chapter  2
Disaster trends and impact
ByBENJAMIN RYAN, RICHARD FRANKLIN
Pages 16

Chapter 1 discussed the definition of disasters and, in particular, explored how disasters may be considered in a social construct. In other words, is it a disaster if it does not affect people? Therefore, our understanding of the history of disasters is largely constrained to the period of recorded human habitation. Was the event that eliminated the dinosaurs a disaster in that context? Our discussion is necessarily limited to what is known and recorded in detail; not to be disrespectful towards people’s beliefs, but rather simply to say that there is sufficient evidence within recorded history to enable us to understand the nature and trends of disasters and their impacts on humans.