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There is a perennial gap between theory and practice, between academia and active professionals in the field. In disaster management this gap means that valuable lessons are not learned and people die or suffer as a result.This book opens a dialogue between theory and practice. It offers vital lessons to practitioners from scholarship on natural hazards, disaster risk management and reduction and developments studies, opening up new insights in accessible language with practical applications. It also offers to academics the insights of the enormous experience practitioners have accumulated, highlighting gaps in research and challenging assumptions and theories against the reality of experience.The book covers issues in all phases of the disaster cycle: preparedness, prevention, response and recovery. It also addresses cross-cutting issues including political, economic and social factors that influence differential vulnerability, and key areas of practice such as vulnerability mapping, early warning, infrastructure protection, emergency management, reconstruction, health care and education, and gender issues. The team of international authors combine their years of experience in research and the field to offer vital lessons for practitioners, academics and students alike.