Skip to content

Focus areas

The Center for Disaster Resilient Communities research agenda is organized around four interconnected pillars, which are described in the following tabs.

Research focus areas

The Center focuses on communication, implementation and decision support to increase resilience to hazards, especially around perceptions, uncertainty and probabilistic assessments of risk. Particular attention is devoted to identifying effective approaches that inspire people to take action for rare but devastating events such as megathrust earthquakes. This work draws heavily from social and behavioral sciences to take evidence-informed approaches to directing change.

The Center’s research pursues performance-based retrofitting strategies and policies to better mitigate vulnerabilities in the natural, built and social environment. The Center also looks globally to better understand how different cultures and social environments impact effective responses to hazards and disasters. A special focus is on communities where social conditions or vulnerabilities exacerbate disaster impacts.

The Center takes an integrated research, practice and educational approach that fosters ongoing learning about specific hazard and disaster scenarios such as earthquakes, tsunamis and wildfires. Our interdisciplinary understanding of natural hazards and resilience at multiple temporal and spatial scales, as well as different levels of governance, allows us to identify systems-level vulnerabilities while also working to develop extreme event and hazard early warning systems.

The Center works to build capacity within healthcare to adapt to disaster-related surges in patient demand. This healthcare system optimization includes approaches to system-wide coordination, staffing and standards of care that can be implemented during periods of high stress to the system. Our work also focuses on developing a research rapid response capacity to facilitate health-related research data collection during and after disaster events.