Texas A&M University’s Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center (HRRC) is an interdisciplinary research effort. Established in 1988, the HRRC was the first research center dedicated to vulnerability reduction and long-term recovery in the nation.
Today, we are one of only two United Nations (UN-OCHA) Collaborative Centers in the world. We serve OCHA as a research and consultant agency with particular emphasis on national disaster plans and their implications for future development.
We seek to:
- Increase the understanding of the nature and impact of natural and technological hazards upon humans and the physical and built environment in which they live
- Enlarge the hazard research community through graduate student training, faculty development and educational endeavors
- Disseminate research findings to the research community and practitioners so they can use this information to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters
- Provide assistance and consultation to state, national and international agencies responsible for hazard analysis, emergency preparedness and response, disaster recovery and hazard mitigations
HRRC faculty, staff and students have generated research at the forefront of disaster planning. Our researchers focus on hazard analysis, emergency preparedness and response, disaster recovery and hazard mitigation.
We focus largely on externally supported research or education.
Our staff, faculty fellows and affiliates come from across Texas A&M University and other institutions. They include architects, planners, sociologists, policy analysts, economists, landscape architects and engineers. Students from across Texas A&M at all levels — Ph.D., masters, and undergraduate — conduct research with center faculty and staff.
- Founded by Philip Berke, 1988
- First Director Dennis Wenger, 1989–1997
- Director Michael Lindell, 1997–2003
- Director George Rogers, 2003–2004
- Director Walter Gillis Peacock, 2004–2018
- Director Michelle Annette Meyer, 2018–present
What types of hazards does HRRC study?
The HRRC studies the full range of natural and technological hazards. Natural phenomena include floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and drought. Technological hazards include chemical and nuclear plant accidents, transportation accidents and pipeline explosions.
What is the purpose of this research activity?
Through our research, we seek to:
- Reduce the vulnerability of communities to natural and technological hazards by enhancing mitigation and preparedness activities
- Contribute to the recovery of communities that have been struck by disaster by improving response and long-range recovery activities
Many projects address specific needs of communities, such as evacuation planning or program evaluation. Other projects aim to build greater basic understanding of how society operates under hazard risk and recovery.
What types of problems does the HRRC study?
HRRC engages in a wide range of research topics, including:
- Housing recovery
- Shelter damage assessment and recovery
- The epidemiology of death and injuries in disaster
- Emergency search and rescue
- Organizational response to disaster needs
- Risk and access to critical infrastructure
- Community mitigation activities
- Landscape and architecture design to promote resilience
- Transport of chemicals
- Inequality and social vulnerability to disaster impacts
- Floodplain analysis
- Policy and plan analysis
- Community disaster preparedness
- Hazard warning communication
- Tornado warning systems and impacts
- Evacuation planning
Who funds the center’s research?
HRRC research activities are supported by a variety of institutions and organizations. Basic support is provided by Texas A&M University and the School of Architecture.
Outside support comes from groups such as:
- The National Science Foundation (NSF)
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Department of Homeland Security
- World Resources Institute
- Australian Research Council
- Texas Division of Emergency Management
- Texas Sea Grant Program
- American Planning Association
- Army Corps of Engineers
- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
How are the research findings disseminated?
We publish our research in books, monographs, reports and articles in scholarly and applied journals. We also present at conferences, annual meetings and workshops. We share updates about our research on our Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Does the HRRC engage in any activities in addition to research?
We work directly with non-profit and local government organizations to support their hazard planning needs. HRRC works with extension specialists to develop instructional materials and offer workshops with local hazard and emergency officials. We regularly present at local, state, national and international public events. Contact the HRRC for more information about our services.
How can I get involved with the HRRC?
Interested undergraduate and graduate students can talk with staff and faculty fellows about research opportunities. Community members can reach out to the center in general or specific faculty to learn about how we can support your research or education needs.
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