The Disaster Project


The Disaster Project 300x300

Welcome to The Disaster Project, the podcast that explores the world of disaster medicine, management, response, and preparation. Each episode, we interview professionals from a variety of backgrounds and fields to provide our listeners with a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to handle emergencies and disasters.

Our guests come from a range of disciplines, including emergency responders, healthcare providers, disaster management experts, and government officials. They share their knowledge, experience, and insights on topics such as natural disasters, pandemics, terrorism, and technological disasters.

Through their stories and expertise, we aim to educate our listeners on the challenges and successes of disaster response and recovery efforts. We also explore the latest research, technologies, and best practices in the field, offering valuable insights to professionals and laypeople alike.

Whether you are a first responder, healthcare worker, government official, or simply interested in disaster management, The Disaster Project has something for you. Join us as we delve into the world of disaster medicine and management, and discover the skills and knowledge necessary to prepare, respond, and recover from emergencies and disasters.


Introduction - April 30, 2023

This episode introduces the fascinating world of disaster medicine, response, and management, explains why it is so important to the safety of our society, and provides a brief overview of some of the topics that we will be diving into over the course of this podcast.

What is a Disaster - May 1, 2023

During this episode we talk with Dr. James Phillips to get a better understanding about what a disaster really is and what the field of disaster medicine is all about.

Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) - May 1, 2023

Today we talk with the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Dawn O’Connell, about The Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR), and its role in disaster preparedness and response for the United States. Along the way, learn more about being a woman in the disaster field.

Earthquakes - May 1, 2023

For this episode spoke with Dr. Chris Goldfinger from Oregon State University about earthquakes. Specifically the impending Cascadia subduction zone earthquake. We discuss how an earthquake in the Pacific Northwest could compare to the recent earthquakes in Syria and Turkey as well as the 2011 earthquake in Japan. Listen for tips and preparedness recommendations for improving your safety in case of an earthquake.

Immunizations and Disasters - May 21, 2023

When you think about disasters, do you think about immunizations? Well, maybe you should! Today we talked with Dr. Steven Cochi, a pediatrician by training who spent a career devoted to the eradication of immune preventable infectious disease at the CDC. Let’s connect the dots and learn about the importance of vaccinations in disaster situations.

Innovations in Biosurveillance - June 14, 2023

Dr. Dan Hanfling, an emergency department physician and vice president on the technical staff at a company called In-Q-Tel (Home - In-Q-Tel ( will talk to us about biosurveillance. We will not only learn what biosurveillance is, but also about how promising new advances in bio surveillance can be used in disaster preparedness and response.Interested in delving deeper into the world of biosurveillance? The below links are referenced in this episode. Take a look! Digital Health Roundtable Capabilities Required for Pandemic Response Identifying, Collecting and Analyzing Actionable Intelligence in an Outbreak Event

Wildland Fire - September 14, 2023

Despite the numerous recent fires that have gained public media attention, this year has been a less active fire season than we have seen in the last few years. While there are many factors that may have contributed to this, not the least of which may be the heavy snowfall in California over the winter, it is important to note that based on historical data the trend is towards more intense fire seasons during the summer and early fall months. For this reason, we chose to focus our September episode on wildland fire. During this episode we talk with Adam Mendonca, who is the Branch Chief for Strategic Fire Risk Reduction for the US Forest Service and has had years of experience directly fighting wildland fires and, more recently, managing the response to fires throughout the United States. This episode discusses not only how a fire response takes place, but also what you can do to help reduce the impact that wildfire could have on yourself, your family, and your property. Enjoy!Wildland Fire Resources:Wildfire Risk Assessment: : A great place to start assessing your wildfire risk and identifying how to reduce it. Homeowner Resources: Fire Prevention Tips:

Urban Search and Rescue - October 14, 2023

On this episode of The Disaster Project, we have the opportunity to talk about the ins and outs of urban search and rescue, or USAR, with Dr. Anthony Macintye. Dr. Macintyre is an emergency medicine physician, FEMA employee, and the medical director for Fairfax County’s Virginia 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team—one of only 2 US-based urban search and rescue teams that deploy to international disasters. This is a team of physicians, paramedics, engineers, firefighters, and even special dogs who are trained to identify the locations of trapped victims and aid in rescue efforts. During this episode, Dr. Macintyre will walk us through what USAR is, what it does, and what a response is like.