Communities Don’t Unite for Manmade Disasters

Bookmarked Three Factors That Make a Community Fall Apart in the Face of Disaster (

So there’s this strand of literature called disaster studies, which I’ve actually written about a fair amount. [It] basically says that after a disaster caued by natural hazards, that actually tends to bring people together.

Like Rebecca Solnit’s A Paradise Built in Hell.

There’s also a lot of academic literature that goes into it. There’s a lot of studies. It’s pretty robust. But the caveat is, then there’s this other strand of literature that has built off this or spun off this, to say that that happens when it’s a naturally triggered disaster. But when it’s an industrial disaster, it tends to work the other way. It’s toxic to communities.

3 things that make communities not help in disasters:

  1. uncertainty of harm
  2. blame game
  3. people lose their faith in the traditional authority figures

Also events that drag on.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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