Thomas A. Birkland  
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PA 553: Disaster, Crisis and Emergency Management and Policy

Fall 2009 -- Thursdays, 6:00 to 8:45.


Click here for the final exam.

Click here for the syllabus and schedule

Click here to find the course readings (as described in class: password required)

Click here for the response paper schedule and links to the response papers

Click here for the list of term paper topics!

This course is an introduction to policies intended to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the damage done by natural disasters, industrial accidents and intentional (terrorist) attacks in the United States. The costs posed by natural and technological hazards have always been high, and these issues, while relatively low on the public’s agenda, are continuing sources of challenge for public managers at all levels of government. The September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States raised the specter of catastrophe in the United States and, for one of very few times in American history, raised emergency preparedness and management to a high level on the agenda, at least briefly.


Useful Links

Materials from your instructor

The reference list I promised is here.



Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado

Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware

Hazards Reduction and Recovery Center, Texas A&M

Center for Natural Hazards Research, East Carolina University


Federal Emergency Management Agency

National Hurricane Center (NOAA)

N.C. Division of Emergency Management

Private and Nonprofit

National Fire Protection Association

Institute for Building and Home Safety

Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI)

American Red Cross