Natural Hazards and Technology: Vulnerability, Risk, and Community Response in Hazardous Environments

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Book Chapter

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Understanding the causes and effects of natural hazards has been facilitated greatly by technologies such as geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and satellite imagery as well as by advances in data collection and dissemination. In addition, various technologies have been applied to protect areas from damage or to minimize damage when events occur. Too often, however, the available technologies have been directed to quick-fix responses and remedies, thus hindering rather than increasing our understanding of the factors at work. This trend has been changing, in large part due to advances in analytical tools that allow for consideration of complex systems. Yet despite these advances, global losses continue to increase, reflecting the need to incorporate technologies within the context of the political, social, and economic systems that may increase or mitigate vulnerability.

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Geography and Technology, p. 547-570