Article Index

Books Reviews

Authors
John A. Cross, John K. Schorr, Russell R. Dynes, Patricia A. Bolton, John Oliver
Issue
August 1993
Description
Environmental Management and Urban Vulnerability.\r\n\r\nInspiration: Come to the Headwaters: Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Conference of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, June 10-14\r\n\r\nKatastrophe and Katastrophenschutz: Eine Soziologische Analyse.\r\n\r\nThe First Fifteen Years: Australia\\'s Natural Disasters Organization.\r\n\r\nSocial Crises Contingencies at the Local and State Government Levels.\r\n\r\nOrganizational and Community Response to a Technological Emergency: Case Study of a Major Incident within a Metropolitan Australian City.\r\n\r\nThe Army Corps of Engineers and the Evolution of Federal Floodplain Management Policy.

Breaking Rules to Be Compassionate: The 'Skillful Means' of Buddhist Relief after the Wenchuan Earthquake Disaster

Authors
Pu Chengzhong
Issue
March 2015
Description
In the aftermath of the 2008 Great Wenchuan Earthquake, China, the ancient Buddhist Luohan Monastery became an important locus for disaster relief services. This included becoming a temporary maternity ward as the nearby hospital was badly damaged. This paper examines the monastery’s relief efforts as a case of socially engaged Buddhism. It pays particular attention to the ways in which the head monk of the monastery, Shi Suquan, negotiated tensions between responding to the desperate needs of nearby residents and long-standing religious rules and taboos which, on the surface at least, stood in opposition to certain forms of relief practices. The paper argues that he used Buddhist doctrines, particularly the Mahāyāna concept of ‘skillful means,’ to renegotiate the taboos by privileging the ethical imperative of compassionate action.

Bridging the Divide from Theory to Practice

Authors
Jim Stuart-Black, Eve Coles, Sarah Norman
Issue
November 2005
Description
Increasing exposure to hazards and their associated risks coupled with escalating political, economic, social and cultural dynamics has led to a growing demand on emergency planners across the world. Historically Emergency Planning in the United Kingdom (UK) was a second or third career option, characterized by individuals with a background based in the emergency services, military or logistics (Coles, 1998), with similar attributes seen in Emergency Planners in the New Zealand (NZ) context. The UK and NZ have similar emergency planning roles however they address training and professional development needs from differing perspectives. In light of this new environment, practitioners and academics alike are faced with the challenge of ensuring today’s emergency planners are suitably educated, skilled and equipped to face the challenges of the new working environment. Since 1995 when the first United Kingdom undergraduate degree in Disaster Management came on stream at Coventry University, a number of academic undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Disaster and Emergency Management have become ever increasingly popular to both mature students and school leavers in the UK. Similarly, in New Zealand the historical approach to ‘training’ has in recent years been adapted into a suite of professional development activities including access to tertiary level qualifications and diplomas. \r\nIs it still acceptable to consider professional development simply in terms of short course attendance or should we be focusing on more contemporary academic programs as delivered by a number of tertiary organizations? Is there a gap between the theoretical (academic) approach and that of the traditional practitioner and if there is, can we bridge the divide? The historical relationship between the researcher and the practitioner in the UK and NZ appears to have been ‘never the twain shall meet’ but is that still the case? The context for developing the emergency management profession is changing. The focus of job descriptions and person specifications has changed dramatically within the last five years begging the question, what cultural change has taken place between the practitioner and the researcher and what value is placed on evidence based practice?\r\nIn answering these questions, this paper will examine the legislative frameworks in the United Kingdom and New Zealand before identifying the respective approaches to training and professional development.\r\n

Bridging the Gap between Research and Practice: The Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center

Authors
Mary Fran Myers
Issue
March 1993
Description
Integrating the hazards research and practitioner communities is the main goal of the Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center. Founded in 1975 at the University of Colorado, the center works toward its goal with four main activities: dissemination of hazards information through publication of a bi-monthly newsletter and other forms of reports, and operation of an electronic newsletter; provision of information services through maintenance of a large library and data base on natural hazards; conduct of a modest research program; and sponsorship of an annual workshop. This paper describes these activities and shows how these activities can bridge the gap between researcher and practitioner.

Bridging the Participatory Gap: Children with Disabilities and Disaster Risk Reduction

Authors
Steve Ronoh, J.C. Gaillard and Jay Marlowe
Issue
November 2017
Description
Disaster risk reduction (DRR) needs to be inclusive. However, potentially vulnerable groups such as children with disabilities are often excluded. Their perceptions and views are overlooked due to existing structural forms of exclusion and lack of inclusive methods that enable children to effectively contribute to DRR. This paper provides an insight into understanding the complexities of DRR participation among twenty-seven children with disabilities from three case study schools in New Zealand. It explores the notion of ‘participation’ through flexible participatory tools. It involved mapping of safe and unsafe areas of their class and the school during a disaster, and proportional piling activities representing identified potential natural hazards in their region. The approach was able to accommodate and permit a sustained continuum of engagement among children with diverse disabilities, capacities and experiences. Crucially, it offers a bridge that recognizes communication as a two-way process between adults and children, where adults learn how children express their views, thus according them a voice in DRR.

Bringing Children into Focus on the Social Science Disaster Research Agenda

Authors
William A. Anderson
Issue
November 2005
Description
Significant progress has been made in the social science disaster research field since its inception several decades ago. Despite the advances in knowledge, important areas of research have been seriously understudied, including the impact of hazards and disasters on children and youths. In this paper, it is argued that such knowledge is needed to deepen our understanding of the impacts of disasters on society and to provide a firmer basis for disaster management policy and practice. It is suggested that children should be brought into clearer focus in the disaster research field through studies, particularly those of a comparative nature, that consider (1) children’s vulnerability and the outcomes they experience because of their youth, (2) actions taken by the adult society to reduce the vulnerability of children, and (3) actions children and youths undertake for themselves and others to reduce disaster impacts.

