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Statistical and conceptual problems in the study of disasters

E.L. Quarantelli (E.L. Quarantelli is Research Professor, Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA.)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 1 December 2001



The area of disaster studies is plagued by dubious statistical data and widespread conceptual disagreements. This is the major focus of discussion in the paper. We detail the limitations in much of the numerical data that are both specifically and generally used in discussions of disasters. Factors that are responsible for this, including inadequate conceptualizations about disasters are discussed. We also show that there is not much consensus by researchers and others about many of the most central concepts used such as “disaster”, “hazards,” “risk,” etc. In our call for more reliable statistics and more relevant concepts, we provide examples and suggestions of how this could be done.



Quarantelli, E.L. (2001), "Statistical and conceptual problems in the study of disasters", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 10 No. 5, pp. 325-338.




Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited

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