Reconsidering the Phases of Disaster

August 1997 (VOL. 15, NO. 2)

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The use of disaster phases (e.g., preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation) has assisted both disaster researchers and managers. Disaster researchers have used disaster phases to systematize and codify research results. Disaster managers have drawn upon disaster periods to organize their own activities. Yet, many problems exist with the current use of disaster periods. In summary, I find that the current uses of disaster periods lack conceptual clarity for improving scientific and practical use. As a result, I suggest ways the field can recast the use of disaster phases to improve the theoretical and applied dimensions of the field.