Why Emergency Preparedness and Response Matters

Emergencies can happen in any country at any time. Developing countries suffer the greatest costs when a disaster hits – more than 95 percent of all disaster-related deaths occur in developing countries, and economic losses due to natural disasters are 20 times greater (as a percentage of GDP) in developing countries than in industrialized countries. The challenge is one we all must face as severe weather becomes more frequent and more extreme. Countries with well-developed health systems and a well-trained, well-equipped health workforce will be much better prepared for disasters. When a community is well-prepared, many lives can be saved in the first hours after an emergency, even before external help arrives.

Current Research

UNC leads the Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence (CRC), made possible through a five-year, $20 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, Office of University Programs. The CRC is a consortium focused on applied research, education and outreach addressing threats to coastal communities due to natural hazards and climate change.

Additional Research in the Field of Emergency Preparedness and Response

Are we prepared for the next superbug outbreak? A conversation with Gillings Professor Ralph Baric

Gillings Professor Bill Gentry discusses hurricanes, public health, and preparedness in The Atlantic

Commentary calls for better documentation of wartime attacks on health-care facilities and patients

Environmental Sciences and Engineering student team awarded EPA’s ‘People, Prosperity and the Planet’ grant


Emergency Preparedness and Response Courses

The following list highlights emergency preparedness and response courses that are offered at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Additionally, the Gillings School offers a certificate program in Community Preparedness and Disaster Management through the Department of Health Policy and Management.

  • HPM 420: Community and Public Health Security-Disasters, Terrorism, and Emergency Management Systems
  • HPM 422: Emergency Management I-Analytic Methods
  • HPM 423: Emergency Management II-Disaster Management


Highlighted Leaders in the Field