DRC-Disaster Research Center

Dr. Joseph E Trainor

Assistant Professor
166D Graham Hall
Newark, DE 19716-2581
Phone: (302) 831-4203
Fax: (302) 831-2091
Email: jtrainor@udel.edu
Click here for a PDF version of Joe's Curriculum Vitae


Joe is a core faculty member at the DRC and an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Administration at UD.  He has significant qualitative and quantitative research experience and has been involved in a number of basic science and applied research studies. His primary research interests include: International Aspects of Disasters; Disaster Researcher and Practitioner Integration; Warnings and Protective Action Decision making; Human Behavioral Response to Disasters; Effects of Organizational Design; and Multi-organizational Response.  He has authored or co-authored over a dozen peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on disaster related topics and over a dozen more disaster related reports and invited publications. Trainor’s most recent studies have focused on 1) multi-organizational coordination; 2) the integration of research and practice; 3) protective action decision-making associated with tornadoes; and 4) exploring how homeowners make insurance and retrofit decisions.

In addition to more traditional quantitative and qualitative research, Joe has also engaged in a number of field reconnaissance projects aimed at gathering perishable data and identifying critical issues in particular disaster events for further study. He was a member of a research reconnaissance team that traveled to India and Sri Lanka immediately following the December, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and later served as the lead field researcher for DRC’s effort to examine the social aspects of Hurricane Katrina. Most recently, he served as an external social scientist on the National Weather Service’s Assesment of the Historic 2011 Tornado outbreaks.
Trainor has been actively participating in the establishment of UDEL's new MS and PhD degree programs in Disaster Science and Management where he teaches two of the program’s core courses 1) Introduction to Disaster Science and Management and 2) International Aspects of Disasters.

Finally, Joe has also recently been working with others at DRC to increase the disaster planning and outreach services offered by the center. The goal of these efforts is to both provide local, state and national governments with scientific research and or planning guidance based on sound science.  In addition to other efforts in this area, Trainor assisted in the development of an approach to writing Emergency Operations Plans (EOP) planning process for small communities, provided insights into the human behavioral dimensions of response to warnings in support of the development of the national Cellular Mobile Alert System (CMAS,), and has been involved in writing a number of research summaries/ translations for state, federal, and international governments on different aspects of social science research on disasters. 

Current Studies

Issues and Ideas in Disaster Science and Management: A Critical Dialogue between Scientists and the Emergency Managers FEMA in Higher Education Program

"Public Response to Tornadoes" Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA)/National Science Foundation (NSF)

"Netherlands US Water Crisis Research Network (NUWCREN)" Netherlands Ministry of Transport, Public Works, and Water Managment

"Reporting for Duty:Selected Workforce Issues in Disasters" Virginia Departement of Emergency Management(VDEM)

Selected Publications

Nagele, Danielle and Joseph E. Trainor.2012Geographic Specificity and Public Response to Tornado Warnings.” Weather, Climate, and Society, 4 (2) p145-155.

Engle, Karen and Joseph E Trainor with John R. Harrald, Sue McNeil, Greg Shaw, and Marco Zannoni. 2010. “Floods and Disaster Management in the NL:"God Created the world, but the Dutch created the NL." in Comparative emergency Management. David McEntire (ed.) FEMA in Higher Education Program 

Lauren Barsky, Joseph E. Trainor, Manuel Torres, and Benigno Aguirre .2007. Managing Volunteers: FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue Program and Interactions with Unaffiliated Responders in Disaster Response” Disasters

Barnshaw, John, and Joseph E. Trainor. 2007. “Race, Class, and Capital Amidst the Hurricane Katrina Diaspora.” Pp 131-154 in The Sociology of Katrina: Perspectives on a Modern Catastrophe, editedby David Brunsma, David Overfelt, and Steve Picou. Lanham,Maryland:Rowman & Littlefield

Trainor, Joseph E., William Donner, and Manuel Torres .2006. “There for the Storm: Warning, Response, and Rescue Among Non-Evacuees in Hurricane Katrina”.     Learning from Catastrophe: Quick Response Research in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina. Natural Hazards Center; Boulder Colorado Pp. 307-326

Dick A. Buck, Joseph E. Trainor, and Benigno E. Aguirre .2006. "A Critical Evaluation of the Incident Command System and NIMS," Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management: Volume. 3. Issue. 3, Article 1.  Available at: http://www.bepress.com/jhsem/vol3/iss3/1

Rodriguez, Havidan, Tricia Wachtendorf, James Kendra, Joseph Trainor. 2006. “A Snapshot of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: Societal Impacts and Consequences.” Disaster Prevention and Management Journal. 15(1):163-177

Rodríguez, Havidán, Joseph E. Trainor, and Enrico L. Quarantelli. 2006. “Rising to the
Challenges of a Catastrophe: the Emergent and Pro-social Behavior Following Hurricane Katrina.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 604(1):82-101