Kathleen Tierney

Kathleen Tierney is a professor of sociology and director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado. She is the senior author of Facing the Unexpected: Disaster Preparedness and Response in the United States.

Recent Articles

Why We Are Vulnerable

The dirty little truth is that American business doesn't want to pay for disaster preparedness -- and so, we don't have very much of it.

The Next Catastrophe: Reducing our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters by Charles Perrow (Princeton University Press, 377 pages, $29.95) The Edge of Disaster by Stephen Flynn (Random House, 240 pages, $25.95) Americans at Risk: Why We are not Prepared for Megadisasters and What We Can do Now by Irwin Redlener (Alfred Knopf, 273 pages, $24.00) - - - The disasters of the past six years have made the business of crisis management lucrative and even sexy. In the wake of September 11 and Hurricane Katrina, experts in the field have been awash in new funds, consulting contracts, and media attention. But the skewed perceptions and politics of recent years have distorted crisis management itself. September 11 ushered in a new breed of specialists -- the "9-12 people" -- who emphasized terrorism and weapons of mass destruction to the exclusion of other perils. Though often lacking in knowledge and experience, they played on public anxieties, promoted secrecy over...