On the Videocast of University of Applied Research & Development Emergency Response & Risk Management, David Capelli and Carla May were interviewed. Carla is the head of research and Co-founder of SmartCohort. David is a Co-founder of SmartCohort as well, chairman at Millennial Board Policy and currently working as a field researcher and handling capacity building activities concerning ERRM. David and Carla shared thoughts about their role and experience as ERRM researchers and explained their nature of work.
David and Carla’s work revolves around the management of natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, fires, etc. Carla talks about their current experience of the Covid-19 pandemic in Honolulu where fortunately the mortality rate is quite low. Although the situation is still causing chaos all around and non-profit organizations that play a huge role in such disasters are having difficulties with the delivery of funds. These are the reasons that lay foundations of organizations such as SmartCohort that establish an understanding between the government, the people, and private sectors during such disasters. On the subject of resilience strategies against disasters, David discussed how every step people take makes a huge impact on the recovery of the state after the disaster. This includes firstly how much safety precautions are taken and how quickly as well as efficiently do we respond to disasters. Making the right actions not only affect the impact of the disaster but also affects how early we recover from the damage that has been made. Carla highlighted the irresponsibility of the government and emergency response organizations in some cases where there is a lack of understanding between parties.
Experience of the Pandemic
All of the research work involves the execution of best practices and solutions to tackle situations like the current pandemic. Carla described the Covid-19 pandemic as much different and hard to face in comparison with other natural disasters. Basically because of the spread of the virus and the huge role that emergency response operations play makes a powerful impact on the state and its economy. Arranging food, shelter, and medical support for the poor given the limited number of resources requires strategic planning and proper risk assessment.
Future of Work
Handling future disasters would be a different experience because of all that the world has gone through in this pandemic, there is still a long way before the recovery process starts. Carla stated that these ERRM organizations have analyzed a lot of statistic data in this period and that would be handy for them in responding to disasters in the future. However, currently, we need to focus more on implementing best practices and solutions than focusing on the collection of data. An important thing that was learned through this pandemic, according to David, was that funds help these organizations in tackling such crisis but overall, it’s the actions of the small communities that make a big difference. These actions include raising awareness and collaborating to implement best practices. Carla stated that the most effective method of making people comply with the authorities in taking safety measures is by not giving them the fear of debt. People will not co-operate if they believe that staying at home is going to increase the financial burden on them.
Advice to Students
In response to the question of how students can step up into this field, David advised that students should reach out in making relations with professionals associated with Emergency Response & Risk Management. Finding new opportunities to learn and understanding the training of emergency response would be advantageous for students. As for Carla, she believes that volunteering just might be the answer to getting into ERRM work. There are a number of qualities one can acquire before making a career in this field and good communication skills is definitely one of them. However, the main motive should be to contribute something and to make a difference in the world.
Watch the interview on our Youtube channel:
-crisis management and communications
-communication in disaster management
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