Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance

Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (DMHA) is an interdisciplinary field that is becoming increasingly important. The president of the World Bank reported that in the past 30 years, more than 2.5 million people have been lost because of natural disasters. While more recently, fewer lives are being lost because of advances in risk reduction, the economic cost associated with disasters continues to grow. The most recent estimates for the cost of natural disasters over the past 30 years is $4 trillion. Due to global warming, the frequency, duration and intensity of extreme weather events will make disaster risk worse in the future. DMHA addresses all phases of the disaster cycle from mitigation to preparedness and response, and finally recovery. Within this cycle issues from social equity, sustainability and urban planning are worked in as problematics in a holistic approach to natural hazards.

This academic course stream is aimed at building disaster risk reduction competence and professionalism in planning students. The courses provide an interdisciplinary perspective on hazards, disasters, and risk reduction. Graduates in the course stream will be prepared to work for local, state, and federal agencies as well as for NGOs and the private sector.

Recent capstone topics

  • Kahauiki Village vulnerability assessment for pre-disaster planning
  • Civil-military coordination in disaster management
  • HAZUS for small-scale risk assessments: Data integration case study of Mokuleai Beach
  • Adaptive co-management: Lessons form the Maori experience after the New Zealand Canterbury earthquakes
  • Disaster readiness: A needs assessment of care homes in East Honolulu

Courses in this stream

Courses may be listed in more than one stream.

  • PLAN 414 Building Community Resilience
  • PLAN 473/PLAN 673 Geographic Information Systems for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance
  • PLAN 625 Climate Change, Energy and Food Security in the Asia/Pacific Region
  • PLAN 628 Urban Environmental Problems
  • PLAN 661 Collaboration Between Sectors
  • PLAN 670 Interdisciplinary Seminar in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance
  • PLAN 671 Disaster Management: Understanding the Nature of Hazards
  • PLAN 672 Humanitarian Assistance: Principles, Practices and Politics
  • PLAN 721 Homeland Security: Terrorism

View full course descriptions and class availability.