Our History

Our Story

Established in 2021 under the visionary leadership of Ms. Joy Semien, The K.A.P.S. (Knowledge, Attitude, Preparedness, and Skills) Disaster Hub isn’t just a platform – it’s a dynamic force reshaping the landscape of disaster response. Ms. Semien, a trailblazing Interdisciplinary Multi-hazard Research Scientist and Community Capacity Builder, brings a unique perspective that goes beyond the scientific realm.

Her journey began in the heart of a small Southeast Louisiana community, where the echoes of chemical explosions lingered in the air, sparking Ms. Semien’s lifelong fascination with the intersection of hazards, race, and environmental justice. This passion led her to Dillard University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry in 2015. Furthering her academic pursuits, she obtained a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and Environmental Policy from Texas Southern University in 2017.

For over a decade, Ms. Semien has been an advocate for vulnerable communities, authoring impactful articles, books, and handbooks. Yet, her mission doesn’t end with research – she’s a true entrepreneur at heart. As a social entrepreneur, she created The K.A.P.S. Disaster Hub, a digital haven she envisioned to revolutionize how communities approach disasters.

Rooted in her doctoral research at Texas A&M, the hub isn’t just a platform; it’s a catalyst for Change. Imagine a space where Communication, Connection, and Collaboration seamlessly come together during the chaos of disasters. The Hub is precisely that – an intricate network linking organizations and communities, offering real-time resources, and empowering community members with crucial preparedness information.

This hub isn’t just about sharing resources; it’s a dynamic communication portal for organizations to engage with their clients. Imagine clients receiving vital information on community disaster plans, distribution sites, and events – all in one place. It’s a game-changer in disaster response.

But it doesn’t stop there because the hub opens doors for community leaders, offering them a gateway to valuable resources and personalized coaching services. What’s more, community leaders gain direct access to a dynamic team of young and innovative scientists, including GIS specialists, sociologists, meteorologists, preservationists, and data analysts, ready to lend their expertise to support community-based research initiatives.

The name “K.A.P.S.” isn’t just a title; it’s a legacy. Inspired by a groundbreaking 2017 research study led by Ms. Joy, L.E.E.D. With Joy, and Dr. Earthea Nance, the program sought to be more than theoretical. It resulted in tangible outcomes – disaster kits donated, training sessions conducted, and handbooks developed. Now, this wealth of knowledge is accessible to all on The K.A.P.S. Disaster Hub.

For a deep dive into the disaster training program, immerse yourself in the article “KAPS: A Disaster Training Approach for High-Risk Communities” (Semien, J., & Nance, E., 2019, International Journal of Mass Emergencies & Disasters, 37(3)). And for those eager to grasp the handbook, it’s just a click away: https://www.routledge.com/Hazard-Mitigation-Training-for-Vulnerable-Communities-A-KAPS-Knowledge/Semien-Nance/p/book/9781032010700.

The K.A.P.S. Disaster Hub isn’t just a platform; it’s a movement led by Ms. Joy Semien – a force of positive change ensuring that communities, especially the vulnerable, are not just prepared for disasters but empowered to thrive in the face of adversity.