The risk of wide-spread suffering and loss from natural and human-caused disasters is rising. Disasters disrupt every aspect of individual and community life, with especially deep-cutting and serious consequences for vulnerable populations. This course examines disasters as related to race, ethnicity, national origin, class, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, mental illness and age. Every social worker and the communities they serve will eventually be affected by a disaster. This course offers a framework to prepare future social workers for effective disaster management. It integrates current practice with this rapidly rising area of need.

The emphasis is on the social, psychological, economic, and political aspects of hazards mitigation and disaster preparedness. This course also provides an overview of social justice and economic issues relating to social workers in the area of disaster preparedness.