STEP 1: Read the following article to further familiarize yourself with the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

Rodriguez, H., Wachtendorf, T., Kendra, J., & Trainor, J. (2006). A snapshot of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami: societal impacts and consequences. Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal15(1), 163-177.

STEP 2: Answer the following questions based on this article and the lesson:

  1. Why should social scientists study the Indian Ocean Tsunami?
  2. What is the value of doing research on disasters cross-culturally?
  3. Introducing “risk reduction” measures into communities post-disaster is an important feature of “disaster recovery.” What do Rodriguez et al. (2006) have to say about “prior knowledge of a disaster,” and why does that matter in the case of Sri Lanka’s recovery from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami?
  4. How does a community’s economic position help to determine their vulnerability to a disaster?
  5. What does gender have to do with disaster vulnerability?

STEP 3: Apply & analyze what you know

During the lesson, you were urged to brainstorm ways in which your community may be more or less vulnerable to a disaster.

On a separate sheet of paper write a definition for your “community.” Then, list some ways that your community may be vulnerable to a disaster. Describe how this vulnerability may influence your community’s ability to recover from a disaster. After you’ve written down notes on these three things – participate in the following group discussion:

In groups of 3 – 4, discuss your writing with your classmates. Compare and contrast your definitions of community. Compare how you’ve defined and described potential vulnerability, and how disaster “recovery” may look for your community. Discuss how and why your responses to these questions may be different from or similar too your classmates and explain how that is linked to the necessity to do research on disasters cross-culturally (or, across many different types of communities).

GRADING RUBRIC:This is a flexible assignment that can be graded in a number of ways. Instructors may choose to grade for reading comprehension (step 2), and may also choose to grade students on the depth and thoughtfulness of their attempts to apply their knowledge to their own communities (step 3). Additionally, instructors may choose to grade students on their efforts to thoughtfully reflect upon the comparisons between their own answers to the prompts in step 3 and that of their classmates during the group activity. This group activity can be easily done via online discussion boards if used for an online class.