President and CEO, Dr. Ishmael D. Norman

Often, schools offering Disaster Management, Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilient Leadership Studies for humanitarian interventions disconnect these from emergencies. Those offering criminology studies simply cut such academic pursuit and training from disasters and emergencies.

ISDES’ education offers the linkages between disasters and emergencies and between emergencies and crime. It challenges students to consider question: when does a terror act become simply a disaster or emergency and when does it become a crime?

The linkage, for want of a better word, between crime, disasters and emergencies is identifiable in a continuum of events whether the event is human-caused or not. For example, during Hurricane Katrina’s onslaught on New Orleans, the US National Guard was called in not as emergency first responders per se under Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, but to maintain peace and order, to stop mass looting and criminality.

Knowledge of crime and crowd control is one of the main indicators for a credible emergency preparedness plan. If the practitioner, the researcher in DRR/DRM is not exposed to the tools for crime detection, he is more likely to trample over critical evidence without knowing.

When it comes to national security considerations, many schools do not even connect DRR/DRM to National Security as a concept or in an overview to the topic. At ISDES, we would expose our students to the building blocks that combine to provide a true resilient disaster risk reduction, emergency intervention and crime suppression, detection and investigation to enhance public health for all.