DRC-Disaster Research Center

Research & Field Studies at DRC

DRC has a well-established research tradition, built on a strong foundation in the social sciences; a capacity for quick response field research; and a culture of collaboration between faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students. Building on this rich history, DRC is working to enhance its research activities and broaden the existing program.  For example, DRC faculty are closely involved in the graduate programs in disaster science and management in the School of Public Policy and Administration.

Researchers at DRC have conducted some 700 field studies since the Center’s inception, traveling to communities throughout the United States and internationally. DRC researchers have carried out systematic studies on a broad range of disaster types, including but not limited to hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hazardous chemical incidents, plane crashes, and civil disturbances.

DRC studies have focused on such topics as:

  • emergency medical and  mental health service delivery in disasters,
  • community responses to acute chemical hazards,
  • mass evacuation and sheltering,
  • preparations for and responses to major community disasters by lifeline organizations,
  • community earthquake mitigation and emergency preparedness in the Central U. S. and the San Francisco Bay Area,
  • a large-scale multi-year analysis of the implementation of the FEMA’s Project Impact initiative,
  • improvisation and creativity, supply chains and logistics transportation and infrastructure risk management,
  • emergency preparedness in long-term care facilities
  • the utilization of earth science information in earthquake risk  decision making

In developing and conducting research projects DRC hopes to: act as the catalyst for; provide administrative support for; and serve as the intellectual home for interdisciplinary disaster related research. By leveraging the interests and capacities of the many disciplines on campus; balancing quantitative and qualitative approaches to research; demonstrating systems-level thinking; and nurturing a culture that values the integration of disciplinary insights we hope to become one of the key homes for innovative interdisciplinary thinking.