EP 52 Attracting Diversity by Creating Opportunities in EM

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Attracting Diversity by Creating Opportunities in EM

[TODD DEVOE] Hi, welcome to EM Weekly, and I’m excited today to have a real special guest, and her name is Norma Anderson. And we’re talking about the William Averett Anderson fund, and it’s really cool. I came across this fund through a friend of mine, and really took a look at what Bill did, his life career for mitigation, and basically disaster response and mitigation worldwide. And if you guys haven’t heard about this fund, this is going to be an exciting time for you guys.

And one of the things I really love about it is the fund really pushes diversity in emergency management and emergency planning mitigation. And so, that’s why I really want to have this conversation, because like we said before, we really want to grow this community, and we really want to make it a great profession. And in order to do this, we need to bring people from all walks of life. So, Norma, welcome to the show.

[NORMA ANDERSON] Thank you so much, Todd. It is such a pleasure to be here with you today, and to talk about one of my favorite topics, the Bill Anderson fund. I will tell you just a little bit about myself, and then I’ll tell you a little bit about Bill, and then how we came together, and then why this is so important. I’m from Ohio; Toledo, Ohio. My parents were part of the great migration there, and they met at (inaudible) University, and I lived there until I was 14 and moved to Columbus. Bill was born in Akron, Ohio, and his grandparents were a part of the great migration, also. They came from Tennessee and from Alabama. My parents came from Kentucky and Alabama, and that’s there.

So, Bill moved to Columbus, to work on his PhD, after having grown up at a family that, although there were homeowners, they were poor. No one had graduated from high school. But he had a mentor, who was an African-American fellow who owned a small hotel near Bill’s home, and he would ask Bill, “Every grading session, bring your grades in, let me see what you’re doing.” And then when he looked at his grades, he always talked about going to college. And Bill didn’t know what college was, but he said, “If Sam talks about it, it must be important.” And so, he kept encouraging him, had an expectation for him, and that was one thing that inspired him to continue to go on to school.

So, I mentioned that because mentoring is so, very important. He went to Ken State University and got his Master’s Degree in Sociology, and he went to Ohio State to work on his PhD. And while there, one of his first classes pursuing a PhD in Sociology was with Enrico Quarantelli, or Henry Quarantelli, who was one of the founders of Disaster Research Center. He realized how bright Bill was and said they had just written a proposal to the National Science Foundation, for some funding to create this center, in which they would study disasters in the United States from a sociological perspective, and throughout the world.

And they thought it was a pipedream, but they got the money. And so, Bill was in the first cohort of the Disaster Research Center, when it was at Ohio State. The co-directors were Henry Quarantelli, and Russ Dynes, and Gene Haas. So, they were the implementers, and Bill became a director of the Research Center while he was there.

Bill and I met in Ohio State. The first time I saw him, I was a freshman, and (inaudible) intro class, and he was the guest lecturer. There were about 400 students sitting there, and I said, “Oh my gosh, I want to marry a man just like that.” So, four years later, we met. We saw each other, but I was a little bit young, I was 18, and he was 26. So, we met four years later, and decided we’d get married. We got married in Columbus. And there for a year, and then moved to Arizona State, where he taught sociology. But he was always involved in hazards disaster mitigation.

One of the things he realized in that interest was the tremendous effect on marginalized communities, that in terms of preparedness for disasters, in terms of what they suffered during disasters, the lack of attention, they tend to be low on the totem pole, in terms of getting assistance. And the difficult recovery marginalized communities had after a disaster. And we see that playing out even now. Katrina, of course; what has occurred in Puerto Rico, what has happened in Texas, Houston, as a result of Harvey. So, we go on and on. And one of the realizations he came to quite early was that one of the reasons that there is such a low priority is that there’s so few people in the area who represent those communities, and in the area of hazards and disasters.

And so, as he moved on from Arizona State to the National Science Foundation, he was a program manager, had the opportunity of awarding, of course, many grants. And one of the messages he would always deliver to those who secured grants to open disaster centers, to do disaster research, was that these programs, these centers, needed to have diversity. Diversity in terms of staffing, diversity in terms of students who were doing the research, so that they, having better entries into their own communities, and a greater understanding of the needs of those communities, could be tremendously helpful in developing disciplines.

