DRC-Disaster Research Center

Rochelle Brittingham

Graduate Research Assistant
School of Public Policy and Administration
Email: rbrittin@udel.edu

Bio

Rochelle Brittingham is a PhD candidate in the School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware who works jointly with the Disaster Research Center and Center for Disabilities Studies. Her research focus is evacuation and sheltering situations for individuals who have functional and access needs. Additional research and professional experience include: state and federal disability policy, emergency management policy, and household protective action decision-making. Recent fieldwork has included two trips to the tsunami devastated areas of Japan to investigate how individuals with functional and access needs were accommodated in emergency shelters and temporary housing.

Rochelle was lead graduate student on a National Science Foundation grant from 2009-2012 investigating residents’ perceptions of safety in North Carolina in the event of a high category hurricane making landfall. This project involved conducting focus groups with key stakeholders in North Carolina, one-on-one telephone interviews, creating a telephone survey and conducting and supervising the survey using computer assisted telephone interviewing software. Additional responsibilities included supervising undergraduates who were working on literature reviews, data cleaning, and calculating survey response rates. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered on evacuation routes, health and access concerns, voluntary and mandatory evacuation departure decisions, the number of household members and vehicles evacuating, and the locations people are planning on evacuating to if the household decides to evacuate.

Her Master's research included using qualitative data to assist in writing the State of Texas' Disaster Mental Health Annex based on stakeholders' perceptions of how their organizations interact with others before and during disasters.

She graduated with honors from Millersville University with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in sociology in 2004, and earned a Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in Emergency Management from the University of North Texas in 2009.