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Book Review: Disaster Management

​Butterworth-Heinemann;; 760 pages; $99.95.

A comprehensive guide to international disaster management for students, practitioners, and those interested in the subject, the third edition of Introduction to International Disaster Management updates material covered in 2007’s second edition, discussing significant work from the international community and the future of disaster risk reduction. Information is presented in a logical manner with chapter summaries, clearly delineated sections, colorful and informative graphics, bulleted lists, useful tables of historical information, Web links, and a complete bibliography and index.   

Beginning with a sound review of the historical underpinnings of disaster management, author Damon Coppola builds knowledge around core topics dedicated to hazards, vulnerability and risks, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The use of common terminology and international examples ensures wide appeal to a globalized readership. Later chapters present an overview of governmental and nongovernmental participants in any disaster, including multilateral organizations and financial institutions. Coppola's experience is evident in his descriptions of the complex sociopolitical environment where competing priorities and overlapping mandates must somehow be deconflicted to bring order to near-overwhelming global disaster situations. 

Introduction to International Disaster Management manages to be both concise and sufficiently deep to be useful to the security practitioner who needs either a quick reference or a resource for more detail into the various subjects. Coppola’s approachable writing style is informative and balanced. This book belongs in your professional library.   

Reviewer: Colonel John V. Pumphrey, CPP, is the director of defence security operations for the Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence. He has an M.S. in the Study of Risk, Crisis, and Disaster Management and is a member of the ASIS Military Liaison Council.