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Natural Hazards Center Working Papers
http://www.ilankelman.org/nhcwp.html


Some of the reports with their blue covers

The reports were nicknamed the Blue Cover Reports (photo copyright Ilan Kelman, 2014).


Commentary on The Blue Cover Reports: Natural Hazards Research Working Papers. Department of Geography, University of Toronto.
By Ian Burton (3 September 2014)

The Natural Hazard Working Paper Series is issued by the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder. It was started in 1968 with Working Paper No. 1 "The Human Ecology of Extreme Geophysical Events" authored by Ian Burton, Robert W. Kates, and Gilbert F. White. There are now 109 papers in the series.

Burton and Kates were students of Gilbert White at the University of Chicago, Department of Geography (1958-62) and subsequently spent periods of time overseas (Burton with the Ford Foundation in Calcutta, and Kates at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania). By 1968, all three of the authors of WP 1 were back in North America (Burton at the University of Toronto, Kates at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, and White at Chicago preparing to leave for the University of Colorado). The three of us decided to work together on a research proposal to the National Science Foundation to summarise our collective knowledge of hazards and to develop a set of case studies of natural hazard events across the world. When the proposal was successful, the three of us initiated the Working Paper Series as a means sharing ideas and publishing results among ourselves and our colleagues who joined in the project. WP 1 was largely drawn from the text of the NSF proposal.

The first few papers were published in Toronto and then the place of publication was subsequently moved to the Natural Hazards Center in Boulder. A first task was to develop some methodological guidelines for the case studies and these were published in 1970 as WP 16 "Suggestions for Comparative Field Observations of Natural Hazards". Some 30 case studies were carried out by collaborators across the world partly with the help of the International Geographical Union's Commission on the Environment of which Gilbert White was the Chair and Ian Burton a member.

The National Science Foundation supported projected led to the publication of "The Environment as Hazard" (Burton, Kates, and White (Oxford University Press, 1978) and many of the case studies based in part upon WP 16 were published in "Natural Hazards: Local, National, and Global" (White, G.F., Editor, Oxford University Press, 1974).

Ian Burton in London, England

Ian Burton in London, England (photo copyright Ilan Kelman, 2014).


Commentary on The Blue Cover Reports: Natural Hazards Research Working Papers. Department of Geography, University of Toronto.
By
James Lewis (5 April 2014)

Having lent to Ilan my Blue Cover Reports, I'm again grateful for the University of Colorado website as a prompt for these few recollections. My safe keeping for 40 years of those I collected should itself be indication of their significance in those early difficult days, and often since.

I'm unsure, but I think some Reports were thrust into my hands during a visit to Toronto and others may have followed by mail as they were published. There it was, seemingly all that was necessary, and from the continent I thought I had left behind six years earlier. Sometimes later came gradual comprehension, interpretation, assimilation and application--often much later.

It's still happening. Recently, I found myself writing "Disasters are not discrete, isolated phenomena...". That came from somewhere else, I cautioned myself. But from where? Certainly before Lewis, 1999; although perhaps Wisner et al., 2004? Yes, in similar wording--but without citation! It could have been either, or each, of "The human ecology of extreme geophysical events", WP1 (Burton et al., 1968) or/and "Natural Hazard in Human Ecological Perspective: Hypotheses and Models", WP14, (Kates, 1970). But it's not, not quite. WP1 discusses the difficulty of defining a "discrete event" and WP14 observes, after a long discussion on modelling, that "many of the real determinants of human behavior lie outside the interface of...natural human systems...". It's still happening, because I'm still searching--thanks to digital accessibility.

Disasters are made to appear to be discrete events by their statistics; numbers of floods or earthquakes in the past ten years, for example; and by the media, here one day and gone another.

Of course, there was much, much more but, overall and as Ilan demonstrates by what he is now doing on all our behalves, the history of our work is too important to forget or ignore, simply because it was a long time ago--like nearly half a century. It is a medium of respect to those who led the way in far off days and in far off lands. It's also a demonstration of how long we (should) have been repeating the gems and how long there has been the opportunity for institutional and practical implementation of changes that, as yet, have insufficiently taken place. Digitisation now means there is no excuse.

James Lewis in Wittenberge, Germany

James Lewis in Wittenberge, Germany (photo copyright Lars Reinhold, Prignitzer, 2011).


