1st Edition

Hazard Mitigation Training for Vulnerable Communities A K.A.P.S. (Knowledge, Attitude, Preparedness, Skills) Approach

By Joy Semien, Earthea Nance Copyright 2022
    200 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    200 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book is designed to educate vulnerable communities, emergency practitioners, and disaster researchers to increase the social and physical capacity of communities to mitigate and adapt to disaster impacts. With climate change escalating the intensity and range of disasters, we have entered an unprecedented time. The tools in this book allow researchers, practitioners, and community leaders to adopt new training techniques that are more engaging and effective, using a bottom-up framework to integrate knowledge, attitude, preparedness, and skills (K.A.P.S).

    This book is uniquely designed to support instructors, researchers, practitioners, and community leaders in their effort to promote preparedness across marginalized communities. The book contains a full range of templates, worksheets, survey questions, background information, and guidance for carrying out training; the material has been field-validated to meet research standards.

    The K.A.P.S. Framework outlined throughout the book is designed to serve as an adaptable model that national and international audiences can utilize to better prepare their communities for disasters due to hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes. As climate change continues to ravage communities, the K.A.P.S. training program will prove to be an important tool for community trainers and academics across a range of hazards and disasters.

    Part I: Disasters and Communities

    1. Disaster Education as a Form of Community Capacity Building

    2. Climate Resilience and Justice

    3. Social Construct of Vulnerability

    Part II: The K.A.P.S. Model

    4. Applying the Knowledge and Attitudes in K.A.P.S.

    Applying the K (Knowledge) in K.A.P.S.

    Applying the A (Attitude) in K.A.P.S.

    How do we teach it?

    What do we teach?

    5. Applying the Preparedness and Skills in K.A.P.S.

    Applying the P (Preparedness) in K.A.P.S.

    Applying the S (Skills) in K.A.P.S.

    How do we teach it?

    What do we teach?

    Part III: Implementing K.A.P.S.

    6. Building A K.A.P.S. Community Training

    Step 1: Community Profile

    Step 2: Stakeholder Recruitment

    Step 3: Requesting Fiscal Support

    Step 4: Designing the K.A.P.S. Curriculum

    Step 5: Participant Recruitment

    7. Implementing and Evaluating a K.A.P.S. Community Training

    Scheduling the Workshop

    The Size of the Workshop

    Obtaining Consent

    Risks and Benefits

    Workshop Flow

    Approaches to Evaluating K.A.P.S.

    Getting to Know the Data

    Preparing the Data

    Analyzing the Data

    K.A.P.S. Disaster Preparedness Index for Researchers

    K.A.P.S. Disaster Preparedness Index for Practitioners and Community Leaders

    Presenting the Data for The K.A.P.S. Disaster Preparedness Index

    Ensuring Reliability and Validity

    8. Epilogue

    Appendix A: Lesson Plans

    Appendix B: Materials to Build a K.A.P.S. Community Training

    Appendix C: Material for Implementing and Evaluating a K.A.P.S. Community Training

    Appendix D: International/national Community Preparedness Resources


    Joy Semien is an interdisciplinary multi-hazard research scientist and community capacity builder. She holds a BSc in Biology from Dillard University and an MSc in Urban Planning and Environmental Policy from Texas Southern University, where she created the K.A.P.S. Framework to train high-risk communities. Joy works as a research assistant for the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center at Texas A&M University where she is completing her doctoral degree in Urban and Regional Sciences. She has centered her doctoral research on examining the immediate impact and short-term recovery of small businesses and nonprofits that have experienced compounded events.

    Joy's research interest focuses on developing methods to uniquely bridge systemic gaps across disciplines while exploring the intersectionality of hazards, race, and social justice. Ultimately, she seeks to turn research into action to increase marginalized, multi-hazard communities’ ability to prepare, respond, and recover from disasters.

    Earthea Nance is committed to working with vulnerable communities at disproportionate risk of disasters, pollution, and inadequate infrastructure. In December 2021, she was appointed by President Biden to serve as the Regional Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6. Dr. Nance previously served as a public official for the City of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, where she managed $60 million in flood mitigation funds and established the city’s first approved plans for hazard mitigation, sustainability, and green energy. As a scholar, Earthea developed and implemented disaster training programs and conducted community-based research on the impacts of major disasters in Gulf Coast communities and in communities without access to water and sanitation in Brazil and Mozambique. As an advocate, she brought community and equity perspectives into regional disaster policy in the Houston metro area. Earthea earned a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University, and MSc and BSc degrees from the University of California-Davis. She previously taught at Texas Southern University, the University of New Orleans, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Virginia Tech.

    "As an environmental justice researcher and lifelong resident of the Gulf Coast, I have observed the devastating impacts of disasters on communities vulnerable to climate change. Climate change is one of the most pressing concerns facing world inhabitants today. More importantly, we continue to identify communities that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Understanding how best to prepare, endure, and recover from climate change impacts and hazards, such as natural and manmade disasters, is critical for these vulnerable communities. In this book, you will find guidance on the concepts needed to enhance knowledge and application of hazard mitigation training and increase the capacity and resilience of vulnerable communities to prepare and respond when needed. [The authors have] combined [their] personal and professional experiences to create the K.A.P.S. disaster training, and I am certain that community leaders, students, researchers, elected and public health officials, and vulnerable, impacted communities will benefit from the guidance provided in the book."

    Dr. Denae King, Texas Southern University