The Disaster Database Project does not attempt to present in detail all of the material available on any specific disaster event. Instead, its focus is to capture critical data on events and to facilitate further exploration of incidents that fall within the criteria for inclusion in specific projects and courses. As a living database, entries change as additional material on an event becomes available. Initial entries may be sketchy at best, but serve to identify the existence of an event in place and time. As the data for an entry grows, the database draws from sources that range from general interest books and newspapers intended for public consumption to scholarly books and governmental technical reports. Given this mix, the information for any entry represents the most credible data from the sources listed, but may be partial and should not be taken as authoritative as a substitute for further research.
Users are cautioned that there is wide variability in the description of disaster events and in the specifics of their impacts. Even reports of modern events may vary widely in such details as fatality counts and economic impacts. It is not unusual for more than one technical investigation to be conducted of a major disaster with each investigation report providing differing accounts of both the event and causation.
The Editor is responsible for the inclusion or omission of both events and data based on the criteria described below. The Disaster Database Project attempts to capture a wide range of representative events, in type, place, and time.
Events are considered disasters for inclusion in the project if (1) they represented a threat to life, property, or the environment, (2) they would have required the use of emergency procedures for the limitation and resolution of their impact, (3) they reasonably could have caused a responsible jurisdiction, agency, or organization to invoke or declare the existence of an emergency situation or to mobilize its resources in response, and (4) that some significant degree of community or organizational impact was present. These criteria cast a wide net, but the intent is not to include minor, routine emergencies typically handled in today's environment by a single public safety service.
The Disaster Database Project
Editor: Walter G. Green III, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Emergency Management
School of Continuing Studies
University of Richmond
Web Development: Academic Technology Services
© 2002-2006 by Walter G. Green III. All rights reserved.