Integrated Preparedness & Protection

• Planning for Catastrophes
• Public Health and Safety
• Pre-Disaster National Disaster Recovery Framework
• Warning and Evacuation
• Relocation of Populations
• Vulnerable Populations
• Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness

Applied Mitigation

• Resilience Building
• Community Based Programs
• Training
• Hazard Mitigation Joint Field Office Strategies
• Hazard Mitigation Field Operations and Outcomes
• National Program Goals and Metrics
• Mitigation Strategy Development
• Collaborative Partnership Development
• Cadre Management

Effective Response

• Joint Field Office Functioning
• Emergency Support Functions
• Rapid Assessment
• Action Learning

Sustained Recovery

• Capacity Building and Community Planning
• Long-Term Community Recovery
• Recovery Support Functions
• Individual Assistance Program
• Individual and Social Needs
• National Disaster Recovery Framework

Recent Projects

2013 Publications

Ruback, J. R., Wells, A.S., and Maguire, B. (2013). Methods of planning and response coordination. In R.A. Bissell (Ed.). Preparedness and Response for Catastrophic Disasters. Taylor and Francis Press.

Bissell, R.A. and Ruback J. R. (2013). Building the future of catastrophic preparedness and response: A call to action. In R.A. Bissell (Ed.). Preparedness and Response for Catastrophic Disasters. Taylor and Francis Press.

Waugh, W.L., and Ruback, J. (In Press). The psychology of evacuation and the design of policy. Lessons from Hurricanes Katrina. Ike and Sandy. A. Farazmand (Ed.), Handbook of Crisis and Emergency Management. 2nd Edition. Marcel Dekker Press.

Disaster Research Center 50th Anniversary

The Disaster Research Center was established in 1963 and now, fifty years later, the DRC is celebrating its continued success in research, training, and service to the disaster community. The 50th Anniversary Workshop and Celebration will bring together researchers and practitioners from throughout the history of DRC and the larger disaster science, policy, and management field in a unique opportunity to assess the state of the art and to map out future research paths.

Featured Speaker

Preparedness and Response for Catastrophic Disasters

Based on a popular course for the FEMA Higher Education project, Preparedness and Response for Catastrophic Disasters provides important insight into plans to mitigate and respond to the devastation caused by large-scale catastrophic events. Hurricane Katrina provided clear evidence that these occurrences are both qualitatively and quantitatively different from other disasters. Recent tragedies, like the 2004 South Asia tsunami, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and resulting nuclear plant meltdown in Japan further illustrate that we are not prepared for such events.

Preparedness and Response for Catastrophic Disasters (hardcover)

Prevention and Protection Support

Recovery and Training SME on a team that created key competencies and competency areas for all PPD-8 mission areas. Created a critical task list for recovery and mapped the key competencies with the core capabilities identified in the National Preparedness Goal under the Presidential Preparedness Directive -8.

Response and Recovery Support

Ruback Associates is a subcontractor in the Coordination and Planning Partners (CaPP) joint venture providing services to FEMA’s National Disaster Recovery Planning Division. In 2013, she conducted the National Mid-Course Review of the National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF).

In 2011-12, As the senior contractor for the DR-4030 field teams in Shickshinny and the Wyoming Valley, Dr. Ruback was deployed for 4.5 months working with seven communities guiding Long Term Recovery efforts for FEMA’s Community Planning and Capacity Building Recovery Support Function. Multiple levels of technical assistance provided by the Community Planning and Recovery Support Function (CPCB RSF) were provided. In the summer of 2011, Dr. Ruback was deployed in DR 1971, the horrible tornadoes that ripped through Alabama. There she supported the rollout of the National Disaster Recovery Framework as a Technical Specialist with the Resource Coordination Group. In 2010, Dr. Ruback led the CaPP team in conducting a series of focus groups in LA, ND and MS to improve the services provided by FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program. This project also validated the surveys conducted by the National Processing Service Center-Texas, which, under requirements of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), must have an independent assessment. This project linked together customer satisfaction, program awareness of important issues, and adherence to federal qualifications.

Mitigation Support

Created the research design and conducted field research (interviews, social network analysis, SWOT) to determine the best methods for understanding, documenting, and integrating information about the role and functioning of the Mitigation Advisors in the National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) for DR 4085 NY and DR 4086 NJ. Currently writing a CONOPS and SOP based on the data collected, and creating lessons learned for job aids and training.

Catastrophic Planning Support

As a general services subcontractor for ATCS PLC, Dr. Ruback is a Senior Community Planner providing support to the Professional Emergency Services Planning Contract for the New York City Regional Catastrophic Planning Project (2011-).

In 2009, Dr. Ruback co-authored a training session on New Methods of Planning for Catastrophic Disasters in the Catastrophic Readiness and Response Course for FEMA’s Higher Education Emergency Management Institute, Department of Homeland Security. The sessions covered four topics: (a) an explanation of the catastrophe disaster planning environment, (b) an examination of new and global methodologies being used, (c) an update on analytical tools and modeling, and (d) an evaluation of current planning initiatives.

Evaluation Support

Jasmin Ruback has evaluated FEMA programs and disaster operations for over a decade. Ruback Associates has developed, advised, and provided recommendations regarding evaluation tools for FEMA’s Mitigation Cadre since 2008. We provided recommendations for the evaluation of Hazard Mitigation Field Operations and have created Joint Field Office evaluation tools. In 2009, Ruback Associates conducted a preliminary field study of ESF-14 responsiveness to social needs in the Southeast Texas Post-Disaster Recovery environment by assessing the recovery operation using real-time analysis to help ESF-14 maximize their effectiveness. In 2010, Dr. Ruback analyzed the long-term impact of ESF-14 recovery services. We have provided evaluation and program transition services to local officials. We evaluated the technical publication effectiveness of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. Dr. Ruback led the evaluation of Information Transfer for Local Elected Officials in Project Impact Communities over a decade ago. Our evaluation expertise is very deep.

Biography for Jasmin R. Ruback, Ph.D.

Dr. Jasmin Ruback is the Chief Executive and lead consultant for firm specializing in the areas of disaster investigation, research, resolution, and management. Because disaster prevention, response, and recovery are complex, fast paced, and adaptive, we take an evidence-based systems approach to help communities and organizations design, align, and improve their disaster processes, programs, and outcomes. For over a decade, Dr. Ruback has consulted with FEMA on national program and training evaluations, recovery operations, community preparedness, and mitigation. She served in the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General as Technical Assistance Director for the Medical Reserve Corps, providing technical assistance to over 60 communities. Dr. Ruback has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Dr. Ruback has provided expertise to clients regarding the Government Accountability Office, Office of Management and Budget, and the Government Performance Results Act.

While serving as the first Post-Doctoral Research Fellow of the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware, she managed the multi-year evaluation of the Disaster Resistant Community Initiative: Project Impact. Dr. Ruback has authored or co-authored 10 peer-reviewed articles, 5 book chapters, 23 technical reports, and 11 government publications. Dr. Ruback received her Ph.D. in Social and Community Psychology focusing on post-disaster trauma, evacuation, and relocation. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the National Emergency Management Association, the International Association of Emergency Managers, and the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association.

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