Center for Excellence in Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DM) builds crisis response capacity in U.S. and partner militaries, enhances coordination and collaboration with civilian and foreign partners, and strengthens those relationships to save lives and alleviate human suffering before, during, and after humanitarian crises.
The 4th APRU-IRIDeS Multi-Hazards Summer School, organised by the APRU Multi-Hazards Program and hosted by the International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) at Tohoku University was held in Sendai from 19 to 22 July 2016.
For more information about the Multi-Hazards Program, please visit https://apru.org/our-work/pacific-rim-challenges/multi-hazards/.
The 2013 summer school was organised on July 23-25, 2013 at Tohoku University as the first major activity under the Multi-Hazards Program. The summer school was attended by 31 participants from 9 countries, and it consisted of 17 students, 13 faculty members and 1 APRU secretariat staff.
The experience of the COVID 19 pandemic reminded us that hazard risks are not only natural, but also include different types of hazards such as biological, chemical, industrial etc. It is crucial to understand these various types of hazard risks and take proper preparedness measures to ensure effective response efforts.
The scope of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, adopted at the United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015, emphasizes that “the present framework will apply to the risk of small-scale and large-scale, frequent and infrequent, sudden and slow-onset disasters caused by natural or manmade hazards as well as related environmental, technological, and biological hazards and risks. It aims to guide the multi-hazard management of disaster risk in development at all levels as well as within and across all sectors.” To support and implement the framework, we are required to incorporate both natural and anthropogenic hazards as well as other types of hazards such as pandemics in our disaster management strategy. Further, we must adopt a comprehensive approach which encompasses all hazards. Universities in particular need to consider adopting this approach as they keep explosive, chemical, and hazardous materials on campus and are responsible for numerous students, staff, and faculty. In addition, the impact on neighboring communities could also be tremendous if any incidents occurred on campus.
The year 2020 was extremely challenging for universities, faculty, and students in education. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our regular classes, educational programs, field visits, etc. were tremendously restricted. Students, faculty, and administration staff were struggling to transition teaching and learning methodologies to an online format. The lack of internet access as well as stable connectivity were the fundamental obstacles in many countries. Nevertheless, many universities have overcome these challenges and minimized the damage with innovative and cooperative solutions in such difficult circumstances. It is crucial to learn from these innovative approaches and measures on how universities have been managing this crisis.
The APRU Multi-Hazards (MH) program was jointly established in 2013 with the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) and Tohoku University in Japan. The campus safety program is a major activity of the MH program. The program includes conducting a survey to understand the status of universities’ disaster preparedness, organizing workshops to learn from each other, and compiling this case study to share the experience. At the workshop held early 2020, it was proposed to collect the case studies to learn how universities responded and prepare for the pandemic, and share them especially among university safety/crisis management offices, university staff, and faculty. The idea of this publication derives from the workshop.
The case studies aim to collect the efforts made by universities in the response and preparedness toward the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other hazards such as earthquakes, fires, and anthropogenic hazards. Further, it aims to investigate how to prepare for future pandemics and disasters more effectively. This compilation includes 26 case studies from 13 countries and region. It is critical to keep a record of what happened and success and failures to learn from the experience and prepare for the next hazardous events. We hope that this publication will be useful for universities in strengthening their current strategy and plan to reduce multiple disaster risks and respond efficiently. Further, we believe that it will enable them to establish a resilient campus against various types of hazards to protect the lives of students, staff, and faculty as well as the assets on campus.
Find out more detials about the Multi-Hazards Program here.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to understand the key challenges, approaches and lessons of the higher educational institutions (HEIs) in the context of COVID-19.
Design/methodology/approach – A survey was conducted to understand the key challenges being faced by the HEIs around the world during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 150 responses were collected from 65 universities, located in 29 countries.
Findings – The results show that 47% of respondents with defined universities believe their institutions lacked a permanent or dedicated emergency management office, and 41% said their HEIs lacked a general business continuity plan for an emergency. In universities with BCPs, 33%of the plans do not cover biological hazards and pandemic risk management, and 60% of the plans did not include conducting any advanced simulation exercises. More than 70% the responded said their instruction, information sharing and decisionmaking process were timely and open. The major challenges identified were a lack of adequate preparedness for pandemic and of pandemic-specific advanced simulation exercises. The next major challenges were the change in the mode of teaching to online lectures and working from home. Based on these challenges, a set of short- and long-term recommendations were proposed.
Originality/value – This was the first survey in academic institutions in post COVID-19 context. The findings will be useful for preparing for biological and other related hazards.
APRU is proud to announce that the Multi-Hazards Program has facilitated the publication, Safety and Resilience of Higher Educational Institutions: Considerations for a Post-COVID-19 Pandemic Analysis, under Springer.
Find out more information about the book and the program here.
Recognizing that greatly improved data is necessary to support all facets of disaster research, the UC Davis scholars and experts placed the focus of the Multi-Hazard Data Science Workshop on improvements in data and decision science. This emphasis is congruent with the growing interest within the larger Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and APRU for the development of data science and data analytics expertise across the region.
This report was generated from the Multi-Hazard Data Science Workshop which took place at UC Davis on June 26-28, 2019.
The 7th APRU-IRIDeS Multi-Hazards Summer School was held on 22-25 July at Tohoku University. More than 60 students and researchers from 11 countries and region (China, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, U.S.A and Japan) participated in the event. They learned the experience from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, the recovery effort in the affected area and discuss the contribution of academia in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR).
To find out more details about the summer school, please click here.