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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Sociology & Criminology


Faculty & Staff

Thomas E. Drabek

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Thomas E. Drabek

John Evans Professor Emeritus
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areas of expertise/research interests

Group and organizational responses to large-scale disasters; issues in the sociology of education 

professional biography

Thomas E. Drabek, Professor Emeritus, received his PhD from Ohio State University in 1965. His primary interests include group and organizational responses to large-scale disasters and issues in the sociology of education. Among his more recent books are: Strategies for Coordinating Disaster Responses; Disaster-Induced Employee Evacuations; and Emergency Management Principles and Application for Tourism, Hospitality, and Travel Management (co-authored with C. Gee, University of Hawaii at Manoa). In August 2007, he was awarded the E.L. Quarantelli Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Theory by the International Research Committee on Disasters. In June 2008, he received the first Dr. B. Wayne Blanchard Award for Academic Excellence in Emergency Management Higher Education. His newest book is the Second Edition of The Human Side of Disaster, 2013, CRC Press: Boca Raton, Florida. "What Tourist Business Managers Must Learn from Disaster Research" was published in 2016 in Journal of Emergency Management. In October, 2010, he was the closing keynote speaker at the University of Florida Tourism Crisis Management Leadership Workshop in Gainesville, Florida. In October, 2011, he was the keynote speaker at the state emergency management conferences in Indiana and Michigan and in June, 2013 he gave the Keynote address at the Utah Healthcare Preparedness Summit. In October, 2013 he was one of the five "featured speakers" at a plenary session during the annual meeting of the International Association of Emergency Managers. He was a plenary speaker at the 2016 annual meeting of this association, where he also was featured in a "Meet the Author" session. He continues to present research summaries to emergency management professionals and their academic counterparts throughout the U.S. and elsewhere.

Following his Eulogy (March 22, 2014) for Dr. William A. Anderson (a well-known disaster researcher who had a long-term “second career” with NSF, the World Bank and the National Academy of Sciences), segments were published as an Obituary in the ASA Footnotes 42(6):21-22. His “Foreword” was published in Disaster Response and Recovery by David A. McEntire, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2015, pp. xvi-xvii. Drabek delivered the keynote address at the annual meeting of the Minnesota Emergency Managers Association in Breezy Point, MN, September 2014.  More recently he was the sole author selected to attend and host “Meet the Author” sessions during the annual meeting of the Colorado Emergency Managers Association, Centennial, CO, February 2015. In 2016, his keynote address to this association was titled: "Tornadoes, Trauma and Text Messaging: New Research on the Human Side of Disaster." His presentation to the Western Colorado Regional Emergency Management Conference was titled, “Newest Research on Human Response to Disaster,” Montrose, CO, August 2015. He was appointed to the Board of the William Averette Anderson Fund (Mission: “Expanding inclusive hazard disaster planning for communities of color”) (1 of 6 who serve on the “Distinguished Leaders Council”). In April 2016, his paper presentation at the annual meeting of the Western Social Science Association (Reno, NV) was" "New Findings in Disaster Studies: Implications for Research and Practice."


PhD   The Ohio State University, 1965
MA    The Ohio State University, 1962
BA     University of Denver, 1961