Anthropology and its core concept culture have become identified the essential the understanding of disaster and risk. Covered here are various risk and disaster scenarios, ways and topics in which the anthropological perspective has become crucial.
Over the past thirty years, disasters of both geophysical and technological origin had become ever more frequent and severe across our planet. The alarming situation is due in large part to the increasing conditions of vulnerability among the human community, affecting ever larger numbers of people, as the previous set of driving factors of disaster is now combined with grave new components, global warming, coastward migration, and urban densification. Coincident with the increase in number and severity of disasters and the growing vulnerability of the human populations, the level of interest concerning the issues that surround both calamities and hazard has markedly expanded in the field of anthropology. Indeed, anthropology has become a major contributor to the understanding of risk, hazard, human vulnerability, and disaster. Along with anthropology's holistic approach, the key concept of the discipline, culture, has risen to the forefront in almost every arena dealing with risk, disaster, sustainability, and development. This panel explores the increased need and applicability of anthropology to the growing problematic of disaster. Covered can be: various disasters and places, risk reduction efforts, the various ways and topics in which anthropology has become critically pertinent to understanding both hazard perception and calamity.