The hazards and disasters is a relatively new discipline compared to many others, of course. You know, medicine, law, which go back for centuries, of course. But hazards and disasters, in terms of including not only what happens to bridges and buildings; what happens to people. The sociological perspective, and what those needs are. So, a part of that initiative, in addition to wanting to encourage diversity among the researchers, was to encourage those disciplines not to be (inaudible). So, engineering just doesn’t do research with engineering; you have to do work with social scientists, so that you’re building buildings that not only can withstand hurricanes, earthquakes, but also that you take in mind the social component, that is very, very important in building communities.

So, he was at the National Science Foundation for about 25, 30 years. And then he went to the World Bank. Ok, so, we’re not in the air right now, right? Ok, ok, so I don’t need to say excuse me. Ok, thanks for letting me know. Ok, so, after working at the National Science Foundation, he went on to the World Bank, where there was, of course, a global perspective. And indeed, he found the same things, of course, to be a duplicate of what happened to the United States in terms of marginalized communities. From there, he went to the National Academy, and he still had a tremendous focus on hazards and disasters, created round tables, where he would bring experts from many different fields, who were researchers and practitioners, and have conferences, disseminate information about how best to help communities.

Then, as he finished his career, it became about time for him to retire, but he had tremendous impact, positive impact, on the fields of hazard and disaster. But the areas that he felt tremendously sorrowful about was the still low number of representatives of marginalized communities, who were in the field as policy developers, as researchers, as practitioners. And we had this code that we kind of spoke in. I attended many of his meetings with him, but of course, most he went to on his own, I had my own career. But he would come in from a meeting, and he’d walk in my room, and I’d be in the family room. And he would hold up his hand, he might hold up three fingers; that would mean that there were three people of color there, and I was one of them.

Many times, he would hold up his hand, and it would be one finger. I was the only person there. So, when he retired, he still was quite active in the field, he was on advisory boards, boards of directors, different centers, and still hoping that he could have a positive influence on one of his main objectives, including the idea of inclusivity. Including people from marginalized communities. And so, his death was quite abrupt, he was quite healthy. Bill walked miles a day, every day. Unless I prevented him from going out in the snow or something like that. But he was quite physically active, and we went on vacation to Hawaii, and had a bicycle accident, and he did not survive that. And so, when that happened, in addition to the tremendous shock to me, that he could have died so quickly, I felt that that passion that he had about increasing the number of marginalized and historically underrepresented people in the areas of hazards and disasters in emergency managers, we would not– I would continue to push that forward as best I could.

And so, Bill died in December 2013, in April of 2014 I formed the paperwork to be submitted to the IRS, to get our 501c3 status, which was awarded to us in July of 2014. But I immediately began the development of the organization of the William Averette Anderson fund, better known as the Bill Anderson fund. I will say that the effort has been appreciated and has been joined by (inaudible) of his friends, colleagues, and people who may not have known him but have a very strong commitment to increasing the number of historically under represented people in these fields.

So, this is not something I could have done myself; I was a core in getting it started and being able to have an opportunity to speak in different workshops, at the FEMA higher education symposium, to tell– usually (inaudible) Marilyn, they invited me to come and talk about the Bill Anderson fund, what we’re trying to do. And I put out a request for volunteers to help me, and I had this fishbowl, and I asked people to put their business cards in them. They did, and I began to follow-up, and began to develop with their help, the Bill Anderson Fund.

The decision, initially, was that we would attract Master’s and PhD students, and what we would do is facilitate a successful graduate school experience. I was able to visit, to get a good idea of how to organize this, the Florida educations fund, which is in Orlando. And they have, for 20 years, been doing this type of work, initially with African Americans, and now they broadened it to historically unrepresented groups in the state of Florida. And they have a fantastic program, that’s about 30 years old, in which they have workshops for graduate students. There is just a purely PhD program, but they work with unison with, I think, 11 universities in the state of Florida. A fantastic organization, that Laurence (inaudible) is executive director of.

