The K.A.P.S. Disaster Hub, was established in 2021 by Ms. Joy Semien as a subsidiary of L.E.E.D. With Joy LLC. Ms. Semien interest in disaster research peaked at an early age living in a small rural community in Southeast, Louisiana. As a child she witnessed chemical explosions and regularly breathed in chemicals that were released from neighboring chemical plants. She watched and listened to the stories of family members who had suffered from cancer and other health disparities as a direct result of chemical exposure. Witnessing her family and community ravaged by man-made and natural disasters gave her a desire to understand these detrimental impacts and seek ways in which we can Listen, Engage, Empower, and Drive Change (L.E.E.D. ) in marginalized communities.
Today Ms. Semien is an Interdisciplinary Multi-hazard Research Scientist and Community Capacity Builder who currently studies as a Doctoral Candidate at Texas A & M University. Her degree is in Urban and Regional Science with a Hazard Reduction and Recovery focus. While doing her dissertation research Joy found that during a disaster organizations like businesses and nonprofits often struggle with three key areas (1) Communication, (2) Connection, and (3) Collaboration. Seeing this disconnect Ms. Semien decided that it was time to bring these three things together under one platform The K.A.P.S. Disaster Hub. This digital networking platform uses a novel approach to link organizations to communities and communities to organizations. The Hub provides community members with critical preparedness information and real-time availability of resources. The Hub also provides a platform for organizations to connect to other organizations with like interest, share and send supplies/resources, and track inventories all from one place.
The K.A.P.S. Disaster Hub received its name from a 2017 research study entitled Knowledge, Attitude Preparedness, and Skills (K.A.P.S.) is a Disaster Training Approach for Marginalized Communities. The study was performed by Ms. Joy, L.E.E.D. With Joy and Dr. Earthea Nance, Professor at Texas Southern University who developed and implemented a disaster preparedness training program for residents living in marginalized communities. As a result of the research, the team donated disaster kits, hosted preparedness trainings, and developed a handbook for those working in marginalized communities. The results of the study was published in the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters. Much of that research can be found right here on the HUB where people from all socio-demographic groups can access essential unbiased preparedness information.
You can read more about the disaster training program in this article: Semien, J., & Nance, E. (2019). KAPS: A Disaster Training Approach for High-Risk Communities. International Journal of Mass Emergencies & Disasters, 37(3) or purchase the handbook here: https://www.routledge.com/Hazard-Mitigation-Training-for-Vulnerable-Communities-A-KAPS-Knowledge/Semien-Nance/p/book/9781032010700