The National Center for Disaster Preparedness places a high priority on community outreach—both working with the community we serve as well as providing assessment of the post-disaster environment and consultation on immediate services which could meet the needs of affected and underserved populations. NCDP works with its sister organization, the Children’s Health Fund, to assess the immediate needs of post-disaster communities, and works with elected officials and government agencies to provide real-time subject matter expertise and assessment of vulnerable populations. NCDP has provided specific community-based assistance to the Gulf Coast following hurricane Katrina as well as in the Northeast following hurricanes Irene and Sandy.
NCDP performs specialized assessments and analyses of disasters, acts of terrorism and public health emergencies by engaging people in their own communities both pre- and post-event. NCDP has the diversity and expertise among its faculty, principals, and affiliates to put together teams of subject matter experts who are some of the nation’s leading experts in disasters, public health, medicine, emergency management, and vulnerable populations. Some of the more notable events that NCDP has deployed teams and conducted post-disaster assessments of include: Hurricane Katrina, Gulf Coast; Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Mass Sheltering, Houston and San Antonio, TX; World Trade Center, NYC; Tornado, Joplin, MO; Tornados, Tuscaloosa, AL; Hurricane Irene, New York; and the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill, Gulf Coast.
NCDP actively supports community-engaged programming by working with community agencies and area non-profit groups to improve citizen readiness, prepare the community for disasters, and increase awareness about disasters and other emergencies. Some examples of NCDP’s work with New York City non-profit groups include the Jeter’s Leaders preparedness project as well as health messaging projects with the Harlem Children’s Zone.
In addition to practice-based community engagement, the Research division regularly employs techniques which support, inform, and drive post-disaster research by recognizing the value of local knowledge. Our boots-on-the-ground approach to research allows us to study community processes and learn from key informants such as local leaders, elected officials, and the general population.