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Scott Knowles
1. If you look at images from Houston & wonder how the world's wealthiest nation has trouble learning from disaster this thread is for you.
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @USofDisaster
2. In 18th and 19th centuries Americans still talked about disasters as "acts of God"-pre-industrial America was fatalistic & decentralized
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @USofDisaster
3. Industrializing America from the Civil War to WWII was a machine of wealth creation, but it was also a disaster machine
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @USofDisaster
4. Fires: Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, Seattle, Iroquois Theater, Salem; Floods: Johnstown, Galveston, Mississippi River-a disastrous age
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @USofDisaster
5. It was so bad it led to a shake up across the sciences, engineering, architecture-it was a profound crisis of confidence in technology
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @USofDisaster
6. Result was REVOLUTION in urban design, buildings, public health, fire protection & rise of flood plain management, zoning, building codes
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @USofDisaster
7. Not to mention meteorology, seismology, hydrology-the natural systems of disaster & urban systems of disaster became visible & known
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @USofDisaster
8. If it sounds exciting, IT WAS-investments in disaster research across the sciences & engineering before WWII made urban life possible!!!
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @USofDisaster
9. Believe it or not this wasn't a conspiracy of scientists-the insurance industry paid for a lot of this research! Doing well by doing good
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @USofDisaster
10. After WWII a similar revolution followed in disaster research, this time in the social sciences.
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @USofDisaster
11.Enrico Quarantelli, Russell Dynes, Gilbert White (+many more) wanted to know fundamental reasons society functions as it does in disaster
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @USofDisaster
12. These researchers were often working with funds from US Civil Defense-ostensibly modeling how Americans would deal with atomic attack.
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @USofDisaster
13. In reality they were modeling a reality, not a fantasy-they were discovering that disasters affect people differently, identity matters
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @USofDisaster
14. Basic govt research investments got this line of work going-by '90s we could talk very clearly about who is affected & why in disaster
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @UDELDRC @HazCenter
15. Places like the and are the products of this era-& they continue to be important centers for interdisciplinary work
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @UDELDRC @HazCenter
16. All of this investment in disaster research brought the losses down to a rounding error as we entered the 21st century, right? (nope)
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @UDELDRC @HazCenter
17. Like the maintenance of our physical infrastructures, policymakers started scaling back investments in disaster research in the 1980s
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @UDELDRC @HazCenter
18. Poverty didn't end, the legacies of racial segregation didn't disappear, the infrastructure aged, & the research investment lagged
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @UDELDRC @HazCenter
19. Sept. 11 opened up a possibility-a nation unprepared for terrorist attack made a massive research investment-but the focus was narrow
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Scott Knowles Sep 5
Replying to @UDELDRC @HazCenter
20. Then the storms: Andrew, Allison, Katrina, Rita, Irene, Sandy, & the earthquakes, & and the fires . . . a new era of disasters emerged
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