Article Index

"An Act of Allah”: Religious Explanations for Floods in Bangladesh as Survival Strategy

Authors
Hanna Schmuck
Issue
March 2000
Description
In countries of the so-called Third World, disaster prevention, preparedness, and relief do not have the expected outcome. Even if people are informed and warned about the arrival of a flood, cyclone, or earthquake, they hesitate to take precautions or leave the area. In some cases, they have to be forced to take refuge in the shelters built for this purpose. They seem to be helpless victims accepting their fate. This is especially the case in Bangladesh, a country which is frequently affected by floods, tornadoes, and cyclones. The affected people, mostly Muslim, regard these hazards as an act of Allah. Through the events He is showing His will and power against which they cannot and should not do anything. In the view of aid agencies, this perception and explanation hampers both external as well as indigenous efforts to survive disasters. However, the findings of my research on local perception and strategies to cope with floods reveal this conception to be a healthy reaction, self-help strategy to overcome crises as quickly as possible and return to daily life. As Allah has given the floods, He will also give believers the strength to survive them. The religious explanation prevents those affected literally wasting time and energy asking why disasters happen to them and not to others.

An Assessment of the Return-Entry Process for Hurricane Rita 2005

Authors
Laura K. Siebeneck and Thomas J. Cova
Issue
August 2008
Description
Return-entry is the movement of an evacuated population back to an area following the issuance of an all-clear message. This research examines the geographic, communication, and demographic factors that affect return-entry compliance rates using Hurricane Rita 2005 as a case study. Surveys were mailed to 1,200 households in a twelve county area comprising the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) return-entry plan. The results show that compliance with the Hurricane Rita return-entry plan was low, as 46.4% of respondents returned home on or after their scheduled return date, while only 23.2% returned on their exact scheduled return date. In addition, communication of the return-entry plan was relatively poor as 54.0% of evacuees reported receiving the all-clear message and 19.5% of respondents reported being aware of the TxDOT staggered return-entry plan. In regard to factors that affect the return process, a relationship was found between distance evacuated and return-entry date, in that the farther a household evacuates, the more likely it will return at a later date. A relationship was also found between scheduled return-entry date and compliance, as people scheduled to return to the zone that sustained damage (Day 3) had a higher rate of compliance than those evacuees who returned to the undamaged zone (Day 2). Finally, female respondents were more likely to comply with the return-entry orders than males respondents, and individuals of lower education levels were more likely to comply with return-entry orders than individuals of higher education levels.

An Evaluation Strategy for Improving Disaster Victim Services: Blueprint for Change

Authors
David Collins, Knowlton W. Johnson and Susan Olson Allen
Issue
March 2002
Description
No abstract.

An Examination of Evolving Crowd Management Strategies at Pilgrimage Sites: A Case Study of ‘Hajj’ in Saudi Arabia

Authors
Hassan Taibah and Sudha Arlikatti
Issue
August 2015
Description
The growing popularity of large crowded events has complicated their management, leading to the exploration of new crowd management strategies targeted at streamlining operations to address the risks from stampedes, infrastructure collapse, health, and terrorist threats. The emphasis has been to alleviate financial losses, keep event organizers safe from liability, and most importantly keep the attendees safe. Effective communication among and between officials and guests has been identified as a key element in this process. However, few scholars have investigated these strategies among heterogeneous crowds that congregate at religious sites. To overcome this gap, the authors use a case study approach focusing on initiatives adopted in managing approximately 3 million pilgrims from over 140 countries, congregating in Mecca, Saudi Arabia during the Hajj pilgrimage season. Findings suggest that the recently popularized use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) wrist bands for counting pilgrims at ports of entry and mosque gates alone is inadequate. A more networked approach that integrates the voices of Hajj pilgrims in risk communication is needed. Setting up Community Response Grids (CRGs) to use social media channels among pilgrim visitors need to be explored.

An Exploratory Study of Woman Battering in the Grand Forks Flood Disaster: Implications for Community Responses and Policies

Authors
Alice Fothgergill
Issue
March 1999
Description
This paper presents and exploratory study of woman battering the the Grand Forks, North Dakota flood of April 1997. Based on my qualitative research of women's experiences in this flood, I present two case studies of battered women to enhance understanding of what intimate partner violence means to women in the face of a natural disaster. The case studies illustrate how battered women make sense of their situations and how factors such as class and disability play a role in how women experience domestic violence. The case studies also show why services for battered women, such as emergency shelters and crisis counseling, are crucial during a disaster period. Even though we do not know if domestic violence rates increase in a disasters, we do have evidence that the demand for domestic violence services increases during disaster times. In light of this, I argue that there is a need to prepare for that situation.

Angst and the Masses: Collective Behavior Research in Germany

Authors
John K. Schorr, Wolf R. Dombrowsky
Issue
August 1986
Description
This article reviews the study of mass behavior (known as collective behavior in America) in Germany. The historical scope of this review is approximately one hundred years beginning with a discussion of the works of Marx, Weber, Tonnies and Simmel. This discussion is followed by an analysis of how the study of mass behavior dealt with the rise and after-match of National Socialism. Finally the collective behavior research which has been done in the post war period is reviewed ending with a brief description of the work being done in the subspeciality of the Sociology of Disasters.

An Intrgrated Agenda for Research on Severe Storms

Authors
Michael K. Lindell and Harold Brooks
Issue
November 2013
Description
This article summarizes the major issues identified in the Birmingham workshop, which are categorized below in terms of the eight white paper topics. A number of these issues crossed disciplinary lines and, thus, were discussed in more than one of the disciplinary groups. Consequently, the allocation of issues to groups is somewhat arbitrary. The following section summarizes the organizational recommendations and research issues identified during the workshop. It is important to note that these discussions focused mostly on issues at the interface of different disciplines, especially the relationship between the meteorological and social/behavioral sciences. The last section of this report provides relatively detailed descriptions of 12 research projects that were proposed by the workshop participants and, where necessary, supplemented by the editors.

Announcement

Authors
Thomas E. Drabek
Issue
March 2000
Description
No abstract.

An Organizational And Culturally Sensitive Approach To Managing Air-Traffic Disaster: The Gulf Air Incident

Authors
Hussein H Soliman
Issue
August 2005
Description
The Gulf-Air incident that took place in 2000 in Manama, Bahrain supported the need for adopting innovative strategies to deal with the consequences of air disaster. Due to the nature of the incident, an ad-hoc team was formulated at the Cairo Airport and its major objective was to address the critical needs for the upkeep of the regular operations at the airport, as well as considering the cultural, religious and human needs of individuals, families and communities affected by the disaster. The ad-hoc emergency team was successful in applying immediate and flexible strategies that were effective in achieving the objectives of the emergency management plan. Contrary to the belief in the need to rely solely on the Command and Control Approach in disaster management, this study provides evidence of the effectiveness of emergency management strategies that are based on the Human Relations Approach.

Anticipating Organizational Evacuations: Disaster Planning By Managers of Tourist-Oriented Private Firms

Authors
Thomas E. Drabek
Issue
August 1991
Description
Every year thousands of people temporarily relocate prior to the threat of major disasters. Social science research has been applied to enhance the effectiveness of multiorganizational warning systems. Much remains unknown, however. This paper presents findings from the first major study of disaster evacuation planning and decision making behavior by business executives responsible for tourist oriented firms. Two questions are explored: 1. What is the extent of disaster evacuation planning? and 2. What factors account for the variation in these planning initiatives?