New York University’s Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response (CCPR) supports 10 independent studies looking at the impacts of hurricanes on society including several studies that were established in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The investigators of these projects are available for comments and interviews. The diverse subjects and experts are:

Disaster Preparedness, Paul Light, Ph.D. -Surveys of the public indicate that personal and family disaster preparedness remains low, and challenges exist for the government to form a more prepared society/

Decision Making, Frances Milliken, Ph.D., MBA -Prof. Milliken explores the disconnect between how those in power -elected leaders, police, and media -view events versus effected citizens. Her findings show that those in power tend to be much more optimistic than those actually living the events.

Peer Support, Linda Mills, Ph.D. -Evidence of mental stress after catastrophic events is high and especially so for first responders like the police. Prof Mills considers how peer support networks can help police officers deal with mental anguish and what barriers exist to creating robust peer support networks.

Stafford Act, Mitchell Moss, Ph.D. -The Stafford Act is the primary legislative tool for declaring federal disasters and Prof. Moss looks at its strengths and limitations including recommendations for reform.

Education, Mary Driscoll, Ph.D. -Prof. Driscoll has looked at students dislocated after Hurricane Katrina attending schools throughout the United States and found they are performing worse than those in the community and that No Child Left Behind is literally leaving New Orleans children behind as they are left out of reported school scores.

Modeling, Lewis Goldfrank, M.D. -The Large Scale Emergency Readiness Project (LaSER) models how individuals and systems such as hospitals and transportation networks can respond to catastrophic events.

Arts; Howard Besser, Ph.D. -Prof. Besser Historical examines film and audio archives damaged by water and heat exposure that, without greater assistance to recover and preserve, threaten being lost costing unique pieces of American culture.

Culture; Robert Hawkins, Ph.D. -The loss of social networks and cultural identities in both communities that are rebuilding, and for individuals dislocated, shows a troubling trend for rebuilding lives and preserving the unique culture of New Orleans.

Evacuees, David Dent, Ph.D. -Evacuees at the Astrodome lacked sufficient information to make informed decisions about what to do next. Prof. Dent’s studies continue at a Carter Center fellow.

Risk Communication, Rae Zimmerman -Prof Zimmerman examines how messages are communicated to the public and what are the most effective ways?

About the Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response. The Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response (CCPR) at New York University (NYU) was founded in 2002 as a university-wide, cross-disciplinary center to improve preparedness and response capabilities to catastrophic events including terrorism, natural disasters, and public health emergencies. Drawing on the resources of NYU’s fourteen schools, CCPR facilitates research projects that address issues ranging from first responder capacity during crises, to public health response, to legal issues relating to security, to private sector crisis management and business continuity.

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Robert Polner
Robert Polner
(212) 998-2337