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Potential non-disasters of 2021

Podloski, B; Kelman, I; (2022) Potential non-disasters of 2021. Disaster Prevention and Management 10.1108/DPM-06-2022-0135. (In press). Green open access

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Purpose: This short paper compiles some potential disasters that might not have happened in 2021 even though a major hazard occurred. No definitive statements are made of what did or did not transpire in each instance. Instead, the material offers a pedagogical and communications approach, especially to encourage deeper investigation and critique into what are and are not labelled as disasters and non-disasters—and the consequences of this labelling. / Design/methodology/approach: This short paper adopts a subjective approach to describing situations in 2021 in which a hazard was evident, but a disaster might not have resulted. Brief explanations are provided with some evidence and reasoning, to be used in teaching and science communication for deeper examination, verification and critique. / Findings: Examples exist in which hazards could have become disasters, but disasters might not have manifested, ostensibly due to disaster risk reduction. Reaching firm conclusions about so-called “non-disasters” is less straightforward. / Originality/value: Many reports rank the seemingly worst disasters while research often compares a disaster investigated with the apparently worst disasters previously experienced. This short paper instead provides possible ways of teaching and communicating potential non-disasters. It offers an approach for applying lessons to encourage action on disaster risk reduction, while recognising challenges with the labels “non-disaster”, “success” and “positive news”.

Type: Article
Title: Potential non-disasters of 2021
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1108/DPM-06-2022-0135
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-06-2022-0135
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Disaster risk reduction, Lessons, Mitigation, Preparation, Preparedness, Prevention
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10158673
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