UCF Professor Raises Disaster Awareness with New Book

bookUCF sociology associate professor Fernando Rivera is looking to spread the importance of disaster preparedness among residents across the sunshine state with his new book, “Disaster Vulnerability, Hazards, and Resilience – Perspectives from Florida.”

Co-authored with public policy and administration professor Naim Kapucu, the book provides lessons in building disaster resilience for rural communities and beyond. The book is also rich with personal narratives, and is accessible to anyone who is interested in disasters.

“We wanted to give a voice and learn, not only from emergency management personnel, but from other groups including non-profit organizations and other community groups,” Rivera said.

The data featured in the book comes from a grant the two professors received from the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation while studying disaster resilience in rural areas in Central Florida. Rivera said the reason why he wrote the book was to acknowledge the work that the Florida Division of Emergency Management has done in preparing communities before, during, and after a disaster situation.

“[This book] is driven by the experiences of those at the forefront of disaster and response,” Rivera said. “Florida has proven to be an emergency management model to follow, and policy makers should make note that in order to continue to be a national model, funding needs to be increased.”

Rivera also said that the threat of climate change can have devastating consequences for the state’s tourism and agricultural industries.

“The book suggests that we need to heard from and involve all sectors of the community in order to build disaster-resilient communities,” he said.

The book can be found here.

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