The PREPARED Center for Emergency Response Research was established a decade ago at Ben-Gurion University in order to conduct cutting-edge research in a broad spectrum of emergency and disaster situations, aiming to promote and advance integrated and effective evidence based emergency response.
Ongoing academic and field activities implemented by the Center are based on multicultural, multi-sector and multidisciplinary knowledge, communication and collaboration. The Center promotes research, teaching and training in the fields of disaster and emergency preparedness and response, community resiliency, risk communication, and serves as a knowledge and consultation hub, both locally and internationally.
Professional evidence-based data and recommendations for leaders & policy makers responsible for developing and implementing emergency management plans. Furthemore, our research team includes people with vast academic and practical experience in the behavioral aspects of disaster stricken populations or those under ongoing security threat. We have the experience and tools to lead large projects involving both populations and systems in crisis situations and have developed indicators that reflect the situation as well as the effectiveness of training and intervention.
Preparing health services to emergency situations has been on the Israeli agenda for decades, due to extensive experience in management of Mass Casualties Events and sudden unexpected surge in demand for medical care. As a result, Israel has mastered mechanisms for collaboration and communication between the healthcare system and the security arena, for stockpile management, handling volunteers, optimizing debriefing and quick implementation of lessons learnt. Various mechanisms for cross-border collaboration and interoperability of medical services in a disaster have been developed. This experience can be adopted to tailor solutions and approaches for other challenges including unusual biological events.
Assessing Community Resilience to disasters. The PREPARED Center lead a multidisciplinary group of researchers in the development of a standard instrument for the assessment of community resilience – CCRAM. It has been translated to more than ten languages, published in peer reviewed journals and is utilized widely.
Personal Resilience to Disasters Measuring and enhancing personal resilience in the face of disasters and ongoing threats is yet another focal point for us. We deal with the assessment of PTSD in people exposed to continuous threat, the secondary traumatization of emergency responders and more. A recent study explores the relationship between imagination, creativity and PTSD.
Social Media in Disasters. The PREPARED Center conducts research on the use of social media in disasters. The field is being explored for variable utilization of the media - by Emergency Responders, by local municipalities, by central authorities and by the general public, for bi-directional communication in emergencies.
Populations with disabilites and special needs in emergency situations are also at the core of our research. Deaf populations, and recently, the use of GIS for accessing special needs populations after a mass disaster.
Prof. Limor Aharonson-Daniel
School of Public Health
Faculty of Health Sciences