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Sally Carlton, Colleen E Mills
This paper seeks to contribute to understanding of the factors associated with an effective emergent emergency response organisation and to provide new insights into this understudied area. It examines, through an analysis of a range of textual resources, the emergence and re-emergence of the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) during the devastating earthquakes in Canterbury, New Zealand, in 2010-11. This evaluation is conducted in relation to the four key features of an effective emergency response organisation: adaptability; direction; leadership; and communication...
January 17, 2017: Disasters
Jiří Pánek, Lukáš Marek, Vít Pászto, Jaroslav Valůch
Crisis mapping is a legitimate component of both crisis informatics and disaster risk management. It has become an effective tool for humanitarian workers, especially after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Ushahidi is among the many mapping platforms on offer in the growing field of crisis mapping, and involves the application of crowdsourcing to create online and interactive maps of areas in turmoil. This paper presents the Crisis Map of the Czech Republic, which is the first such instrument to be deployed nationwide in Central Europe...
January 6, 2017: Disasters
Cécile L'Hermitte, Benjamin Brooks, Marcus Bowles, Peter H Tatham
This study investigates the strategic antecedents of operational agility in humanitarian logistics. It began by identifying the particular actions to be taken at the strategic level of a humanitarian organisation to support field-level agility. Next, quantitative data (n=59) were collected on four strategic-level capabilities (being purposeful, action-focused, collaborative, and learning-oriented) and on operational agility (field responsiveness and flexibility). Using a quantitative analysis, the study tested the relationship between organisational capacity building and operational agility and found that the four strategic-level capabilities are fundamental building blocks of agility...
December 16, 2016: Disasters
Maartje Pronk, Harro Maat, Todd A Crane
Vulnerability assessments are a cornerstone of contemporary disaster research. This paper shows how research procedures and the presentation of results of vulnerability assessments are politically filtered. Using data from a study of tsunami risk assessment in Portugal, the paper demonstrates that approaches, measurement instruments, and research procedures for evaluating vulnerability are influenced by institutional preferences, lines of communication, or lack thereof, between stakeholder groups, and available technical expertise...
December 16, 2016: Disasters
Ellen J Schenk, Jun Yuan, Lise D Martel, Guo-Qing Shi, Ke Han, Xing Gao
This study aims to determine the risk factors for clinically-significant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among Chinese medical rescue workers one year after the response to the Wenchuan earthquake on 12 May 2008. A sample of 337 medical workers who performed response work within the first three months of the event completed an online questionnaire, which included information on demographics, social support, the management and organisation of the disaster response, and an assessment of PTSD. Symptoms consistent with PTSD were prevalent in 17 per cent of the rescue workers...
December 16, 2016: Disasters
Stephen Platt, Emily So
This paper compares recovery in the wake of three recent earthquakes: the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011; the Van earthquake in Turkey in October 2011; and the Maule earthquake in Chile in February 2010. The authors visited all three locations approximately 12-18 months after the incidents and interviewed earthquake specialists, disaster managers, urban planners, and local authorities. A key challenge to post-disaster recovery planning is balancing speed and deliberation. While affected communities must rebuild as quickly as possible, they must also seek to maximise the opportunities for improvement that disasters provide...
December 16, 2016: Disasters
Howard Davis
Local authorities in the United Kingdom are required to 'lead' multi-agency humanitarian responses to major disasters. Concerns mounted in the late twentieth century that responses to people bereaved in the immediate aftermath of such events at best failed to meet their needs and at worst compounded their distress. Subsequent reviews and reforms reframed some victim needs as 'rights' and established legal, administrative, and practice frameworks to improve matters. Local authority 'crisis support', provided in partnership with other actors, lies at the heart of the UK's contemporary emergency response to the bereaved...
January 2017: Disasters
Anamaria Bukvic, Graham Owen
This study explores the dilemma of whether to rebuild or relocate from the areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Since disasters represent the discernible manifestation of other complex coastal hazards, they offer a window of opportunity to engage residents in the dialogue on relocation as sometimes the most effective risk reduction strategy. The following research evaluates attitudes towards relocation and willingness to consider buyout among 46 surveyed households located in highly-affected communities five months after Sandy...
January 2017: Disasters
Jeff Lewis, Belinda Lewis
Natural disasters are inevitably the outcome of cultural agonisms. The cultural politics of natural disasters are shaped by competing claims and conceptions of 'nature'. Recent disasters in Indonesia are directly linked to these contending conceptions and the ways in which different social groups imagine risk and reward. The Sidoarjo volcanic mudflow of 2006 represents a volatile and violent exemplar of contending cultural and economic claims. Like other disasters in Indonesia and elsewhere in the developing world, this 'natural' disaster is characterised by differing conceptions of 'nature' as cultural tradition, divine force, and natural resource...
January 2017: Disasters
Ashleigh Elain McKinzie
A commonly-held belief is that natural disasters do not discriminate. This paper, though, poses the following theoretical question: what does the elision of race, class, and gender in the news media say about disasters in the neoliberal era? It draws on the author's analysis of two prominent newspapers-The New York Times and USA Today-and their coverage of the recovery process after devastating tornadoes in two towns in the United States (Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Joplin, Missouri) in 2011. The study asserts that the narrative of the news media is one with which people are familiar and that it fits into larger 'formula stories'...
