Article Index

“101 Years of Mine Disasters and 101 Years of Song: Truth or Myth in Nova Scotia Mining Songs?”

Authors
Joseph Scanlon, Nick Johnston, and Allison Vandervalk with Heather Sparling
Issue
March 2012
Description
It is generally accepted that the majority of responses to a disaster in social media sources misrepresent what actually occurs in such an event. Over the last century, mine disasters occurring in Nova Scotia have generated numerous responses in the form of folk songs. The purpose of this study is to determine if these folk songs, unlike other forms of popular culture, accurately portray the events and context surrounding these disasters while also examining how they describe human responses to disasters. The findings show that these folk songs in contrast to other media, books and movies do provide a generally factually and contextually accurate view of the disasters, with a focus limited to the events of the disaster itself, the rescue efforts, and the dead and trapped. The possibilities for why this is true are then considered, including looks at the nature and origins of the songs, the response of composers to the disasters, and how the media response to the disasters affected the songs.

A Burning Issue-The Politicization of a Bushfire

Authors
John R. Robbins
Issue
November 1990
Description
The stirling bushfire of 1980 produced the first substantial claim for disaster liability against a South Australian local authority. In the absence of precedent and clear rules of process this developed into a long and costly legal battle lasting nine years and then developed into a political conflict between the Council and the ruling Labor State government. The community is riven by discord about the terms of settlement. A positive outcome has been the establishment of a Local Government Association Mutual Liability Scheme which indicates the possibility of local government collaboration as an alternative to a state-local relationship with its concomitant conflict.

A Call for Dynamic Hazard Assessment

Authors
David E. A. Johnson
Issue
November 2004
Description
This exploratory study examines the use of agent-based modeling for the dynamic assessment of the hazards associated with flooding responses. While flooding is the specific agent used, the techniques are applicable to any type of hazard. The equation upon which the model is built considers four components: geophysical, built, social environments and response organization capabilities. The development of the agent characteristics requires the quantification of the interdependencies of the environment as well as the interaction among the response agencies in a complex adaptive system. This study will develop a realistic model of the hazards and the ability of the response organizations to mitigate the incident.

A Comparison of Research and Practice: A Practitioner's View

Authors
Gregg Dawson
Issue
March 1993
Description
This paper compares known research and emergency management practice, and demonstrates the need and success of applying research to dispel common misconceptions about disaster-related behavior. I draw upon the experience of Fort Worth-Tarrant County Emergency Management practitioners to compare to research findings. Specifically, I discuss reactions to warnings, evacuation behavior and the use of shelters. Also, I incorporate my experience in planning for the disabled in emergencies to further illustrate my points.

A Contextual Approach To The Social Psychological Study of Disaster Recovery

Authors
Judith A. Golec
Issue
August 1983
Description
The breakdown model has led to an irresolveable theoretical and empirical stalemate in the literature of community-wide disaster. This paper attempts to move beyond the present debate toward an empirically grounded reconceptualization. The case study employed for this purpose is the collapse of the Teton Dam which occurred in the United States in 1976. In-depth interviews and archival materials are used to reconstruct, from the perspective of disaster victims, the typical (successful) and the atypical (unsuccessful) recovery patterns of three years. Both patterns are explainable by reference to social processes, i.e., to collective arrangements created for distributing human and material resources used for the rebuilding effort.

A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Natural Disaster Response: The Northwest Italy Floods of 1994 Compared to the U.S Midwest Floods of 1993.

