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Lauren Carruth
This paper draws on extended ethnographic and health policy research in eastern Ethiopia to reconsider kinship and nomadism among Somalis, as both of these cultural features transform in the contexts of recurrent humanitarian crises and episodic relief operations. The emergence and importance of new patterns of travel and migration among Somalis in Ethiopia reveal significant changes in the configurations and enactments of Somali kinship, on which many Somalis' mobility depends. Conversely, an analysis of Somalis' dynamic sub-clan groupings and geographically dispersed kinship networks also highlights emergent patterns of mobility and migration that enable access to training opportunities and employment with relief organisations, as well as to distributions of humanitarian aid...
April 21, 2017: Disasters
Elizabeth Wagemann
Building permanent accommodation after a disaster takes time for reasons including the removal of debris, the lack of available land, and the procurement of resources. In the period in-between, affected communities find shelter in different ways. Temporary houses or transitional shelters are used when families cannot return to their pre-disaster homes and no other alternative can be provided. In practice, families stay in a standard interim solution for months or even years while trying to return to their routines...
February 14, 2017: Disasters
Matthew D Doyle, Brian Lockwood, John G Comiskey
Much of the literature on the consequences of natural disasters has focused on their physical and psychological ramifications. Few researchers have considered how the impacts of a natural disaster can influence academic achievement. This study analyses data collected from nearly 300 students at a mid-sized, private university in the northeast United States to determine if the effects of Cyclone Sandy in 2012 are associated with measures of academic achievement. The findings reveal that experiencing headaches after the event resulted in a higher likelihood of students suffering a loss of academic motivation...
January 30, 2017: Disasters
Tyler D Robinson, Thiago M Oliveira, Stephanie Kayden
Natural disasters can overwhelm the domestic response of a country, leaving it dependent on external humanitarian relief. The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) of the United Nations centralises humanitarian funding and thus allows for a rapid response. This study combined data to analyse the factors that affected the allocation of CERF funding to countries that suffered a natural disaster between 2007 and 2013. It generated descriptive statistics and information on relative risks, and performed regressions of CERF funding across countries...
January 30, 2017: Disasters
Erin O'Connell, Roger P Abbott, Robert S White
A number of studies have examined emotional and belief responses following a disaster, yet there has been limited comparative analysis of responses to disasters in different places. This paper reviews the results of 366 questionnaires that evaluated key emotional and belief concepts in Haiti after the earthquake on 12 January 2010 (n=212) and in Indonesia after the earthquake in Yogyakarta on 27 May 2006 (n=154). The results indicate significant differences between the responses in the two settings, particularly in relation to feelings of impunity, self-blame for the disaster, regret about pre-earthquake behaviour, and a sense of justice in the world...
January 30, 2017: Disasters
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
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
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
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