In Focus | Responding to Disasters


When Hawaii’s Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) makes predictions based on its modeling of hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, it doesn’t just say, for example, that Hurricane Harvey is going to reach wind speeds of 130 miles per hour. It answers practical questions like, “Is the roof of your house going to be okay?” The idea, says Erin Hughey, PDC’s Director of Disaster Services, is to translate scientific information into language that decision-makers and the general public can understand. Here Hughey talks with Tim Frazier, Ph.D., Faculty Director of the master’s programs in Emergency & Disaster Management, about PDC’s work and its new partnership with Georgetown. “I see this as you bringing the next-generation disaster managers into the fold and really professionalizing the field,” Hughey said.

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