With mounting international concern, disastrous events of natural and human origin are escalating in frequency and magnitude. Unfortunately, many well-intentioned, but untimely and/or inappropriate, responsive efforts lead to unnecessary damage or loss of life, property and the environment. In response to the growing challenge, the World Disaster Alliance (aka “The WDA” or “The Disaster Alliance”) was created; an organization focused on assimilating knowledge and resources used in disaster and humanitarian relief, and leveraging their value and impact. We do not seek to replace the good works of any group or individual, but rather supplement and complement organizations with the very best, comprehensive, evaluated information and intelligence available.
WHO WE ARE
Founder & CEO
Dr. M. David Hansen
Dr. Hansen spearheads the organization’s extensive research and development efforts with leadership honed from more than 25 years of comprehensive management, humanitarian, non-profit, education and financial administrative experience. He is also highly regarded for his work in volunteer and human resource administration.
Mr. Stoker’s professional credentials and expertise span more than 30 years of far-reaching marketing, product and business development, research and project management. With diverse bio-medical engineering expertise and 5 US Patents on medical devices, he heads the WDA's research, technology, and innovation engineering.
Major Novak’s career has distinguished him with honor, and includes 37 years of progressive senior management experience in the military, private and government sectors. He is a top Air Force expert in command/control, emergency and disaster response, logistics, information services strategy and rapid response planning.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
“There is no more personally distressing a feeling, no more frightening a nightmare, no more energizing a passion. . . than knowing you have the capability, experience and desire to save a child’s life, stave-off a mother’s tears, or extend a grandparent’s years . . . but for the resources and allies to make that critical difference following a disaster. . .”
Dr. M David Hansen, Founder & CEO
In February 2000, the country of Mozambique was devastated by flooding caused by heavy rain, accompanied by Cyclone Eline which made landfall on the 22nd of the month. At least 700 people and 40,000 cattle died from the combined catastrophes, and more than 400,000 were left displaced or homeless; the worst disaster that the country had seen in more than a century. Our Founder, Dr. M. David Hansen, watched news reports of stranded citizens, contaminated drinking water, outbreaks of disease and undeliverable relief supplies rotting on the docks, and decided that there must be a better solution for such situations.
During approximately the same time period, Dr. Hansen was assigned to serve as a full-time “Executive-On-Loan” to the 2002 Winter Olympics Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) on behalf of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While performing his instrumental work in helping to design SLOC’s operations, human resources and volunteer strategies, Dr. Hansen realized that the same intelligent and innovative solutions could be applied to dramatically reduce wasted resources and improve responses to disaster and humanitarian efforts.
Subsequent research and exploration with colleagues revealed concerning underutilization of communication and information technologies in disaster environments; deficiencies in disaster evaluation, volunteer usage and donor responsiveness; and other topics for which Dr. Hansen believed there were incomplete or unacceptable answers.
The World Disaster Alliance (WDA) was originally created as a non-profit, voluntary association of professionals; to help answer the growing worldwide need to collect, evaluate, interpret and communicate vital information regarding disaster and humanitarian relief needs. As we have monitored and responded to more than 500 significant disasters in varying degrees, our efforts have positively impacted response practices and efficiency, and resulted in the design, prototype testing and preparation of more than forty exciting initiatives or properties which are either currently ready to launch or expand in use. Subsequently, the decision was made to re-organize the WDA as an LLC, to support product development and to offer consultation services to an expanded array of organizations. At the same time, the World Disaster Alliance Foundation, an affiliated 501(c)(3) organization, was created to continue to support our non-profit activities.
Maj. Jeffrey Novak
Dr. Matthew D. Hansen
Dr. Matt Hansen has responsibilities directing the WDA’s program and service initiatives to ensure that our efforts meet the expectations of people in need. Dr. Hansen is also our medical specialist and has private and public sector experience that enable him to work in multiple institutional settings with equal confidence
We think “globally” because we possess a worldwide comprehensive view of events-in-motion. We uniquely and aggressively confront history “before and as it occurs.” We believe that Humankind is limited only by our capacity to dream creative new ways to bring the world’s resources together to address and solve even the most complex emergencies. The WDA is committed to helping create a world where:
“We cannot allow another public and private hurricane response similar to that of 2005 and Katrina; especially as credible projections warn us of the potential challenges of greater magnitude and devastation in the future. We must recognize problems of the past, and quickly build upon a foundation of experience, knowledge and creativity. We must prepare ourselves to stand tall and united as the storms rail against us with whatever fury shall be unleashed.”
Major Jeffrey L. Novak (USAF, Ret.), WDA Founder
Millions of lives and billions of dollars will be saved through purposeful, intelligent and thoughtful actions taken today by people unafraid to ask questions and then take action to resolve difficult concerns;
Lives and property are predictably saved by informed disaster notification and response; rather than lost due to delayed notifications, incomplete and misinformation or lack of creative thought and deed;
All Mankind acknowledges our responsibility for each other’s well being and safety; enabling all humanity to command equal access to life and property saving resources;
The private and public sectors expand their cooperative humanitarian ventures to respond with the very best solutions in addressing mounting natural and human-impacted disasters worldwide;
We confidently and consistently use innovative tools and information to help ensure the right disaster resources are in the right place, at the right time, and in the hands of the right people;
Volunteers assisting in their communities worldwide serve as an important, prepared and experienced resource to respond, with the WDA’s assistance and technology, to help save lives and property; and
Disaster victims are remembered and assisted long after news media reporting priorities chang
“I really admire what you gentlemen (WDA) have accomplished. . . This is good for America. . . With this (WDA programs) you can do things while others are still debating. . . you are people of action and integrity.” Mr. H. Ross Perot, Sr., Perot Systems, Inc.
“Your unique blending of technology, volunteers and various alliances is an important step toward relieving much of the world’s suffering. . . I congratulate you for your personal initiative in these uncertain times.” Hon. Orrin G. Hatch, U.S. Senator (Utah)
“Your goal of utilizing technology, volunteers and multiple alliances to address world disaster concerns is an important one. I applaud your efforts to unify outreach and relief efforts.” Michael O. Leavitt, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
“Many thanks again for all the GREAT work done by the WDA and your staff. We are extremely proud to be associated with the organization.” Dr. R.B. Trombley, Director, Southwest Volcano Research Center, Arizona
"We are looking forward to your capable assistance in giving us a capacity for monitoring and early warning that we need. The bin Saud (Royal Saudi) family say you are the people to visit."
Minister of Emergencies, Pakistan
"Your ability to monitor and advise us in support of the Asian Tsunami was instrumental in our success in dealing with a very difficult situation."
Peter Teahan, Director, International Mass Casualties Center
“We hadn’t thought of using 9/11 technology the way you do (WDA) as an investigative tool. . . Thanks for your efforts in using technology so creatively to help us find a missing child (Elizabeth Smart).”
Special Agent, U. S. Federal Bureau of Investigation
“We need people like you seeking ways to help families who are meeting personal tragedy and have no idea that there may be science and technologies to help them at this difficult time. Thanks for stepping forward to volunteer your assistance. . .”
Summit County Sheriff's Office, Park City, Utah