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Peek in CU Boulder Today – The Toll of Cumulative Natural Disasters on Wellbeing

Dr. Lori Peek, Director of the Natural Hazards Center (NHC) in the Institute of Behavioral Science, was interviewed for a CU Boulder Today article focusing on the long term effects of cumulative natural disasters on families and children's physical and mental health. The article highlights Peek’s research study on the victims of Hurricane Katrina and her newest study on the victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Through her studies Peek points out just how much a family’s circumstance going into disaster can shape how they fare coming out of it, and whether they’ll face the next one with resilience or despair. Overall, these findings reveal how disasters hit some segments of the population far worse than others. 

“Every disaster since Katrina, including this pandemic we are in right now, has made us more likely not to depict disasters as ‘great equalizers’ but instead to ask who is suffering first and worst,” said Center Director and sociology Professor Lori Peek. “Not all children are living equal lives right now, and that inequality gets amplified and exacerbated in a disaster.”

(CU Boulder Today: “For many Families, the first disaster can be far from the last.”, by Lisa Marshall) 

To read more information on cumulative natural disasters and Peek’s research studies visit the full CUBT article