This book reflects an important shift in society's definition of disaster. For centuries catastrophic events have been considered "acts of God" and therefore uncontrollable by definition. Managing Disaster
is international in scope, covering such natural and man-made calamities as tornadoes in western Pennsylvania, earthquakes in Peru, flooding in the Netherlands, and toxic waste disasters.
Centers for hazard studies have only recently examined the interrelated aspects of disastrous events and recognized the interaction between natural hazards and human systems. As society attempts to acquire the information and develop the skills to reduce the risks and damage from disaster, an increasingly professional public service is reconsidering its strategies and policy direction. Managing Disaster addresses this problem and the need for a new approach to teaching this subject at the university level. Twenty-three professionals and scholars in public policy and administration—rom universities, government, and the private sector—examine the basic issues confronting managers and public agencies in the face of disaster.