Natural Hazards Center Working Papers Before 1990

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #1: Burton, I., R.W. Kates, and G.F. White. 1968. The Human Ecology of Extreme Geophysical Events. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (1,345 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #2: Relph, E.C. and S.B. Goodwillie. 1968. Annotated Bibliography on Snow and Ice Problems. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (811 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #3: Hewings, J.M. 1968. Water Quality and the Hazard to Health: Placarding Public Beaches. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (2,551 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #4: Mitchell, J.K. 1968. A Selected Bibliography of Coastal Erosion, Protection and Related Human Activity in North America and the British Isles. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (3,722 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #5: Barker, M. and I. Burton. 1969. Differential Response to Stress in Natural and Social Environments: An Application of A Modified Rosenzweig Picture-Frustration Test. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (700 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #6: Golant, S. and I. Burton. 1969. Avoidance-Response to the Risk Environment. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (965 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #7: Golant, S. and I. Burton. 1969. The Meaning of a Hazard-Application of The Semantic Differential. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A Full text (1,131 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #8: Hewitt, K. 1969. Probabilistic Approaches to Discrete Natural Events: A Review and Theoretical Discussion. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (2,016 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #9: Golant, S. 1969. Human Behavior Before the Disaster: A Selected Annotated Bibliography. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (988 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #10: Russell, C.S. 1969. Losses From Natural Hazards. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (1,075 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #11: Sheehan, L. and K. Hewitt. 1969. A Pilot Survey of Global Natural Disasters of the Past Twenty Years. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (253 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #12: Cypra, K. and G.L. Peterson. 1969. Technical Services for the Urban Floodplain Property Manager: Organization of the Design Problem. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (285 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #13: Auliciems, A. and I. Burton. 1970. Perception and Awareness of Air Pollution in Toronto. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (362 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #14: Kates, R.W. 1970. Natural Hazard in Human Ecological Perspective: Hypotheses and Models. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (933 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #15: Schiff, M.R. 1970. Some Theoretical Aspects of Attitudes and Perception. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (196 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #16: Suggestions for Comparative Field Observations on Natural Hazards, Revised Edition. 1970 (October 20). Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (431 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #17: Mukerjee, T. 1971. Economic Analysis of Natural Hazards: A Preliminary Study of Adjustments to Earthquakes and Their Costs. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (605 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #18: Islam, M.A. 1971. Human Adjustment to Cyclone Hazards: A Case Study of Char Jabbar. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (545 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #19: Berry, L., T. Hankins, R.W. Kates, L. Maki, and P. Porter. 1971 (January). Human Adjustment to Agricultural Drought in Tanzania: Pilot Investigations. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (804 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #20: O'Riordan, T. 1971. The New Zealand Earthquake and War Damage Commission - A Study of a National Natural Hazard Insurance Scheme. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (573 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #21: Vaughn, C.K. 1971. Notes on Insurance Against Loss from Natural Hazards. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (498 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #22: Cochran, A. 1972 (September). A Selected, Annotated Bibliography on Natural Hazards. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (1,730 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #23: Kates, R.W., J.E. Haas, D.J. Amaral, R.A. Olson, R. Ramos, and R. Olson. 1973. Human Impact of the Managua Earthquake Disaster. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (1,083 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #24: Yarden, D. 1973. Drought Compensation Payments in Israel. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (420 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #25: Cochrane, H.C., J.E. Haas, M.J. Bowden, and R.W. Kates. 1974. Social Science Perspectives on the Coming San Francisco Earthquake: Economic Impact, Prediction, and Reconstruction. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (1,420 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #26: Dworkin, J. 1974. Global Trends in Natural Disasters 1947-1973. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (231 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #27: Haas, J.E., H.C. Cochrane, and D.G. Eddy. 1976 (July). The Consequences of Large-Scale Evacuation Following Disaster: The Darwin, Australia Cyclone Disaster of December 25, 1974. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (663 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #28: Baker, E.J. 1976 (January). Toward an Evaluation of Policy Alternatives Governing Hazard-Zone Land Uses. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (507 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #29: Baumann, N. and Emmer, R. 1971 (June). Flood Insurance and Community Planning: "Adoption of the Federal Flood Insurance Program in Two Texas Communities" and "The Problems and Issues of Implementing the National Flood Insurance At in Oregon". Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (650 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #30: Wisner, B. 1976 (July). An Overview of Drought in Kenya (Natural Hazards Research Paradigm). Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (632 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #31: Downing, T.E. 1977. Warning for Flash Floods in Boulder, Colorado. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (917 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #32: Gruntfest, E.C. 1977 (August). What People Did During the Big Thompson Flood. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (1,010 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #33: Oliver, J. 1978 (July). Natural Hazard Response and Planning in Tropical Queensland. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (422 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #34: Davenport, S.S. c. 1978. Human Response to Hurricanes in Texas: Two Studies. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (446 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #35: Waterstone, M. 1978. Hazard Mitigation Behavior of Urban Flood Plain Residents. