Initially I was concerned that much of the literature that I would read, would be highly ‘academic’ – in the sense that it would be ‘disconnected from the real world’. I have now read approximately 150 articles or books and I am finding that it is very focussed on the real world. Many writers point to the need for more practical and community oriented research. I am heartened by this. There is already a great emphasis on what governments do to prepare for and respond to natural disaster. Similarly there is great emphasis on the role of what I call the emergency services sector – including emergency services, fire fighters, police and the army, etc. There is an emphasis on the preparation and crisis response stage of a disaster, with less emphasis on long term community recovery. There is also less emphasis on what communities themselves want, need or think.
The more I read, the more I think I am grasping this area and the key concepts. I also feel very validated about my choice of focus. I am deeply committed to hearing what communities have to say in this discussion.