The Natural Hazards Center engages in a number of projects, both ongoing and one-time "special' efforts, that work to support and enhance our core mission to foster the transfer of knowledge among different research disciplines, stakeholders, and policy makers will improve society's resilience to natural disasters. These types of projects are often supported by independent sources of funding and with established partners such as the Public Entity Risk Institute.
Learning from Catastrophe: Quick Response Research in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita necessitated the largest activation of the Center's Quick Response research program in 20 years, eclipsing the number of activations requested immediately following the events of 9/11. A wide variety of topics were explored, including the looting myth, evacuation decision making, and issues associated with race, class, and gender in the response.
Quick Response research plays a critical role in the hazards community by capturing vital ephemeral data, experiences, and perceptions that are degraded or lost over time, and it is essential that such data is made as widely available as possible. Following on the success of Beyond September 11: An Account of Post-Disaster Research, the Center solicited manuscripts from research teams from all around the country. The edited volume will feature research conducted both under the auspices of the Center's Quick Response program and that supported by other U.S. institutions. An early fall 2006 publication date is anticipated.
Holistic Disaster Recovery: Ideas for Building Local Sustainability After a Natural Disaster
In January 2006 the Center completed a revised version of the 2001 handbook Holistic Disaster Recovery: Ideas for Building Local Sustainability after a Natural Disaster. The revised handbook contains updated sources of information, including a more specific focus on the Hurricane Katrina recovery, and new examples of recovery success stories. The document’s text was streamlined to make it easier to use and more practical for those managing recovery decisions and activities on the ground. The Center originally created Holistic Disaster Recovery with funding from the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI). It is intended for local government staff and officials, state planners, activists, emergency management professionals, disaster recovery experts, mitigation specialists, and others who help a community during disaster recovery. The 2006 revised version of Holistic Disaster Recovery (140 pp., $35.00) is available from PERI.
Additionally, the Natural Hazards Center participates in local events, such as local planning efforts and presentations. The Center also hosts visitors, often international, on a regular basis.