Article Index

The Effects of Disaster Damage and Housing Aid on Household Recovery Following the 1976 Guatemalan Earthquake

Authors
Charles D. Killian, Frederick L. Bates, Walter Gillis Peacock
Issue
March 1987
Description
This paper examines the effects of housing programs, disaster damage, community type, and other social determinants on household recovery following a major natural disaster--the 1976 Guatemalan earthquake. The domestic assets index, a measure of household living conditions, and a refined measure of household recovery are introduced and employed. The domestic assets scale is an index of the economic value of household equipment and is an adaptation of level of living scales. While reconstruction aid was the single most important determinant of recovery, it was the type and not the value of aid that was critical. Strong support exists for the conclusion that temporary housing as a form of aid retarded the recovery process while permanent housing programs actually produced net improvement in living conditions. There is also evidence that the unequal effects of different types of housing programs produced significant changes in the distribution of economic resources, thus effecting the stratification system in affected communities. In addition, while other factors associated with the social characteristics of household were found to be important, this analysis consistently suggests that households residing in small, rural, and politically removed communities experienced greater difficulty in overcoming the debilitating effects of a natural disaster.

The Effects of Ethnicity on Evacuation Decision-Making

Authors
Michael K. Lindell, Ronald W. Perry
Issue
March 1991
Description
This paper develops a single stage theoretical model that examines the impact of citizen ethnicity on evacuation warning compliance. Three ethnic groups are examined: blacks, whites, and Mexican-Americans. Other independent variables in the model include risk perception, possession of an adaptive plan, warning content, warning confirmation, income, and warning source credibility. The model is tested on data from a flood and a hazardous materials incident. In both events, it was found that respondent ethnicity and income had small and statistically nonsignificant effects upon warning compliance. Perceived risk was the best predictor of compliance in each data set. Ethnic group differences were detected in terms of the specific sources identified as most credible and in terms of the first source contacted for warning confirmation.

The Effects of Newspaper Reports on the Public's Response to a Natural Hazard Event

Authors
J. William Spencer, Shirley Laska, Elizabeth Triche, Ruth Seydlitz
Issue
March 1991
Description
The literature on environmental hazards suggests that media reports constitute a major source of information upon which people base their responses. However, the effect of media reports on responses is neither direct nor simple. Variables such as prior experience, the responses of others, selectivity in attention, and various characteristics of the content of media reports interact to influence responses. On the basis of the extant literature on media and hazards, we construct a model of the effect of media reports on the public\\'s response to a natural hazard event.

The Effects of Personal Network and Local Community Contexts on the Receipt of Formal Aid during Disaster Recovery

Authors
Valerie A. Haines, Jeanne S. Hurlbert, John J. Beggs
Issue
March 1996
Description
Studies of the response of individuals to disasters have relied primarily upon individual factors for explanation. Using data collected in telephone interviews with 594 residents of southwestern Louisiana, we examine the effects of local community and personal network contexts, as well as individual factors on individuals’ use of aid from formal organizations. We find that our measures of personal network context significantly affect five of our seven measures of the utilization of formal aid, and that network form affects these outcomes more consistently than network composition does. These effects are generally consistent with our predictions. We also find significant effects of our measure of local community context, the level of owner-occupancy has a positive effect on three of our measures of formal aid. Based upon these findings we conclude that contextual factors exert important effects on individuals’ use of formal aid. We suggest that studies of the provision of aid to individuals by organizations should be supplemented with more detailed studies of the effects of personal network and local community contexts on individual’ receipt of specific sources of aid from formal organizations.

The Evolution of Crises: Crisis Precursors

Authors
Danny Miller, Anil Miglani, Paul Shrivastava
Issue
November 1991
Description
Industrial crises, or organizationally based technological disasters that cause major harm to human life and/or the natural environment, may be triggered by industrial accidents, environmental pollution incidents, product injuries, or occupational hazards. While past explanations of crisis causes focusing on technological, organizational and interorganizational failures; as well as simultaneous failures of technological, organizational and societal systems provide us with a good understanding of immediate causes of events that trigger crises, the authors point out that we still lack an understanding of how preconditions for crises arise. Arguing that the precursor conditions of industrial crises are rooted in the historical development of organizations and interactions between organizations and their environments, the authors attempt to determine why these precursors arise. Using an analysis of data on the Bhopal and the Three Mile Island crises, they trace the evolution of crisis precursor conditions, and present the patterns and logics of change in organizational and environmental variables observed in the two cases studied.

The Experience, Lesson and Reform of China's Disaster Management

Authors
Song Gang, Lu Jingshen, Du Gangjian
Issue
August 1992
Description
In the context employed here, disaster management refers to the administrative measures, principles, and policies enforced by governments, armed forces, enterprises, and social groups in the course of disaster prevention, relief and reconstruction.

The Family as a Life-Saver in Disaster

Authors
Christine Clason
Issue
March 1983
Description
In discussing the subject of \\"Family and Disaster\\" the implicit assumption is that the family is the \\'instrument\\' which supports the existing, societal organization and therefore the most common approach is to consider how families cope with disaster. There is confusion as to whether one is speaking about the family on an institutional level or about family units. In this paper we have tried to answer two questions: are individuals better able to cope with disaster on a large scale when living in families(units); does the individualized conjugal family unit with clear-cut divisions of labour and roles offer better chances than other family types?\r\n\r\nTo explore these questions we used the situation in Japanese camps for civilians during World War II. We reach the conclusion that it is not living in family units which gives a better chance of survival, but the ability to engage in a caring relation with other(s). The ability to adapt to changing situations, without losing one\\'s self control and a \\'fighting\\' spirit seem to be very important in order to survive. The conjugal family type prepares women much better in all respects than men.

The Federal Emergency Management System in the United States: Past and Present

Authors
Gary A. Kreps
Issue
November 1990
Description
The paper begins by providing a historical overview of wartime and peacetime emergency preparedness in the United States in terms of major historical trends and unresolved issues which preceded the establishment of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 1979. With the unresolved issues serving as a historical backdrop, FEMA\\'s contemporary role in the federal emergency management system is then examined to see what progress toward their resolution is being achieved. The paper closes with a brief comment on what the historical evolution of federal emergency management in the United States suggests about what can and cannot be accomplished.

The First “A” Alert of the Parkfield Earthquake Prediction Experiment: A Description of Organizational Response

Authors
Colleen Fitzpatrick
Issue
August 1994
Description
The Parkfield Earthquake Prediction Experiment has been ongoing effort since the mid-1980s. As the first earthquake prediction officially endorsed by the National and California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Councils it has received considerable attention from earth scientists, social scientists, emergency services officials and members of the news media. One outcome of this experiment has been the development of a concerted effort to inform residents in the area of risk about their earthquake vulnerability and about what can be done to lessen the impacts of earthquakes. Involved in this effort has been the development of a comprehensive alert notification system for detecting changes in the risk and communicating those changes to emergency officials and citizens throughout the area. In October, 1992, when precursor anomalies indicated that the Parkfield earthquake might be imminent, the U.S. Geological Survey issued the first A-level alert of the Parkfield experiment. This paper depicts organizational response to this unique alert situation. Results from this case study suggest that while the alert was taken seriously by emergency and life-support organizations, it amounted to little more than an unannounced drill.

The General Trend of Sociobehavioral Disaster Studies in Japan

Authors
Hirotada Hirose, Keizo Okabe
Issue
March 1985
Description
In this article we very briefly review the history of sociobehavioral disaster research in Japan which is mostly a post 1970 undertaking. Examples of recent major studies are given. While the work has been relatively limited so far, the future appears promising.