Natural and human-made disasters appear to be increasing in frequency and scope, commanding extensive media attention. Growing sensitivity to issues of preparedness and community response has created a greater interest among academics and practitioners.
The Asian Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, mudslides in Brazil, earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, Japan, Turkey, China, and other countries have garnered worldwide notice. Human-made disasters, such as terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center or in Oklahoma City, Spain, England, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Afghanistan, and various other countries, or attacks on schoolchildren in places such as Columbine and various communities in China, send shockwaves throughout societies.
This book addresses the development of long-term interventions following disasters, emphasizing disadvantaged communities. Attention is given to the role of change agents, such as local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and psychosocial professionals, to ensure that the window of opportunity is realized, generating immediate help and sustained community development.