DRC-Disaster Research Center

Research Archive




Reporting for Duty: Selected Workforce issues During Disasters

This project is a small portion of a larger study entitled Behavioral Aspects of Sheltering and Evacuation Planning for the National Capital Region being conducted by University of Virginia on behalf of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.  As part of this effort, researchers at the DRC have been reviewing published reports and study findings related to workforce during disasters.  In particular we are focused on summarizing the state of knowledge related to 1) Role conflict and Role Abandonment and 2) Convergence.  Our intent is to provide a report that uses plain language to explain what social scientists have learned about these issues and to provide Emergency Managers with recommendations on how they might adjust their plans and policies based on the findings.     




Post-Earthquake Water Supply Restoration

In this project, we developed a discrete event simulation model of the post-earthquake restoration process for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) water supply system, the largest municipal utility in the U.S. This is the first application of discrete event simulation to post-disaster water supply restoration, and one of the first for any infrastructure system. Discrete event simulation offers many benefits for restoration modeling compared to alternative methods. The water supply system and restoration process are represented in great detail with few simplifications.


Training the Next Generation of Disaster Scholors: DRC's Research Experience for Undergraduates REU Site

Beginning in the summer of 2005, the Disaster Research Center (DRC) at the University of Delaware established a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program. The DRC-REU Program is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and the University of Delaware. The main goal of the program is to engage undergraduate students in hands-on research training and enhance their understanding of the social science aspects of disasters. Each summer, a nine week research training institute is held at the DRC-REU site to provide students with the necessary academic background, training, mentoring and research experiences that will greatly contribute to increase interest in disaster research and strengthen the next generation of social science disaster scholars.


COT Institute for Safety, Security and Crisis Management, “Learning from a Large Scale Flood Exercise in the Netherlands

The objectives of this project are to exchange information regarding key processes, best practices, and complexities of flood disaster management identified from the literature and US experience that are validated (or refuted) during the a Netherlands crisis exercise. Such information is particularly valuable for emergency planning and future exercises. Furtermore the intent it to Identify areas throughout which additional research is necessary, particularly those areas in which results of the literature study were not validated by the case-study.


Population Composition, Geographic Distribution, Natural Hazards, and Vulnerability in the Coastal Regions of Puerto Rico

The primary goal of the proposed project is to understand how factors contribute to the vulnerability of the Puerto Rican population living in coastal regions, how they have changed from 1990 to 2000, and how risk and vulnerability vary according to different demographic, social, and economic characteristics. This research project is a collaborative and interdisciplinary effort between the Disaster Research Center (DRC) at the University of Delaware, the Center for Applied Social Research (CASR) and the Physical Oceanography Laboratory in the Department of Marine Sciences, both at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez.


Before 2009

Disaster-Resistant Community Initiative: Evaluation of the Pilot Phase

In 1997, the Federal Emergency Management Agency began the pilot stage of Project Impact, a program designed to encourage local communities to step up their efforts to contain disaster losses through mitigation and preparedness activities. The goals of the program were to mobilize community-level organizations and resources to reduce disaster-related damage and disruption through the adoption of new loss- reduction strategies and to help communities develop ways of coping with disasters when they do occur. Using face-to-face and telephone interviews and focus group methodology, DRC charted the implementation of Project Impact in the seven pilot communities and then in ten additttional Project Impact Communities.