And so, he spent time talking with me there, and on the phone later, as I was helping the fund. We decided that what we would do is have three workshops a year. We would advertise and get people to apply, which they do, and there’s an application on our website, the BillAndersonFund.org, for people who are interested in being Bill Anderson’s fellows. I will say, let me say also right now, that it was that we were focused initially on Master’s and PhD students, but what we have decided is that a year or so ago, that our focus would be PhD students. Because we’re so small, that it’s difficult to meet the needs of both those different groups. And we realized the tremendous effort that one has to put forward– a lot of work to put forward in order to acquire your PhD. So, we became PhD focused.

[TODD DEVOE] That’s great. Let’s take a quick break here, real quick, and when we come back, I want to talk to you– how do we, as educators, I teach emergency management in a community college. How do we, as educators, encourage people in the underrepresented areas to apply for and become part of the emergency management world? So, let’s take just a quick break and we’ll be right back.

[TODD DEVOE] Welcome back to our conversation about the Bill Anderson fund, with the founder and the wife of Bill Anderson, Norma. So, just before we left, you were saying how you’re focusing on the PhD programs with your fund, and I think that’s awesome. And congratulations on that, by the way, I think you guys are doing a wonderful work. But how do we encourage people from underrepresented areas to come into this field?

I mean, it’s nothing that you see when you’re in high school. No one– I don’t want to say no one, but not many people go, “Hey, when I grow up, I want to get involved in disaster response, mitigation, and research to make the world safer.” It seems to be a program that you sort of fall into. How do we reach out to people and encourage them to join and to be part of this growing field?

EM Weekly ep 52, Attracting Diversity by Creating Opportunities in EM[NORMA ANDERSON] And you’re very right, Todd. Your observation that this is a field that people fall into, they don’t follow it or become involved, and that’s unfortunately, they have an experience somehow, they know about a disaster, or they have a mentor or a teacher who knows about the area and gives them information. And so, that’s something that we have to change.

My thought is that we need to do a better job of informing counselors in high schools, and I think this will need to take, perhaps, a– for lack of a better word, an advertising campaign. Everyone knows what it means to be a doctor. Everyone knows what it means to be a dentist, what they do. They know pretty much about being an engineer, many of the different disciplines, because they see it all the time. My thought– and let me also mention that we are in transition right now, and we have accepted an invitation by the University of Delaware to move to that campus and be a part of the University of Delaware. And it’s my hope, also, at this time, to engage in the search for a new director of the Bill Anderson fund, who will be probably an academic, or will be there, at an academic institution.

And it’s my hope that we can create materials, three-minute videos, information pieces, that are designed to catch the attention of people who are juniors, and seniors in high school. Because that’s where you catch them. Everyone knows, of a certain age, what the outcome of Katrina was. Many people remember seeing that on TV. But also, when you’re a junior or a senior in high school, you’re looking for, quite often, a career that will help you help others. And so, knowing that they can play a tremendously great role in helping people and preventing those kinds of situations, I think it’s quite an easy task to convince someone to go into this area.

The difficult task is informing them of the many different areas and avenues that you can take to be a part of preventing those kinds of situations, preparing communities for– particularly those that are in areas that may be hit by these kinds of storms or these kinds of incidents. I think a lot of that will be working with those organizations that are near and dear, and involved in those communities already. So, not only did I approach counselors in high schools, but I would approach churches, I would approach, you know, the barber shops, the beauty salons. And I would– I can’t emphasize enough, having something that would be three-minute, five, at most, videos, about how you can help. What areas of study can you go into?

And being able to go to a junior college, and being able to, after those two years to four years, come out and be able to be a tremendous asset to your community, I think would draw students in. The informing piece is what we have to organize.

[TODD DEVOE] Those are really good ideas, I really can get behind that, for sure. And that’s like, one of the struggles that I have, is trying to tell people like, what emergency management is, and how to get them involved, in general. And you’re right, I think as somebody who has been personally affected by a disaster– but there are areas, like California, where we don’t see the large-scale disaster every year like they do in hurricane center areas, or the tornado places, and stuff like that.

