
  • Why do people choose to live in hazardous environments?
  • What factors affect people's vulnerability to hazards and disasters?
  • How can hazard risk be assessed and managed?
  • Why does the intensity and impact of disasters vary?
  • How do people adjust and respond to hazards and disasters?

General Weblinks

Useful relevant and up-to-date web-links can be found on the case study subpages. If you find good links send them to your teacher to be included on these pages. 

Sean Coffey,
Dec 14, 2012, 3:16 AM
Lee Darwell,
Jan 8, 2015, 2:02 AM