Coping with Disasters

CRD19 Elective Course 4 ECTS
Period 2 weeks 06.04.2021 - 16.04.2021
Instructor Dr. Uta Reichardt


The course introduces factors that influence a society's resilience which is the ability to recover and bounce back after a disastrous event. It bridges disciplines to provide a multifaceted understanding of societal ability to withstand a crisis, on the individual, community, infrastructural and institutional level. It presents students to the main concepts of disaster research, drawing from the fields of earth sciences, environmental studies, sociology, health sciences, psychology and cultural studies. The course addresses monitoring, early warning, planning and exercises as means to mitigate the impact of natural hazards. It covers factors important in dealing with the aftermath of an extreme event. These include the role of psychological first aid, communication, media, art and spirituality in coping with hardship, tragedies and trauma.


On completion of the course, a student:

  • can explain basic definitions and processes in disaster management
  • can assess the factors that make populations vulnerable to hazards and contribute to shape disasters
  • can critically discuss the complexities of coping mechanisms and the factors that contribute to societal resilience on different levels
  • can develop and write a crisis communication strategy
  • can develop and present a disaster response concept to support coping in a post-disaster community