Elaine Enarson

Dr. Elaine Enarson is an accidental disaster sociologist whose personal experience in Hurricane Andrew sparked extensive work on gender relations in disasters. She was lead course developer of FEMA’s social vulnerability course and initiated the Gender and Disaster Sourcebook project. After a teaching appointment in Manitoba at Brandon University’s Department of Applied Disaster and Emergency Studies, Elaine returned to independent work based in Colorado where she continues international consulting and teaches distance education courses to graduate students in emergency management.

Her passionate concern is to put hard-won knowledge to good use in order to anticipate, mitigate, and respond proactively to gender and other social equity issues arising across all sectors and phases of disasters and disaster management.  Toward this end, she speaks widely on gender and disaster risk reduction, and has authored several gender and disaster risk reduction training manuals and a preparedness guide for women’s grassroots organizations, and helped develop a template for grassroots women taking the lead in risk assessment and vulnerability/capacity mapping. Presently, her particular concerns are disaster-related violence, gender-responsive recovery planning, and men and masculinities in disaster contexts.

Elaine is a founding member of the global Gender and Disaster Network and founder/co-facilitator of the US Gender and Disaster Resilience Alliance. Currently developing teaching resources for a Women and Climate Change course, she is also a member of the global Gender Justice and Climate Justice (G2C2) research network. In addition to numerous journal articles, she co-edited The Gendered Terrain of Disaster: Through Women’s Eyes (1998) with Betty Hearn Morrow, and Women, Gender and Disaster: Global Issues and Initiatives (2009) with P.G. Dhar Chakrabarti. The forthcoming volume The Women of Katrina: How Gender, Race and Class Matter in an American Disaster was co-edited with Emmanuel David. Her monograph Women Confronting Natural Disaster: From Vulnerability to Resilience is written for and about women and men striving to reduce risk in unsafe environments in the United States (forthcoming 2012 from Lynne Rienner Publishers).

Elaine can be reached by email at enarsone@gmail.com.

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