So, it’s not until that earthquake occurs, or the large-scale fire, that people are really affected by the disaster and some of the frustrations that go with the recovery. When I was an undergrad, I did my senior thesis on minority-affected areas, after the Northridge earthquake. And it was one of those things that it was– women, specifically, and as a matter of fact, I used some of your– the Disaster Research Centers, I research on it for my paper as well. And it was minority-owned women businesses. So, mostly, you know, beauty salons and stuff like that, that failed after a large-scale disaster. And you know, the Targets and the Walmart’s, and those big companies, they’re going to be ok.

And I was focusing on those momma-pop minority-owned businesses, which really are the ones that fail– that did not recover, I should say, I shouldn’t say failed. But did not recover after the disaster. And I think that when people see that impact on their community, that becoming part of this emergency management world can really make a difference in making a community whole again after an event like that.

[NORMA ANDERSON] I agree 100%. And you are quite correct. Those small businesses that service those communities, marginalized communities, are the ones that don’t recover because they don’t have the deep pockets on their revenues and reserves, financial reserves, to be able to come back online and be able to fully function the way that they had in the past. But I also see, and I haven’t tested this out, but you know, there are certain organizations that do very, very well in recovery. You mentioned Walmart, and you mentioned Starbucks. They get up and open real quick. Sam’s Club, organizations like that, they get back up. And they have a plan for disaster recovery. They have a plan for disaster preparedness; so they have a plan for, “what will happen? What are we going to do? Who is going to work? And how we will open?” done well before that disaster hits.

And so, when it does, then they evoke those segments that have that training, and that becomes crucial in being able to get foodstuff, other articles that people will need, readily available. Those trucks move very, very fast, and they get in, and they are to service those communities. So I think not just using our own resources, but drawing on those communities who have a depth of experience, drawing on those businesses that have a depth of experience, and asking them to help. That’s one way that could get initiated. Because you’re going to need– my thought is that you need organizations who have– I’m trying to be very diplomatic here. Who is in their best interest to be back and running, to be functional. And quite often, they will share some of that knowledge with the intend of organizations that want to be prepared for disasters when they strike.

And you know, with the climate change that we’re experiencing now, and it’s going to continue; it’s going to get worse. So, being prepared is crucial. But again, if you– I think that you’re really very wise in wanting to reach out to younger students, because those are the ones, quite often, who are so passionate about wanting to help other people. But that again, they just don’t have that in their purview, they’re not aware of it. So, being able to inform them that these are opportunities where you can make a living, where you can be of help to your community and help to your family, that’s what we have to work on, I think.

[TODD DEVOE] Yeah, I agree with you. You know, everybody knows– you know, those that want to get into the public safety sector, they know fire, they know police, they know paramedic. And you see them driving down the street. But they don’t know emergency management. And I know that in some schools around, they have like, the CERT club, the Community Emergency Response Team clubs, that they started, some of the service clubs, the Red Cross Club is another one that they’ve started at schools. And I think things like that are great. And you know, when you come to some of the underserved communities, those clubs are hard to get going.

Number one, do they have teachers that are willing to be the club’s sponsors? And two, do they have the support from that community to be able to do things when everybody is always cutting those programs? And I really would love to see us, as a profession, really reach out to those kids, in all communities, for that matter; but specifically, in some of the underserved communities, of getting them involved in preparedness.

Because I had a conversation with Brock Long, we did a podcast with him, and he said, in some cases, we’re asking people to be prepared for, you know, 72 hours, or 14 days, you know, from that time period, with disaster stuff, but they can’t really afford that. You know, it’s an economic burden for them. And it’s like, yeah, it is. It could be. But how do we get kids and people on that mindset, in a community? You know, it’s hard for a guy like me to walk into a community and say, “Hey, be ready, and do this,” because I’m not from that community. I didn’t grow up in it, you know, I don’t understand all the nuances of it.

