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Book Review: Disaster Science

Integrating Disaster Science and Management: Global Case Studies in Mitigation and Recovery. By Pijush Samui, Dookie Kim, and Chandan Ghosh. Elsevier;; 486 pages; $135.

Emergencies typically come in three forms: natural, man-made accidental, and man-made deliberate. This textbook exclusively focuses on nature-based emergencies. It is divided into three parts: assessment and mitigation, recovery and management, and analysis and resilience. It focuses on such events as volcanoes, floods, global warming, earthquakes, winter storms, and forest fires. 

Aptly named Integrating Disaster Science and Management: Global Case Studies in Mitigation and Recovery,​ it is indeed filled with a tremendous amount of science. Contributors work in universities, institutions, and laboratories around the globe. The book is written for a technical audience and is filled with incredible detail, including equations, fault trees, column and beam specifications, algorithms, seismic fault maps, and a wide variety of other technical information. Each chapter could stand alone as an academic paper, and an audience of engineers, scientists, and government personnel will find it valuable.

There is a tremendous amount of detail here, which would benefit those involved in disaster and emergency management from a research and engineering perspective, but is unlikely that the average security practitioner will obtain any practical information from this work.

Reviewer: Glen Kitteringham, CPP, has worked in the security industry since 1990. He is president of Kitteringham Security Group Inc., a global consulting firm, and a member of the ASIS Standards and Guidelines Commission.​