National Center for Disaster Preparedness

National Center for Disaster Preparedness

(2003; New York; 45 staff and associates;

An academic research center associated with Jeffrey Sachs’ Earth Institute at Columbia University. Works to understand and improve the US capacity to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. Focuses on the readiness of governmental and non-governmental systems; the complexities of population recovery; the power of community engagement; and the risks of human vulnerability, with a particular focus on children. The Center’s 20 affiliated faculty represent a broad range of academic expertise in disciplines across the University’s schools of public health, medicine, nursing, engineering, and the Earth Institute.  Maintains research, policy and practice/training portals.


  • Vulnerable Populations
  • Children’s Health & Disasters
  • Recovery and Resiliency
  • Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation
  • Workforce Readiness
  • Crisis Communications & Decision Making
  • Preparedness Attitudes
  • System Readiness & Response


  • Policy, e.g., a ‘first-of-its-kind’ conference on nuclear response planning, involving high ranking government officials, public health leaders and other stakeholders.
  • Training (in person and web-based) for tens of thousands of responders working in public health workers, local and regional governments, and public health, hospital, and community partners.
  • Media source during disasters and public health emergencies;
  • Senior faculty teaches at the Mailman School of Public Health departments on Health Policy and Management, and Sociomedical Sciences.


  • Library of ~160 articles, reports and books
  • Preparedness tools, Opinion pieces
  • Children & Disaster Bulleting
  • Videos and media
  • Maps and mapping projects
  • Disaster archive
  • HIGHLIGHT: US Natural Hazards Index

Leadership: Irwin Redlener (Director)

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