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Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions Appendix B Recommendations Recommendation 3.1: Research should be conducted to assess the degree to which hazard event characteristics affect physical and social impacts of disasters and, thus, hazard mitigation and preparedness for disaster response and recovery. Recommendation 3.2: Research should be conducted to refine the concepts involved in all three components (hazard exposure, physical vulnerability, social vulnerability) of hazard vulnerability analysis (HVA). Recommendation 3.3: Research should be conducted to identify better mechanisms for intervening into the dynamics of hazard vulnerability. Recommendation 3.4: Research should be conducted to identify the factors that promote the adoption of more effective community-level hazard mitigation measures. Recommendation 3.5: Research should be conducted to assess the effectiveness of hazard mitigation programs. Recommendation 3.6: Research should be conducted to identify the factors that promote the adoption of more effective emergency response preparedness measures. Recommendation 3.7: Research should be conducted to assess the extent to
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Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions which disaster research findings are being implemented in local emergency operations plans, procedures, and training. Recommendation 3.8: Research is needed to identify the factors that promote the adoption of more effective disaster recovery preparedness measures. Recommendation 3.9: Research should be conducted to develop better models to guide protective action decision making in emergencies. Recommendation 3.10: Research is needed on training and exercising for disaster response. Recommendation 3.11: Research should be conducted to develop better models of hazard adjustment adoption and implementation by community organizations. Recommendation 3.12: There is a continuing need for further research on hazard insurance. Recommendation 4.1: Future research should focus on further empirical explorations of societal vulnerability and resilience to natural, technological, and willfully caused hazards and disasters. Recommendation 4.2: Future research should focus on the special requirements associated with responding to and recovering from willful attacks and disease outbreaks. Recommendation 4.3: Future research should focus on the societal consequences of changes in government organization and in emergency management legislation, authorities, policies and plans that have occurred as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as well as on changes that will almost certainly occur as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Recommendation 4.4: Research is needed to update current theories and findings on disaster response and recovery in light of changing demographic, economic, technological, and social trends such as those highlighted in Chapter 2 and elsewhere in this report. Recommendation 4.5: More research is needed on response and recovery for near-catastrophic and catastrophic disaster events. Recommendation 4.6: More cross-societal research is needed on natural, technological, and willfully caused hazards and disasters.
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Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions Recommendation 4.7: Taking into account both existing research and future research needs, sustained efforts should be made with respect to data archiving, sharing, and dissemination. Recommendation 5.1: As NSF funding for the three earthquake engineering research centers (EERCs) draws to a close, NSF should institute mechanisms to sustain the momentum that has been achieved in interdisciplinary hazards and disaster research. Recommendation 5.2: The hazards and disaster research community should take advantage of current, unique opportunities to study the conditions, conduct, and contributions of interdisciplinary research itself. Recommendation 5.3: NSF should support the establishment of a National Center for Social Science Research on Hazards and Disasters. Recommendation 6.1: Priority should be given to international disaster research that emphasizes multiple case research designs, with each case using the same methods and variables to ensure comparability. Recommendation 6.2: Common indicators of disaster risk and development should be constructed. Recommendation 6.3: Collaborative international research projects should be the modal form of cross-national research on disasters and development. Recommendation 7.1: The National Science Foundation and Department of Homeland Security should jointly support the establishment of a nongovernmental Panel on Hazards and Disaster Informatics. The panel should be interdisciplinary and include social scientists and engineers from hazards and disaster research as well as experts on informatics issues from cognitive science, computational science, and applied science. The panel’s mission should be (1) to assess issues of data standardization, data management and archiving, and data sharing as they relate to natural, technological, and willful hazards and disasters, and (2) to develop a formal plan for resolving these issues to every extent possible within the next decade. Recommendation 7.2: The National Science Foundation and Department of Homeland Security should fund a collaborative Center for Modeling, Simulation, and Visualization of Hazards and Disasters. The recommended center would be the locus of advanced computing and communications technologies that are used to support a distributed set of research methods and facilities. The center’s capabilities would be accessible on a shared-use basis.
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Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions Recommendation 7.3: The hazards and disaster research community should educate university Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) about the unique benefits of, in particular, post-disaster investigations and the unique constraints under which this research community performs research on human subjects. Recommendation 8.1: Renewed attention should be given by the social science hazards and disaster research community to the need for formal evaluation research on knowledge utilization in the field. New research should be carried out using all of the relevant methodologies and technologies available to the social sciences today. Recommendation 8.2: Building on earlier practice, social scientists should conduct research utilization studies involving knowledge on hazards and disasters produced by other research disciplines. Recommendation 8.3: Cross-cultural research utilization studies should be pursued by social scientists. Such research could contribute to global understanding of knowledge dissemination and application. Recommendation 9.1: Relevant stakeholders should develop an integrated strategy to enhance the capacity of the social science hazards and disaster research community to respond to societal needs, which are expected to grow, for knowledge creation and application. A workshop should be organized to serve as a launching pad for facilitating communication, coordination, and planning among stakeholders from government, academia, professional associations, and the private sector. Representatives from the NSF and DHS should play key roles in the workshop because of their historical (NSF) and more recent (DHS) shared commitment to foster the next generation of hazards and disaster researchers. Recommendation 9.2: NSF should expand its investments in both undergraduate and graduate education to increase the size of the social science hazards and disaster research workforce and its capacity to conduct needed disciplinary, multidisciplinary, and interdisciplinary research on the core topics discussed in this report. NSF should also give special consideration to investing in innovative ways to further workforce development, especially when they involve partnerships such as NSF’s recent joint initiative with the Public Entity Research Institute (PERI) and the Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center at the University of Colorado. This initiative exemplifies the collaboration needed across government, academia, professional associations, and the private sector.
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Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions Recommendation 9.3: In parallel fashion, DHS should make a conscious effort to increase significantly the number of awards its makes to social science students through its scholarship and fellowship program. Because much that must be investigated about the terrorist threat is related to social and institutional forces, more social scientists need to be recruited to adequately study them. With its broader cross-hazards congressional mandate, DHS should contribute to a larger social science hazards and disaster research workforce, one that complements research in other science and engineering disciplines. Recommendation 9.4: NSF and DHS should consider ways in which they can cooperate programmatically to enhance the social science hazards and disaster research workforce. Jointly sponsored university research and education programs by the two agencies would be of major benefit to the nation. Recommendation 9.5: As the leader in furthering U.S. science through research and workforce development, NSF should make greater use of its enabling mechanisms, including standard research grants, center grants, grant supplements, and REU (Research Experience for Undergraduate) programs to attract more minorities to the social science hazards and disaster research workforce. Recommendation 9.6: The NSF Enabling Project for junior faculty development should be continued if the second pilot proves to be a success. Recommendation 9.7: Stakeholders in government, academia, professional societies, and the private sector should be open to exploring a variety of innovative approaches for developing the future social science hazards and disaster research workforce.
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