Fall 2013 Session I: Responding to Natural Disasters

September 23 - October 4, 2013
Fall 2013 Session I: Responding to Natural Disasters

Session I: RESPONDING TO NATURAL DISASTERS (Cases in focus: 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and 2010 Haiti Earthquake)

This session will introduce students to the work of disaster relief in developing countries. The readings and video will highlight the ways that CRS works to alleviate the impact of natural disasters and contributes toward making communities more resilient. Students will learn about CRS’s guiding principles and its commitment to building the capacity of local partners organizations. The session will also include material on the role of the media in bringing international attention to natural disasters. Why do some disasters get more media attention than others? And what role does the media play in attracting funding? Finally, are we sufficiently concerned with the frequency and impact of these disasters as a global, human family? Cases will be drawn from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Recommended resources are in bold.

Learning Objectives

  1. Students will be introduced to the key principles of humanitarian action in natural disaster settings and CRS’ core principals.
  2. Students will learn about the impact of natural disasters via case material.
  3. Students will learn about CRS’ strategies for saving lives, rebuilding livelihoods, and rebuilding civil society.  This will include reflection on creating a more just society than previously existed – through means such as building local capacity and recognizing communities’ resilience.
  4. Students will learn about the role of the media in international disaster response.  This will include reflection on how and why a story is covered by media and whether increased media attention draws donors.
  5. Students will think about solidarity and the role they might play in responding to acute need worldwide.

1.) Nature of the Problem and Challenges

2.) Essential Guiding Principles

3.) CRS Strategies: Prevent, Manage, Prepare

4.) What We Can Do

Note: Any external resources are provided for additional information and do not represent the views of CRS.

©2014 Catholic Relief Services University Program