Article Index

The Response of Local Residents to a Chemical Hazard Warning: Prediction of Behavioral Intentions in Greece, France, and the Netherlands

Authors
Egli Komilis, Bernard Cadet, Henk Boer, Jan M. Gutteling, Oene Wiegman
Issue
November 1992
Description
In this study Greek, French, and Dutch residents of a hazardous chemical complex were confronted with a simulated warning scenario for an industrial accident and intended functional and dysfunctional behaviors were measured. Intended functional behaviors were poorly predicted by our model, while dysfunctional behavioral intentions could be predicted rather well. Consequences for hazard communication in the European Community are discussed.

The Role of EOCs in Emergency Management: A Comparison of American and Canadian Experience

Authors
Joseph Scanlon
Issue
March 1994
Description
The literature on emergency management is full of praise for Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) yet it contains little of actual description of EOCs in operation. When Henry Quarantelli (1978) examined actual EOCs, he, too, found them valuable. But he also identified problems: the EOC is in the impact area forcing it to relocate when disaster strikes; access to the EOC is so badly controlled it becomes cramped and crowded, which may lead to decisions being made by a small group separately; membership changes constantly making it difficult to establish continuity in decision making; it isn’t clear, at many incidents, who is managing the EOC itself. Finally, when an EOC is established, it does not necessarily work as a unit. Quarantelli was using American research. This article uses 19 Canadian incidents to see whether disaster experience in another country would support Quarantelli. The article reports precisely the same problems. It also reports – as did Quarantelli – that EOCs are effective. Finally, it says their use in Canada is growing.

The Role of the Built Environment in the Recovery of Cities and Communities from Extreme Events

Authors
Daniel J. Alesch and William Siembieda
Issue
August 2012
Description
This article contributes to the development of a theory of recovery of a city from a disaster generated by an extreme event. It focuses on the functions performed by the built environment in an urban system and the recovery of that system. The city is viewed as a complex, self-organizing system. A disaster results when the parts of the system are damaged to an extent that they are unable to perform their respective functions effectively and the relationships among those parts are disrupted. Recovery occurs as the parts of the system regain their functions and as critical relationships among the parts are restored based on the new conditions created by the extreme event. Rebuilding or restoring the built environment is necessary but only rarely sufficient for system recovery. Recovery processes are perhaps best depicted in terms of agent-based models.

The Role of the For-Profit Private Sector in Disaster Mitigation and Response

Authors
George Horwich
Issue
August 1993
Description
In an era in which free-market capitalism has been showered with more accolades than anyone ever expected it to receive, it seems especially timely to reassess economic sectors traditionally regarded as the preserve of nonprofit or governmental supply and off-limits to for-profit private activity. Of particular interest in this regard is the whole area of disaster mitigation and response, which, in the United States, at least, is experience an explosion of for-profit private-sector initiatives. I will survey and analyze some of these developments and offer some suggestions for policies to promote the role of private enterprise in both disaster anticipation and recovery.

The Role of the State in Building Local Capacity and Commitment for Hazard Mitigation Planning

Authors
Gavin Smith, Ward Lyles and Philip Berke
Issue
August 2013
Description
State governments play an important, but little understood, role in hazard mitigation through the use of a number of capacity building initiatives intended to assist communities develop hazard mitigation plans and policies. The passage of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 more than 10 years ago provides a baseline from which to assess the degree to which states have developed and applied the tools, funding mechanisms, programs, and policies to help communities achieve this important objective. In this article, several state-level measures are analyzed and discussed relative to the degree to which they facilitate an enhanced local capacity to engage in hazard mitigation activities, including planning. The measures include: state hazard mitigation staffing; state hazard mitigation funding, policies, and programs; state cost-sharing of hazard mitigation programs; and state delivery of hazard mitigation technical assistance. The findings suggest that states maintain a wide variation in state capacity and commitment to support local hazard mitigation activities, including that which is influenced by disaster-based funding. They also tend to emphasize building local governments’ capacities to gain access to project funding rather than focusing on helping them identify and establish a comprehensive, proactive, and sustained risk reduction strategy grounded in land use policy. In addition, state land use policies are not well integrated into state hazard mitigation plans and capacity building initiatives. Finally, state mitigation officials believe that most local governments do not possess the capacity or commitment necessary to develop sound hazard mitigation plans or administer hazard mitigation grants.

