Disaster Definition Essay

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Defining Disaster What is a disaster? Seems like an easy enough question to answer, but if so why is the definition not so easily agreed upon. According to the author “What is a Disaster”, “They are socially defined requiring social action by social actors in social space; they identify triggers; they imply a collapse of cultural protection and convey the notion of harm to the physical and social environment entailing a state or condition that is destabilizing; they require exception routines and extraordinary countermeasures” (Quarantelli, 2005). This might hold true in the social sense, however when defining disaster to the federal government; disaster is “any natural catastrophe (including any hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, or drought) or, regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion, in any part of the United States, which, in the determination of the President, causes damage of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant major disaster assistance under the Stafford Act to supplement the…show more content…
This has been expressed by Quarentelli in his research into collective stress and society’s role in influencing the victims of a disaster. His explanation makes sense when dealing with stress due to a disaster. A person who is directly impacted by a disaster will be highly stressed and traumatized. However it can only be measured by how society is impacted and pressured to help the individuals dealing with the disaster. For example if you are a small community and are not in any media or social attention the disaster that the community is dealing with may only lie on that community to deal with. However if society as a whole is made aware and feels pressured to take action then the stress is transferred

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