But grabbing somebody from that community who is passionate about it, and goes and does it, it’s easier for them. And you’re right, starting with the churches and things like these, that it’s easier for them to go in and make that impact right away. I’m excited about that, and I really hope that we can do more with the Bill Anderson Fund to promote that, and I think that’s exciting.

[NORMA ANDERSON] I would be very enthusiastic about doing that. Let me mention that, sometimes, I was an IBMer, in a previous life, for a number of years. And we had a public service responsibility that we could engage in. And one of the things that I did was, I went to high school, and one high school that I went to for a semester, two semesters, working with students to appreciate what the work world was going to be like after they graduated.

And so, we did some really interesting exercises with them, that really engaged them. And of course, I’m being paid for my time to do that, right? And I went out during the work day. So, I mention this because, if something like that, that concept was created, generally, corporations have an interest in loaning some of their employees to do those kinds of tasks. And whether those tasks are actually going into the schools, or whether those tasks are creating a video that could be shown in those schools and having workshops in those schools.

I think it’s important to engage people who do have the pockets, who have the willingness, and approach with a plan what you feel could be helpful and engage people from those communities. I mentioned barber shops a lot, because barber shops, quite often– the owners of barber shops, quite often, in a black community, are kind of leaders in that community. They maintain a certain (inaudible) there, and they’re trusted, and a number of organizations have used them, along with salons, beauty salons, to disseminate information about HIV/Aids, about high blood pressure, diabetes. Because almost everyone goes to one of those.

And so, in addition to the churches, because you are able to gather a certain percentage of people through churches, but not everybody goes to church; especially young people, quite often. I hope I don’t get in trouble there. Quite often. But they do go to the barber shop, and they do go to get their hair done, and they are placed strategically in marginalized communities, where there is a mass of people. So, that’s one of the things that I would engage.

But you know, I’m more than willing to talk about this, you know, going forward, how this could be done. Particularly, and let me emphasize, we will be bringing in a new director to the Bill Anderson fund, which I am totally thrilled about. We hope that person will be in place by September, but we keep rolling forward. So, I don’t stop just because someone is coming in September. What I would love to be able to do is, you know, help develop a plan that they could initiate, they could develop. Even if it’s just a skeleton of, “this is what we see, and this is how we would think it might be implemented,” I’d be more than willing to participate in something like that.

[TODD DEVOE] That’s great. Looking at the fund’s website, and I think it’s a beautiful website, by the way. And this is the cool part about it. When we talked about– on the education side of things, and you know, getting kids interested in the mitigation, planning, and response phases of emergency management, and there’s a list that you guys have of disciplines, education disciplines, that is. And I think it’s awesome. And I want to read this really quick, because me– and like I said, I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and I never thought about all the different aspects, in the education side, that could come into emergency management.

So, architecture, climate change, community resilience, economic development, epidemiology, emergency management, engineering, environmental sciences, (inaudible) initiatives, finance, geography, geology, homeland security, IT – Information Technology, that is; Journalism, law, logistics, medicine, meteorology, political sciences, public health, psychological mental health, seismology, sociology, social justice, social work, criminal justice, and urban planning.

And it’s like, yeah! You know what? You’re absolutely right. All of those degrees really have an access into emergency management, and I think it’s exciting that we could be that diverse in our education side, and if we can reach out to the students that are interested in those fields and say, “Hey, here’s a career path to you,” that’s exciting to me, it really is. And those of you that have been listening to me for a while, you know that I love education, and I’m kind of geeking out right now with this conversation, because I’m excited about it. But that is some really great stuff right there. And the work that you guys are doing with the disaster research centers is beautiful stuff.

Can you talk a little bit more about the disaster research center, and then like, what Bill did, and his vision of that was?

[NORMA ANDERSON] At the time that they created the Disaster Research Center, they wanted to get a greater understanding of how people react and respond to disasters, so it’s from a sociological perspective. And so, they did– initially, they did studies on fires, like fires in senior citizens homes, they did– when there were floodings, my husband did a dissertation on the Alaska earthquake many years ago. So, what their standing is, (inaudible) groups to respond to disaster. And there are a lot of myths about what people do during disaster.

