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date: 21 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Disasters are a function of the intersection between hazards and human vulnerability. Often these events affect the most disadvantaged and marginalized members of society. This chapter examines the moral complexities of natural and industrial disasters in terms of responsibility and blame, and the ethical and practical importance of extensive community-driven emergency preparedness efforts. There is an ethical imperative to develop and implement strategies for reducing disaster risk by reducing vulnerabilities and mitigating hazards. Preparation for natural and industrial disasters should be viewed as a civic practice, guided by civic and social obligations to participate in preparedness activities as members of a community and to foster societal concern for the safety and well-being of others, especially the most vulnerable. Civic responsibility and social justice are particularly important ethical dimensions of emergency preparedness in the context of these types of disasters.

Keywords: natural disasters, industrial disasters, hazards, vulnerability, disaster risk reduction, emergency preparedness, public health ethics, civic responsibility, social justice

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