During the course of the semester you will each write a research assignment on a case study concerning a major disaster event international or local. Each student must do a pre-research and identify a disaster event (natural or man made) that has enough content to write on.

1st part of assignment

Post research topic on the table below.

(Please let me know what you will be writing the research assignment on so I can get approval from the professor)


Disaster Event + Year

Assignment Description: 
Research assignment (min 2000 words, not counting reference list) on an international or local major disaster event. No disasters that happened before 1950s and no more recent than 2018. Use a variety of sources (Minimum 5 sources).

Content (all should be included in assignment , independent sections)

1. Background/Introduction (10 POINTS): map of the location, country, city, socioeconomic characteristics, political history surrounding the event (prior to the event not after).

2. Disaster history (15 POINTS): Description of this type hazard in general. Past experiences with the same type of hazard in the country before the event. Discussion of the vulnerability analysis including: Physical, Environmental, Social and Economic vulnerabilities to this type of hazard in this country/city. Also add a summary table of the vulnerability analysis, like the example below. Provide both within this section. Do not include the definitions for each type of vulnerability in the assignment, just the analysis about your case.  

3. Emergency Management (15 POINTS): EM national agency, mitigation and preparedness practices existing in country before the event. Who is in charge in case of an emergency of this kind? How resilient is the country?

4. The event (30 POINTS): (This should be the biggest section of the assignment) Timeline of the event, description of the disaster event,  government response, detailed disaster consequences (economic, social, physical and environmental).

5. Reconstruction or Recovery (10 POINTS): responsible agencies, specific actions and timelines. Debris management, clean up, reconstruction of housing, infrastructure, economic activity recovery, loans and psychological/medical support for survivors etc. Are they recovered? What is the situation today?

6. Lessons learned (10 POINTS): Changes in policy or practices? Takeaways from this experience in country.

7. Reference list in APA style

Assignment format (10 POINTS):

I recommend these sources to find a case with the keywords of the type of disaster of your interest:

1. Relief Web

2.Prevention Web

3. Google Scholar (very good to find scholarly articles)

4) Open access Journals

5) Open Knowledge Repository

6) Open Access BASE Research Site

7) United Nations Digital Library  


TIP: Make sure your disaster has enough information available, reports, news, articles, book chapters etc. Some disasters are interesting but they lack sufficient sources for a successful assignment.