process of dealing with a disaster in a completely unobtrusive manner. Such data ought to form a basis for studies that will ultimately lead to improving the disaster management process, and it should be used to help evaluate new proposed technologies and methodologies. Centers should serve as repositories for these data.

Several research centers devoted to certain aspects of disaster management already exist. Some well-known centers are the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder; the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware, which investigates the social science aspects of disasters; the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center at Texas A&M University; and Dartmouth College’s Institute for Security Technology Studies.16

Such centers could provide the basis for a network of research centers where IT researchers, hazard and disaster researchers, and disaster management practitioners can collaborate to study and evaluate the use of IT for disaster management from both a technological and an organizational perspective; transition knowledge and technology to those who practice disaster management; build human capital at the intersection of IT and disaster management; and develop future IT capabilities.


Texas A&M University provides a Web site at with links to domestic and international disaster research centers. The Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder provides links to Web sites of U.S. and international organizations dealing with hazards and disasters, including academic research centers; see

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