There is a myth that people panic– people don’t panic. People quite often are very helpful to their neighbors. There is also a myth that there is looting during disasters, or after disasters. And you’re going to have a small contention where that may happen, but if you’ve had a disaster, and if your kid needs milk, if your kid needs diapers, there’s nobody in the store to sell it to you, you’ve got to get it someway. And so, you’re goign to get into a store and get it. And quite often, what happens? People leave money in the store, but they gotta go in and acquire goods. So, that’s a myth that has lasted over the years, that social scientists have worked very hard to try and debunk. Did I answer your question?

[TODD DEVOE] I think so, yeah. I mean, that’s kind of what I got of it.

[NORMA ANDERSON] Right, right. And in addition, so you were asking, how they got started and the work they did. And so, they did research on communities, how they respond. They wrote articles and books, they held conferences, they disseminated that information to municipalities, urban planners who were in entities, or in communities, who made decisions about what process would be developed to be followed during disaster. And so, that was pretty much their role. They also participated in a lot of research with foreign entities, a lot with Japan. Because you know, Japan is very earthquake-prone.

Also, the same is true in China. The same is also true in Turkey, they have a lot of earthquakes there. So, a lot of research was done with them. And then, as I mentioned a little bit earlier, not wanting to be siloed and just focused on the sociological perspectives, they wanted to work with engineers, so that buildings could be built in a way that not only are strong and will withstand disasters, but also because they want to incorporate the needs of people.

There is– I had an experience, and I don’t know if you want to include this. I went to Cuba last year, February of last year, and I had– do we have time for this?


[NORMA ANDERSON] And I had done a lot of reading about how Cuba handles disasters. And Cuba has a world-known meteorological institute, and it’s been there for years, even during the Batista regime, I think. And they have– because of where they sit, and because of the great incident of hurricanes that impact the island, they were very strategic and very proactive in being able to understand how winds would affect the island and began to prepare for that, their population for that.

I don’t know if you’ve read about the Galveston Hurricane, that killed thousands of people, many years ago. Ok, so, Cuba knew that there was going to be a severe hurricane that would impact Galveston. And they informed the United States that they needed to vacate Galveston. But they thought it was, you know, a bunch of Cubans down there, what do they know? And so, they didn’t pay attention, they didn’t take (inaudible), and so we know that thousands of people died there.

But what they do in Cuba is very organized, the way they prepare for hurricanes. And what they do– and Cuba does not have a lot of money, we all know that. But they have a low incident of deaths as a result of hurricanes. And what they do, they have– and I realize it’s a communist country, and so they do things that we cannot make people do. But understanding how they do them can inform us about some strategies, perhaps, that we can spell up. And so, what they do, they also have– the island is divided into communities for medical service.

And so, they have clinics throughout Cuba, and at those community clinics, they know everyone within their community, they know who is sick, they know who is elderly and may need help. And so, they have organized it in such a way that 72 hours before a hurricane is supposed to impact a specific area– and the buildings in Cuba are made of cinder blocks, so you don’t have to worry about them blowing out. And there are a lot of apartment structures.

And so, the 72 hours before it comes, those people who are elderly, children, people who are sick, are moved out of that area. They move to a completely different area. 48 hours before the storm is to hit, people who live in the lower levels of those buildings are either moved up to a higher level, if there is occupancy there; and if there’s not, they’re moved to a completely different area. The police are responsible for moving them, their furniture, and their pets to another area where they will be safe. And so, that is why, even all of the hurricanes they had in the Caribbean the past year, the incidence of deaths in Cuba were extremely now.

Now, what they also do, because this is organized through the government, of course. Every year they have an enactment, I think (inaudible) four to five days, where they go through the process of moving people out, practicing in preparation for hurricanes. And so, everyone gets engaged, they go through all the processes. And so, they are able to correct whatever issues may surface at that time, so that when the time comes, they’re better prepared.