Bringing Culture Back In: Exploring the Cultural Dimensions of Disaster

Authors
Gary R. Webb, Tricia Wachtendorf, Anne Eyre
Issue
March 2000
Description
No abstract.

Building a Theory of Recovery: Institutional Dimensions

Authors
Gavin Smith and Thomas Birkland
Issue
August 2012
Description
This article discusses the institutional arrangements that influence pre-disaster planning for recovery, and, more importantly, post-disaster recovery outcomes. The importance and value of planning for disaster recovery is well known in the disaster literature, although not often practiced as well as it could be. A theory of disaster recovery must therefore account for the institutional environment referred to here as the disaster recovery assistance framework. Describing the underlying dimensions of this network will help to clarify the process of recovery, uncover ways to improve recovery outcomes, and define the factors that influence the achievement of improved outcomes. Part of the challenge will be in defining these improved outcomes, which could include increased levels of disaster resilience or achieving a more sustainable disaster recovery.

Building Disaster-Resistant Communities: Lessons Learned from Past Earthquakes in Turkey and Suggestions for the Future

Authors
Bahattin Aksit, Nuray A. Karanci
Issue
November 2000
Description
This paper presents findings from a pilot study aiming to strengthen community participation in disaster mitigation and preparedness in a province, Bursa (Turkey), which is located in the first-degree seismic zone. The study was initiated in 1998, right after the Ceyhan-Misis earthquake and a year prior to the devastating 17 August Marmara, Turkey, earthquake. Therefore, the findings will be discussed within the framework of what happened before and after the devastating earthquake in order to analyze possible effects of a major disaster on the momentum and processes of community participation efforts. The initial phase of the pilot study focused on the collection of data through in-depth and focus group interviews aiming to uncover local views on disasters, mitigation, preparedness, and multisectoral collaboration and participation. The results of the initial phase showed an eagerness for local multisectoral participation and favorable attitudes towards community participation. Earthquakes were delineated as the most threatening type of natural disasters in this initial phase. Thus, the study focused solely on earthquakes as a first area to start community involvement and to analyze mechanisms for such involvement. In the second phase of the study, an attempt was made to bring together the local state authorities, municipalities, the private sector, and the nongovernmental organizations, in order to develop an action plan for mitigation and preparedness through the involvement of the local community. This collaboration took place under the initiative of the Local Agenda 21, a local municipal initiative under the U.N. Rio Summit 1992. The most important issue identified by the local multisectoral committee was the need to increase community awareness for earthquakes and to train them on what to do before, during, and after earthquakes. Subsequently, a pamphlet and a training-of-trainers handbook were prepared, and a phase of training of trainees was undertaken. The program had very little momentum due to mainly the hesitancy of the actors from different sectors in forming alliances and due to the purely voluntary nature of the work. There were also problems related to the lack of funding for the project. As the study came to its second year, with a further loss of momentum due to local elections and change of the initial municipality, the August 1999 Marmara earthquake occurred. This very devastating earthquake produced a significant momentum for the community participation initiative in Bursa which was considerably slow to develop. The occurrence of a major disaster while a community participation project was underway provided us with valuable insights on what was hindering the project. It was basically the lack of fear/anxiety, lack of acceptance of risks, lack of local ownership, and the lack of an awareness of possible consequences of such a disaster. The Marmara earthquake of August 1999 demonstrated that there were significant shortcomings in earthquake mitigation and preparedness measures. Due to the extensive damage and the fact that the quake affected a very large area, the response of the government in the immediate postdisaster phase was slow and uncoordinated. However, the Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) were rapid in their responses, and numerous NGOs were involved in the recue phase and thereafter. Unfortunately, the NGOs were also not prepared for such a disaster, and thus their efforts were not coordinated. This recent earthquake once again pointed out the necessity of increasing community involvement in disaster management and creating collaborative alliances among local governmental bodies, municipality, the private sector, and the NGOs. Due to very extensive media coverage of the Marmara earthquake, the majority of people in Turkey watched the consequences from the TV and got sensitized to the damage and losses. Furthermore, the popular cultural view broadcasted through the interviews with survivors was that “you cannot trust and rely on external aid. You have to rely on your own resources.” The progress in the Bursa study will be discussed within the framework of the impacts of the Marmara earthquake. The strengths and the weaknesses of the present disaster management system in Turkey and the mechanisms uncovered in the Bursa study will be presented together with implications and suggestions for the future.

Call-to-Action Statements in Tornado Warnings: Do They Reflect Recent Developments in Tornado- Safety Research?

Authors
John E. Farley
Issue
March 2007
Description
Call-to-action statements in tornado warnings are content analyzed to determine to what extent their wordings has been influenced by recent research calling into question official safety guidelines and traditional advice regarding vehicles and mobile homes. While the statements do not directly contradict official guidelines and advice, there is significant variation among NWS offices regarding what advice is given and what guidelines are emphasized in call-to-action statements in tornado warnings. Some of this variation is regional, and interviews with NWS meteorologists reveal a frequent opinion that what is best to do if in a vehicle during a tornado warning may vary by region, time of day, and terrain. The interviews also reveal widespread awareness among NWS meteorologists of debates over tornado safety in vehicles and mobile homes, and strong support for local office autonomy in decisions about the wording of call-to-action statements.