What makes a disaster? Does this blizzard count?

by Carolyn Gramling
Thursday, January 5, 2012

A snowy scene on a Washington, D.C., street during the February 2010 blizzard. Carolyn Gramling

Blogging on EARTH

Actually, this is a meta-blog: A blog about a blog.

Not had enough of the snow yet?

One of EARTH's regular contributors, geologist and NOVA instructor Callan Bentley, has an interesting post, titled "What makes a disaster?," on his own blog. The post, prompted by the recent mid-Atlantic back-to-back blizzards, mulls over natural hazards, preparedness (or lack thereof) and how these factors combine to form a real disaster. 

He considers the question through the lens of both D.C.'s response to the blizzard — the city was paralyzed, shut down in a way that had denizens of cities not too much farther north shaking their heads in bewilderment — and the recent earthquake in Haiti. Definitely worth a read.

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