Disaster and Climate Change Preparedness in American Sāmoa: A Handbook for Communities

by Kati Corlew, PhD

Publisher: Honolulu: East-West Center
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN: 978-0-86638-258-8 (print); 978-0-86638-259-5 (electronic)
Binding: paper
Pages: 26
Free Download: PDF


American Sāmoa is home to some of the most beautiful ecosystems on earth. But if you've lived here long, you know that American Sāmoa (like everywhere else) is vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters. Vulnerabilities include such risks as drought, wildfire, heavy storms and flooding, mudslides, erosion, tsunami, and earthquakes, among others.

Some of these hazards will be exacerbated in the coming years by changes to the climate. For this reason, disaster and climate change preparedness can go hand in hand. Many disaster preparedness actions will make families, business, and communities better prepared for climate change as well.

The purpose of this project is to better understand American Sāmoa's relationship with natural hazards and to help American Sāmoa citizens and professionals prepare for future events. This project connected with American Sāmoa community members about their experiences with hazard events in three different ways:

  1. An online survey
  2. Interviews with community members and professionals
  3. A preparedness workshop in Pago Pago

This booklet includes information about natural hazards and vulnerabilities to disaster in American Sāmoa, stories from project participants about their experiences, and a guide to disaster and climate change preparedness.

This project was funded by the American Psychological Foundation Visionary Grant, with support from the Pacific Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (Pacific RISA) program and the East-West Center. For questions, please contact Kati Corlew, PhD, the project principal investigator, at [email protected] or visit