"The Rubble's Standing Up" In Oroville, California: The Politics of Building Safety

Authors
Robert A. Olson, Richard Stuart Olson
Issue
August 1993
Description
Disaster researchers have long been aware that the political context of mitigation and preparedness measures has a formidable impact on their initiation, adoption, implementation. Yet most discussion and reporting of the political aspects of disasters have remained anecdotal, and few scholars have attempted to incorporate systematically political forces into social science models applied to disaster phenomena. This paper represents an explicit attempt to describe and explain the impact of politics on the public policy debate over structural safety in Oroville, California, following a damaging 1975 earthquake.

The Safe Operation of Nuclear Plants: Implementing Federal Policy in the Aftermath of Three Mile Island

Authors
Richard F. Elmore
Issue
March 1984
Description
The safe operation of nuclear power plants represents an important class of problems in the implementation of regulatory policy. These problems are characterized by a low tolerance for terror, high organizational and technical complexity, and highly visible, costly outcomes. The key to designing policies that address these problems is not to predict and regulate every possible source of error, but to design incentives such that organizations create their own error-detecting and solving systems. The current policy toward nuclear plant safety stresses technical and regulatory solutions at the expense of financial incentives that would induce utilities and plant personnel to engage in safe operation.

The Significance of the Gender Division of Labor in Assessing Disaster Impacts: A Case Study of Hurricane Mitch and Hillside Farmers in Honduras

Authors
Michael Paolisso, Amanda Ritchie and Aleyda Ramirez,
Issue
August 2002
Description
To date, most disaster study and practice have not explicitly considered the different roles, needs, and experiences of women and men in response to disasters. Disaster research that does incorporate gender analysis often concludes that the needs, experiences, and contributions of men and women in disaster situations are distinct. In this paper, we present a case study analysis of the agricultural and domestic impacts of Hurricane Mitch among rural, hillside farmers in Honduras, disaggregated by gender. Our research incorporates empirical data from 68 households and reveals that men and women reported similar physical impacts, but that they evaluated these impacts differently depending on where the impact fell within the gender division of labor. Our main conclusion is that impact evaluation and disaster policy must include a consideration of disaster impacts as they are filtered through the actual and normative gender division of labor, in order to determine the degree of priority or severity assigned to impacts.

The Social Organization of Search and Rescue: Evidence From the Guadalajara Gasoline Explosion

Authors
Dennis Wenger, Thomas A. Glass, Marcelino Diaz-Murillo, Gabriela Vigo, Benigno Aguirre
Issue
March 1995
Description
The Guadalajara gasoline explosion of 22 April, 1992, is examined to show the importance of social organization in search and rescue activities. Interviews were conducted with forty three victims that had been buried alive by the explosion and twenty two volunteers who had participated in the direct rescue phase. They reported on their own experiences during SAR and those of victims and rescuers near them. Most of the people that were rescued alive were rescued by these volunteers. Volunteers’ social identities in peer groups, extended families, the neighborhood, the Catholic Church structured their search and rescue activities. Chances of people surviving the blast were directly proportional to the presence among the searchers of a person or persons who cared for the victim and who knew the victim’s likely location. The behavior of the victims was marked by the continuation of preexisting motivational, normative, and value orientations. Victims acted cooperatively during entrapment. Most of the living victims were rescued during the first two hours of the explosion.

The Social Status of War Widows

Authors
Lea Shamgar-Handelman
Issue
August 1983
Description
The paper deals with changes int he place of families in society due to the long term effect of disaster on the family. It draws on interviews with Israeli war widows, faced with erosion in the status formerly accorded them through their late husband.\r\n\r\nThree alternative methods used by the widows to create a substitute status to halt this decline are described. None of them succeeded in preventing erosion in the status of the widow and her family. Over time, the place of the family within the various social groups and categories to which it had belonged was lost, due to the weakened position of the widow in her social network.\r\n\r\nThe centrifugal process which pushes families affected by disaster to the margin of society, creates vacancies in different social groups and categories throughout society. Quantitatively large changes of this sort might result in significant qualitative changes in the composition of those groups and categories.