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The National Center for Disaster Preparedness' particular areas of interest include readiness of the health and public health systems, health workforce and citizen readiness, disaster communications, national preparedness benchmarks and the needs of special populations. In addition, the NCDP is concerned about the integration of preparedness efforts and the existing public health infrastructure.
The NCDP is an academically-based resource center dedicated to the study, analysis and enhancement of the nation's ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from major disasters, including terrorism. The NCDP has a wide-ranging research, training and education, and advocacy agenda, with a special interest in megadisasters. NCDP senior staff and faculty staff have testified at Congressional hearings, conducted briefings for senior government officials, and have presented at numerous scientific conferences and meetings.
Founded in 2003 by Irwin Redlener, MD, the NCDP engages the public health workforce and communities in preparing for catastrophic events, while helping to integrate preparedness efforts into the nation's existing infrastructure. The NCDP encompasses the CDC-funded Center for Public Health Preparedness at Columbia, which has trained over 15,000 responders in public health preparedness, incident management, and recognition and response to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction using table-top drills, exercises, and distance learning technologies.