Authors
Fausto Marincioni
Issue
August 2001
Description
The observation that similar types of natural disasters produce different reactions based on a particular culture and location demands a thorough and detailed analysis, because the reasons are likely to be numerous and complex. Although the economic situation, political organization, and technological infrastructure of communities are fundamental factors, they do not offer a complete explanation of people’s behavior in the face of risk and disasters. This article uses a cross-cultural perspective to clarify the relationship between two cultures and their different patterns of response to extreme flood events. The research was carried out in two Western societies, the United States and Italy, both of which have similar socioeconomic characteristics, but distinctly different historical and cultural traditions. The disaster studies were the Po River Valley floods of November 1994 in northwest Italy and the Mississippi River- Missouri River floods in the U.S. upper Midwest during the summer of 1993. These two extreme floods were analyzed with respect to the pattern of human response during the preparation, rescue, recovery, and reconstruction phases. The study includes both human-response and cross-cultural analyses. A questionnaire was employed to gauge the perception of the flood disasters by the Italian and American disaster managers. The cross-cultural analysis was performed using an etic-emic contrast. The results showed that the different human responses observed in the floods of northwestern Italy and of the Unites States Midwest were linked to basic differences in four cultural elements: (1) experience with floods, (2) socio-political traditions and organization, (3) level of integration within the community, and (4) perception of the physical environment.

A Cultural Analysis of Conflicts in Industrial Disaster

Authors
Paul Shrivastava
Issue
November 1987
Description
Industrial disasters create occasions for the eruption of multiple conflicts among stakeholders. Victims\\' perspective on these conflicts has received little research attention in the past. Understanding these conflicts can lead to insights into the political nature of such disasters, and aid in developing more humane responses to them. This paper provides a cultural analysis of social conflicts that emerged in the Bhopal tragedy. It examines victims\\' subjective understanding of the tragedy and associated conflicts by analyzing a demonstration march by them. Victims\\' understanding of conflicts is significantly different from that of the government that supposedly represents them. This finding has important policy implications, and warrants further research on conflicts in industrial disasters.

Adopting Integrated Emergency Management in the United States

Authors
Richard T. Sylves
Issue
November 1991
Description
U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials have promoted the Integrated Emergency Management System (IEMS) since 1981. IEMS has many components intended to serve all levels of government in developing, maintaining, and managing an efficient and cost-effective emergency management capability. This study analyzes the implementation of IEMS, and based upon interviews, and primary and secondary source information, reports what U.S. local emergency managers think of FEMA\\'s IEMS initiative and how far local governments have gone in adopting IEMS.

Adoption and Implementation of Hazard Adjustments Part One: An Assessment of Existing Research

Authors
Michael K. Lindell et al.
Issue
November 1997
Description
Natural hazards have a continuing potential for causing casualties, property destruction, and economic disruption. Reducing these risks involves a complex process of adopting and implementing a variety of hazard adjustments by a wide range of stakeholders in the community. The underlying dynamics of this three component system — hazard is a function of the physical environmental system and the human use system as moderated by hazard adjustments — have been recognized by hazards researchers for decades (e.g., Burton, Kates and White 1978; Mileti 1980; White 1974). As indicated in Figure 1, meteorological and geophysical extremes of the physical environment affect the social system, which consists of a variety of stakeholders who interact through a variety of different processes. In turn, society invests in the hazard adjustment system, which consists of four different types of risk reduction measures.\r\nThis model is transactional because it emphasizes the relationships among the different components. The dominant transaction between extremes in the physical environment and societal stakeholders is the risk of disaster impacts, while the corresponding transaction between stakeholders and hazard adjustments is resource allocation or cost. The transaction between adjustments and environmental extremes is efficacy (i.e., the degree to which adjustments reduce the hazard risks). It is important to note that these are the dominant transactions with respect to natural hazard risk reduction, not the only transactions.\r\n

Adoption and Implementation of Hazard Adjustments Part Three: Findings and Recommendations

Authors
Michael K. Lindell et al.
Issue
November 1997
Description
As indicated from the preceding review, many aspects of hazard adjustment adoption and Implementation have been investigated within the realm of hazard research, while other aspects have been addressed by researchers in related areas. Review of this research has identified a variety of theoretical perspectives, a number of inconsistent results, and some important neglected issues. These problems all support a need for a more comprehensive theoretical formulation of the hazard adjustment process and an extensive program of research to provide the foundations for more sustainable development in areas that are vulnerable to natural hazards.