Can we anticipate disasters?

Constance Perin, Alfred Marcus, Ron Westrum, Lee Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


James R. Phimister, Vicki M. Bier, and Howard C. Kunreuther lays out several issues confronting high-hazard enterprises and regulators vis-a-vis the precursor analysis meant to help them ward off operational threats, in their article 'Flirting with Disaster' (Issue, Fall 2005). To develop more robust event analysis in any high-hazard industry, a first step is to recognize that precursor reporting systems' effectiveness depends on the extent to which boards of directors, executive, and senior managers define these local efforts. A second precondition is to reconsider processes for evaluating precursors' risk significance. A third precondition is to reexamine the sources and meanings of 'complacency', a catch-all precursor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-15
Number of pages5
JournalIssues in Science and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006


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