Disaster Forensics

Understanding Root Cause and Complex Causality

  • Anthony J. Masys

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Jonathan Gao, Sidney Dekker
    Pages 47-62
  3. Ross Prizzia
    Pages 223-247
  4. Gisela Bichler, Stacy Bush
    Pages 271-294

About this book


This book aims to uncover the root causes of natural and man-made disasters by going beyond the typical reports and case studies conducted post-disaster. It opens the black box of disasters by presenting ‘forensic analysis approaches’ to disasters, thereby revealing the complex causality that characterizes them and explaining how and why hazards do, or do not, become disasters. This yields ‘systemic’ strategies for managing disasters.
Recently the global threat landscape has seen the emergence of high impact, low probability events. Events like Hurricane Katrina, the Great Japan Earthquake and tsunami, Hurricane Sandy, Super Typhoon Haiyan, global terrorist activities have become the new norm. Extreme events challenge our understanding regarding the interdependencies and complexity of the disaster aetiology and are often referred to as Black Swans. Between 2002 and 2011, there were 4130 disasters recorded that resulted from natural hazards around the world. In these, 1,117,527 people perished and a minimum of US$1,195 billion in losses were reported. In the year 2011 alone, 302 disasters claimed 29,782 lives; affected 206 million people and inflicted damages worth a minimum of estimated US$366 billion.


Case studies of disasters Complexity of the disaster aetiology Forensic approaches to disaster study Forensic investigations of disasters Integrated research on disaster risk Man-made disasters Root Cause Strategies in managing disasters Systems Thinking in disaster management

Editors and affiliations

  • Anthony J. Masys
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Security Science OTTAWACanada

Bibliographic information