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (459 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #36: Simpson-Housley, P. 1979 (January). Locus of Control, Repression-Sensitization and Perception of Earthquake Hazard. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (733 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #37: Lewis, J. 1979. Vulnerability to a Natural Hazard: Geomorphic, Technological and Social Change at Chiswell, Dorset. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (428 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #38: Sheets, P.D. 1980 (September). Archeological Studies of Disaster: Their Range and Value. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (307 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #39: Anderson, D.R. and M. Weinrobe. 1980 (September). Effects of a Natural Disaster on Local Mortgage Markets: The Pearl River Flood in Jackson, Mississippi - April 1979. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (562 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #40: Jeffery, S.E. 1981 (June). "Our Usual Landslide": Ubiquitous Hazard and Socioeconomic Causes of Natural Disaster in Indonesia. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (373 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #41: Rogers, E.M. and R. Sood. 1981 (June). Mass Media Operations in a Quick-Onset Natural Disaster: Hurricane David in Dominica. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (824 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #42: Saarinen, T.F. and H.J. McPherson. 1981 (August). Notices, Watches and Warnings: An Appraisal of the U.S.G.S.'S Warning System with a Case Study from Kodiak, Alaska. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (779 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #43: Sorenson, J.H. c. 1981. Emergency Response to Mount St. Helens' Eruption: March 20 to April 10, 1980. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (415 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #44: Wilken, G.C. 1982 (July). Agroclimatic Hazard Perception, Prediction, and Risk-Avoidance Strategies in Lesotho. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (614 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #45: Thompson, S.A. 1982 (August). Trends and Developments in Global Natuarl Disasters, 1947 to 1981. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (158 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #46: Kartez, J.D. 1982 (October). Emergency Planning Implications of Local Governments' Responses to Mount St. Helens. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (263 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #47: Rubin, C.B. 1982 (December). Disseminating Disaster-Related Information to Public and Private Users. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (200 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #48: Lischka, J.J. 1983 (August). The Niño as a Natural Hazard: Its Role in the Development of Cultural Complexity on the Peruvian Coast. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (1,020 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #49: Marston, S.A. 1984 (February). A Political Economy Approach to Hazards: A Case Study of California Lenders and the Earthquake Threat. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (254 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #50: French, S.P., C.A. Ewing, and M.S. Isaacson. 1984 (May). Restoration and Recovery Following the Coalinga Earthquake of May, 1983. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (327 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #51: de Pujo, J.B. 1985 (January). Emergency Planning: The Case of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (1,063 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #52: Cross, J.A. 1985 (May). Flood Hazard Information Disclosure by Realtors. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (709 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #53: Handmer, J.W. 1985 (August). Local Reaction to Acquisition: An Australian Study. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (791 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #54: Gruntfest, E. and T. Huber. 1985 (November). The Environmental Hazards of Colorado Springs. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (1,007 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #55: Alexander, D. 1985 (November). Disaster Preparedness and the 1984 Earthquakes in Central Italy. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (855 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #56: Beady, Jr., C.H. and R.C. Bolin with W.C. Farrell, Jr. and W.L. Reed. 1986 (October). The Role of the Black Media in Disaster Reporting to the Black Community. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (668 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #57: Alexander, D. 1987 (April). The 1982 Urban Landslide Disaster at Ancona, Italy. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (601 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #58: Schroeder, R.A. 1987 (June). Gender Vulnerability to Drought: A Case Study of the Hausa Social Environment. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (474 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #59: FitzSimmons, A with A. Kirby. 1987 (July). Have Waste, Will Travel: An Examination of the Implications of High-Level Nuclear Waste Transportation. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (10,170 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #60: Stallings, R.A. 1987 (December). Post-Impact Field Studies of Disasters and Sociological Theory Construction. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (4,308 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #61: Yezer, A.M. and C.B. Rubin. 1987 (December). The Local Economic Effects of Natural Disasters. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (5,859 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #62: Lima, B.R., S. Pai, H. Santacruz, J. Lozano, and J. Luna. 1988 (January). Primary Mental Health Care in Disasters: Armero, Colombia. The Prevalence of Psychiatric Disorders Among Victims in Tent Camps. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (4,061 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #63: Stockdale, G.P. and R. Sood. 1989 (March). Emergency Public Information: A Quick Response Study of Coalinga. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (3,528 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #64: Riebsame, W.E. and J.W. Jacobs. 1988 (December). Climate Change and Water Resources in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Region of California. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (5,658 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #65: Jacobs, J.W. and W.E. Riebsame. 1989 (June). The Greenhouse Effect: Recent Research and Some Implications for Water Resource Management. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (2,799 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #66: Brown, J.M. and P.M. Gerhart. 1989 (September). Utilization of the Mortgage Finance and Insurance Industries to Induce the Private Procurement of Earthquake Insurance: Possible Antitrust Implications. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (9,115 kb in PDF).

  • Natural Hazard Research Working Paper #67: Fischer III, H.W. 1989 (October). Hurricane Gilbert: The Media's Creation of the Storm of the Century. Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A. Full text (5,125 kb in PDF).


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