Natural Disaster Research Sends Georgetown Emergency Management Students to Oman

Nov 26, 2018

When something as simple as heavy rains exceed expected levels, people’s lives and property can be affected, as proven by the thundershowers that swept across the Gulf region in previous weeks.

Georgetown students learned how to effectively plan and respond to severe weather conditions like heavy rains and floods, as well as other natural and technological disasters, in the recently concluded on-site residency of the university’s International Emergency and Disaster Management (IEDM) master’s degree program that took place in Oman.

Through fieldwork, guest lectures from industry experts, and site visits of places impacted by devastating tropical storms in the cities of Muscat and Salalah, the IEDM students gained practical knowledge to complement theoretical learning. The Oman residency, the second of five total residencies in the program, was attended by 21 Qatari students, as well as two from the U.S. and one from Mexico.

“It is my ambition to be able to effectively handle disastrous situations and help people in need by rebuilding telecommunication infrastructure and communication networks while managing resources efficiently,” explained Farukh Azad, an IEDM student who also works as manager of Digital Transformation at Ooredoo. “This program provided a great opportunity to achieve my professional goals, and to be prepared to serve my community and country.”

In Muscat, the students made site visits to the Public Authority for Civil Aviation and Medical Simulation Center, the body responsible for Oman’s civil aviation affairs, as well as the National Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (NMHEWS), which deals with tsunamis. In Salalah, the students took field tours of areas impacted by cyclones and attended presentations by leading officials.

The next residency for this cohort will be held in Paris and will focus on terrorism and man-made disasters. The IEDM program is designed to shape the next generation of leaders by teaching them to effectively mitigate potential threats and manage response efforts in case of an emergency. More information can be found on the university’s website:

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