An Authoritative Source

From the President

HazNet is intended as an authoritative source of information about disaster research and practice. What does that actually mean? What is our role and what are we really trying to do? Here are a few thoughts on that.

We want to help people to understand what they can do to reduce risk in their lives. We know that compelling stories can inspire people to act. The global strategy for disaster resilience is focused not only on action in cities, where most of the world’s population now lives, but also on mobilizing local action to build more sustainable and disaster resilient communities. Canada has many good stories to tell about local initiatives to reduce individual and community disaster risk, and we are proud to showcase some in this edition of Haznet.

We also want public policy decisions to be informed by credible and accurate information. Risk is increasing. We need to encourage behaviours that reduce risk, discourage behaviours that increase risk and have the political and moral courage to impose controls to prevent or mitigate risk. HazNet profiles facts and arguments that illustrate current and future disaster risk and highlight social science on how people and communities can address their risks and vulnerabilities.

Our challenge is the challenge of the age: to disseminate useful knowledge to good effect. We are mindful that we have to resonate with different audiences. We certainly want to profile recent and insightful research that might inform public policy. We also need to connect with people where they live in a meaningful way. Good information presented well can influence people’s thinking and actions. We also can observe today how populism, disinformation and self interest can derail public policy and put us all at greater risk. We need HazNet to be authoritative as a credible, accurate and trusted source of information on disaster management. We humbly and respectfully ask that you to join us in that effort.