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Physical Geography: Hazards

Guide for research assignment for GEOG 101: Physical Geography (Christine Hansell)

Search Strategies

Focus your topic. Not too broad, not too specific.



How have natural disasters affected the city of (your city), and how prepared were its people?

Divide the topic into concepts:

(your city)

natural disasters


Google Search

To do a Google search with the same search words already entered in your OneSearch, click “Search” in the Google box on the “Extend Your Search” column on the right side of the results page


Google Search Tips!

To search for multiple concepts: 
- use ORs between words for the same concept,
- use quotes (" ") around phrases.
-  Google does not use the *

To limit to a specific domain, use site: in front of the domain name (no spaces)   will limit a search to just .edu sites OR   
will limit a search to either .edu or .gov sites  
will exclude .com

Examples for Google searching: 

(your city) AND "natural disasters" AND "Preparedness" NYC AND "natural disasters" AND "Preparedness"  (This search will retrieve credible information from the city government's page.  Here is an example of a search result for NYC: 

Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness Strategy -
New York City
Terrorist Threat. 9. Natural Disasters. 10. All-Hazards Preparedness. 11. II. MISSION AND FOCUS. 13. Organizational Adaptability. 14. Response Capability. 15.


Database Searching


OneSearch feature located on the Library's home page will save you time as it searches across most of our article databases and book catalog to find sources matching your search terms with one click.  Sources include a wide range of articles from academic journals, popular magazines, newspapers and reference sources, e-books & other documents, plus print books available in the library. 

Preparation Needed BEFORE you search:  Use the key terms discussed above to write out your search string of key concepts.

Search tips to help you narrow or broaden your search results: 

  • Type an OR between synonymous words for the same concept.
  • Use AND between concepts to narrow and focus your research 
  • Use an * to search for multiple words from the same root, e.g. legislat* will find articles with the words: legislate, legislation, legislator or legislated
  • Use quote marks (“ ”) around search phrases (multiple words that should be searched together), e.g. “racial discrimination”

Here are some examples: 

(your city) AND "natural disasters" AND "Preparedness"  


You can also click on the "Advanced Search" feature and it will assist you in focusing your search. In each search box, type the search word(s) for a separate concept.   


Search box 1: San Francisco

Search box 2: "natural disasters"

Search box 3: preparedness