And so, again, I can’t emphasize enough that they don’t have a lot of money, but they do have people who have a willingness to act, because they know what the devastation can be. They want to prevent that, so you have to be prepared. So, I think that’s a great story of what communities can do with little amount of money, but with the willpower and the willingness to be very, very effective.

[TODD DEVOE] I just read this book called “Raven Rock,” and it’s about the nuclear bomb type-stuff, and the continuity of government plans and stuff. And back in– obviously, I was born in 1970, so I don’t remember any of this. But I guess back in the 50’s and the 60’s, and even I guess, in the 70’s a little bit, they had community-wide nuclear drills, where people would go into the bunkers, you know, the shelters. And you know, I know we’re a little bit more populated in the country now than we were back then, but back then, I’m sure, as communities, we can do that again.

And if we’re practicing for that, I think the idea of what you’re saying is fantastic, and I think that’s something that as emergency managers, we should get our best practices across the globe, not just here in the United States.

[NORMA ANDERSON] Right. And you know, a lot of it is, like I said, it’s preparedness, informing a community what needs to happen. And in this country, we can’t, of course, force people to vacate. But being informed and knowing the history of what has happened during disasters, if you’re not prepared, can sometimes help persuade people who might be reticent about leaving.

[TODD DEVOE] Right. Well, Norma, we’re coming to the end here. I do have– two things. One is, if somebody wants to get a hold of you, how can they do so?

[NORMA ANDERSON] There’s the Bill Anderson Fund website, and you can reach me through that. I’m at norma@billandersonfund.org. There are also, like we mentioned before, in addition to the information about all the different disciplines that lead into hazard disaster mitigation and emergency management, there are about only seven there, and I’m sure there are more. You can find that there. But you also can look at information about what we do, you can see our list of students who are there, and the areas or the disciplines that they are involved with.

We are on Facebook, at– hold on. Actually, our Facebook can be reached through the website, if you go down to the bottom of the page there.

[TODD DEVOE] No worries. And we’ll have all this information too, links and what not to the BillAndersonFund.org page, on the show notes. And obviously, we’re on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and we’ll have this information up there as well, we’re obviously following you guys, and we’ll make sure that we will share this information with anybody who wants to get in.

Ok, so here is the toughest question of the day. What book or publication do you recommend to somebody who is interested in this line of work?

[NORMA ANDERSON] There’s one called “Facing Hazards and Disasters,” which is more of an academic sort of book, that has a number of different chapters by specialists in the field. There is also a book called, “Children of Katrina,” from Dr. Lori Peek, who is director of the Hazards Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder. And she has a number of publications in relation to disasters and marginalized people. My husband, one time, wrote an article, a paper in reference to the effects of disasters on children, because people tend to think that they just bounce back, you know, they’re just kids. But children are traumatized. And so, that became kind of a stream of study.

So, “Children of Disasters” is a very good book. There’s a book called “Hurricane Andrew” by Walter Gillis Peacock, and others. And there is– I think those are the three that I would– “Disasters by Design”, also, by Dennis Mileti, is a very good book.

[TODD DEVOE] It is a really good book. Well, thank you so much for that, and thank you for those book recommendations, that’s awesome. Ok.

[NORMA ANDERSON] Ok. Let me just also say that both Dennis Mileti and Dr. Lori Peek, are Bill Anderson Fund board members. So, there’s a disclaimer.

[TODD DEVOE] You know, Dr. Mileti is all over the place. He’s a wonderful guy, I’ve met him a few times, and yeah, anything from him is going to be good. And if he’s involved with your foundation, you know it’s well-worth the time to listen to this podcast and also to go check out their website and get involved.

So, thank you so much for being here, is there anything else that you’d like to add to the emergency managers out there that are listening?

[NORMA ANDERSON] Well, I just encourage them to continue in their outreach to younger people, to encourage them to become involved, because the disciplines– it’s a very, very rewarding work. All of my students strongly feel that they are giving back to their communities. And so, it’s a wonderful world to be involved with. And the need is increasing, not diminishing.

[TODD DEVOE] Right. Well, thank you so much for your time.

[NORMA ANDERSON] Thank you so much.


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