The Disaster Research Center (DRC) was established in 1963 and relocated to the University of Delaware, a nationally ranked research institution, in 1985. DRC is one of over 80 research institutes and centers housed at UD and was the first in the world devoted to the social scientific study of disasters.
What we do
The Disaster Research Center (DRC) is committed to advancing the state of the art in disaster research and its scientifically guided practice; educating the next generation of disaster science scholars and informed practitioners in the fields of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery; and creating, gathering, and disseminating disaster knowledge in a dynamic and responsive way.
Our Research Projects
DRC researchers focus on a broad range of disaster-related topics. These include impacts of natural or human-induced hazards, epidemics, and challenges associated with climate change. Delve into our portfolio of current and recently-completed projects.
This educational initiative makes academic research more accessible. Our products provide scientifically-informed guidance for practitioners, media outlets, and disaster science scholars in multiple formats. Discover our latest topics.
The E. L. Quarantelli Resource Collection is the world’s leading collection of disaster-related material. Composed of archival holdings, published material and artifacts, the collection is open to scholars and others interested in disaster-related topics.
DRC staff comprises experienced professionals dedicated to serving our diverse constituents in public service, education, and research. We welcome inquiries about collaboration, visits, and archival research, and look forward to working with you!
Supporting disaster research across UD and abroad
The Disaster Research Center has been involved in more than 700 field studies, with more than 1,000 trips to sites around the world. And it all starts here.
DRC Around the World
Discover the wide range of field studies that DRC researchers have conducted in the United States and internationally. Using our interactive map, explore 60 years of studies on disasters associated with natural and technological hazards and civil disturbances. Learn more here.
DRC in the Media
DRC researchers are renowned for their expertise on the many ways disasters intersect the social, natural, and built environment. These experts offer insight into breaking news and have been cited in major global publications. Learn what our expert have to say.
Leading the Way
The Disaster Research Center (DRC) is led by Directors Jim Kendra, professor, Biden School of Public Policy and Administration, and Tricia Wachtendorf, professor, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. DRC’s more than forty faculty, professional staff, and students are deeply committed to making scientific advances that improve the lives of people threatened by disaster. Through deep integration of interdisciplinary perspectives, the DRC team prioritizes work that places urgent social problems at the forefront, while drawing on a vast array of theories, methods, and approaches to address them.