January 2017: Disasters
Peter Tatham, Karen Spens, Gyöngyi Kovács
Although significant progress has been made in developing the practice of humanitarian logistics, further improvements in efficiency and effectiveness have the potential to save lives and reduce suffering. This paper explores how the military/emergency services' concept of a common operating picture (COP) can be adapted to the humanitarian logistics context, and analyses a practical and proven approach to addressing the key challenge of inter-agency coordination and decision-making. Successful adaptation could provide the mechanism through which predicted and actual demands, together with the location and status of material in transit, are captured, evaluated, and presented in real time as the basis for enhanced decision-making between actors in the humanitarian supply network...
January 2017: Disasters
Courtney Stokes, Jason C Senkbeil
This paper represents one of the first attempts to analyse the many ways in which Facebook and Twitter were used during a tornado disaster. Comparisons between five randomly selected campus samples and a city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, sample revealed that campus samples used Facebook and Twitter significantly more both before and after the tornado, but Facebook usage was not significantly different after the event. Furthermore, differences in social media usage and other forms of communication before the tornado were found for age, education, and years lived in Tuscaloosa...
January 2017: Disasters
Lars Löfquist
This paper analyses the contribution of virtue ethics, the study of good character traits, to the humanitarian context. It argues that a virtue ethics perspective paints a realistic picture of the use of ethical standards in morally complex circumstances. Virtuous relief workers can employ standards in their thinking, but they are also committed to professional excellence that goes beyond any formal code. The concept of virtue ethics places a stress on moral development, which can be facilitated by role models that impart modest and feasible ideals...
January 2017: Disasters
Jennifer Horney, Caroline Dwyer, Meghan Aminto, Philip Berke, Gavin Smith
Disaster recovery is a key capability of federal, state, and local government. To support this capability effectively practitioners need useful and validated metrics to document how well a community is recovering from a particular disaster. This study developed and categorised recovery indicators according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s Recovery Support Functions and Recovery Mission Area Core Capabilities through a literature review, an evaluation of the pre-disaster recovery plans for 87 coastal jurisdictions, and a case study of two communities (New Hanover County, North Carolina, and the City of Hoboken, New Jersey)...
January 2017: Disasters
Natassia Goode, Paul M Salmon, Caroline Spencer, Dudley McArdle, Frank Archer
Three years after the introduction of the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience there remains no unanimously adopted definition of disaster resilience within Australia's emergency management sector. The aim of this study is to determine what the concept means to key stakeholders in the emergency management sector in the Australian State of Victoria, and how these conceptualisations overlap and diverge. Via an online survey, 113 people were asked how they define disaster resilience in their work in the emergency management sector...
January 2017: Disasters
Wanrudee Isaranuwatchai, Peter C Coyte, Kwame McKenzie, Samuel Noh
Some 280,000 people died in the Indian Ocean tsunami on 26 December 2004. This cohort study examined its impact on mental health one and two years later. It did so by investigating the association between six consequent variables (personal injury, loss of home, loss of business, death of a family member, injury to a family member, or loss of a family member's business) and mental health, as measured by the 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), among residents in four provinces of Thailand. One year later, participants who suffered a personal injury, the loss of a business, or the loss of a family member reported poorer mental health than those who were unaffected...
January 2017: Disasters
Emilie Nolet
The islands of Fiji, in the Western Pacific, are exposed to a wide range of natural hazards. Tropical storms and associated floods are recurring natural phenomena, but it has been regularly alleged that Fijians lack preparation, over-rely on state assistance in post-disaster situations or engage in risky behaviours that aggravate the negative impact of floods. Risk reduction strategies, which are now implemented by government authorities and international organisations, heavily promote the principle of 'community preparedness'...
October 2016: Disasters
Véronique M Morin, Mokbul Morshed Ahmad, Pennung Warnitchai
In many low- and middle-income countries informal communities-also termed slum and squatter areas-have become a dominant and distinct form of urban settlement, with ever increasing populations. Such communities are often located in areas of high hazard exposure and frequently affected by disasters. While often recognised as one of the highest 'at risk' populations, this paper will argue that informal settlers have been directly and indirectly excluded from many formal mechanisms, thereby increasing their vulnerability to disaster events...
October 2016: Disasters
Eric Martin, Isabelle Nolte, Emma Vitolo
Public, nonprofit and private organisations respond to large-scale disasters domestically and overseas. Critics of these assistance efforts, as well as those involved, often cite poor interorganisational partnering as an obstacle to successful disaster response. Observers frequently call for 'more' and 'better' partnering. We found important qualitative distinctions existed within partnering behaviours. We identified four different types of interorganisational partnering activities often referred to interchangeably: communication, cooperation, coordination and collaboration-the Four Cs...
October 2016: Disasters
Jen-Jen Lin, Wan-I Lin
Most members of Taiwan's indigenous communities live in areas that are prone to natural disasters. Yet, due to their marginalised cultural, economic and political status, each time such calamities strike, any assistance they receive is usually provided without considering their actual needs. The areas hardest hit by Typhoon Morakot in August 2009 were the indigenous villages in the southern and eastern parts of the island. After the initial emergency relief efforts had been completed, there remained the highly challenging task of reconstruction and the resettlement of those who lost their homes and livelihoods...
October 2016: Disasters
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