Nearly 1 million people have been evacuated from their homes in Southern
California. Social scientists can comment on what is known about human and
social relationships and structures that could help prevent or mitigate the
consequences of disasters, dismiss common myths about disasters, analyze common
mistakes in developing responses to disasters, and explain the mismatch between
citizens’ needs and government and private industry responses. Sociologists can
comment on how to improve preparedness for, response to, and recovery from,
human-made and natural disasters.
Les Abrams, Hofstra University,
(Les.Abrams@hofstra.edu or LesStres@hotmail.com and 516- 463 5640 or 718- 846
2330) is available to comment on the socio-economic aspects of the fires.
Disaster experts who may be contacted are:
Aguirre (302-831-0204 or firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Professor in the Department
of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware and a faculty
member of the Disaster Research Center.
William A. Anderson
(202-334-1523 or email@example.com) is associate executive director in the
Division on Earth and Life Studies and director of the Disasters Roundtable in
the National Research Council. For more than 20 years, he held various positions
at NSF. While at NSF, his responsibilities included developing multidisciplinary
natural hazards research programs and providing oversight for such large-scale
research activities as the NSF-funded earthquake engineering research centers.
Lee Clarke, (732-445-5741 or firstname.lastname@example.org) Associate
Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, writes about organizations,
culture, and disasters. His early work concerned how decision makers choose
among risks in highly uncertain environments. His publications include:
Organizations, Uncertainties, and Risk, edited by James F. Short, Jr. and Lee
Clarke; Acceptable Risk? Making Decisions in a Toxic Environment; and Terrorism
and Disaster: New Threats, New Ideas. He has written, and frequently lectures
about, organizational failures, leadership, terrorism, panic, civil defense,
evacuation, community response to disaster, organizational failure, and the
World Trade Center disaster. His work was recently profiled in the New York
Times and the Harvard Business Review. His latest book is Worst Cases: Imagining
Terror and Calamity in the Modern Day.
(302-831-4202 or email@example.com) is a Research Professor and Founding Director
of the University of Delaware Disaster Research Center (DRC). Dynes is the
author or editor of ten books, including Organized Behavior in Disaster,
Sociology of Disaster and Disasters, Collective Behavior and Social Organization
and well over 100 articles, many on disaster related topics.
Enarson, (303.527.9987 or firstname.lastname@example.org), Independent Scholar, is a
disaster sociologist with a women's studies focus. Her research and publications
have documented the impacts of hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes on women with
attention to violence against women, women's work in disasters, and the
proactive mobilization of women and women's organizations in disasters. She is
the co-editor of The Gendered Terrain of Disasters, lead author of the FEMA
online course on social vulnerability to disasters, and a founding member of the
"Gender and Disaster Network."
Kai Erikson, (203-432-3326 or
email@example.com) Professor Emeritus at Yale University, is an authority on
the social consequences of catastrophic events. He won major awards from the ASA
for his books Wayward Puritans: A Study in the Sociology of Deviance and
Everything In Its Path. He is the author of A New Species of Trouble:
Explorations in Disaster, Trauma, and Community. His research interests include
American communities, human disasters, and ethnonational conflict. According to
Erikson, what happens after a disaster is often at least as traumatic as the
primary event itself. He has studied disasters such as the Buffalo Creek flood
in West Virginia (1972), the Three Mile Island nuclear accident (1979), and the
Exxon Valdez oil spill (1989). In addition to examining the long-term
consequences of these events, Erikson has been active in efforts to secure
compensation for the victims. He has been profiled in the New York Times, the
New Yorker, the Washington Post, NPR, and PBS.
(303-492-6818) is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology and
Emeritus Director of the Natural Hazards Research Applications and Information
Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is the author of over 100
publications. Most of these focus on the societal aspects of mitigation and
preparedness for hazards and disasters. His Book, Disasters by Design (1999),
involved over 130 experts to assess knowledge, research, and policy needs for
hazards in the United States.
Walter Gillis Peacock, (979-945-7853
or firstname.lastname@example.org) is Director of the Hazards Reduction and Recovery Center
and at Texas A&M University (TAMU). He is a professor of urban planning at
TAMU. His research focuses on natural hazards and human systems response to
hazards and disasters with an emphasis on social vulnerability, evacuation, and
the socio-political ecology of long-term recovery and mitigation. His articles
have appeared in a variety of journals including American Sociological Review,
Natural Hazards Review, and the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and
Disasters. He has published two books on natural disasters. His latest
coauthored book is Hurricane Andrew: Ethnicity, Gender and the Sociology of
About the American Sociological Association
The American Sociological Association (www.asanet.org),
founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to
serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science
and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.