Article Index

Using A Disaster Preparedness Triangle Framework To Link Disaster Preparedness To Pandemic Outcomes

Authors
Subhashree Sundar, Jeff K. Stratman, and Krishna M. Sundar
Issue
November 2017
Description
In order to demonstrate that disaster preparedness is associated with improved outcomes in pandemics, we use secondary source mortality data from the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and correlate that to individual U.S. states’ disaster preparedness data based upon the TFAH (Trust for America’s Health) 2009 report. To understand impact of different disaster preparedness parameters, we categorize them into sub-categories of detection, inventory and capacity. Our analyses using the proposed framework show that overall disaster preparedness for each US state was associated with reduced H1N1-related mortality attesting to the benefits of preparedness for unpredictable events like influenza pandemics. Furthermore, elements of the disaster preparedness triangle were found to be strong predictors of pandemic mortality, indicating that investments made towards disaster preparation are in the best interests of society.

Using the Bioecological Theory of Human Behavior to Link Homeowners to Hurricane: Preparedness in the Southeast United States

Authors
Charles Sewell, Randall Cantrell and Michael Spranger
Issue
November 2017
Description
More than a decade passed without a major hurricane reaching landfall in the US until the unfortunate events resulting from Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 (which is when this article was in final review). This suggests homeowners could have been feeling a false sense of security regarding hurricane preparedness. This study provides information about which populations might benefit from outreach programs, such as cooperative extension, designed to increase homeowner understanding of aid available to them when and if needed. Increasing hurricane preparedness in this way enables efficient distribution of resources because homeowners are more informed about how and where to obtain assistance. Relationships were assessed between homeowners’ location, education, income, age, presence of minors in the home, tenure within the community, and two measures developed by this study: the Hurricane-Preparedness Knowledge Scale and the Trust in Support Entities Scale. Findings showed that those having lived within the community longer were more interested in increasing their knowledge about hurricane preparedness. Respondents in Georgia were least interested in obtaining more knowledge about hurricane preparedness, but this was the one region where the study extended farthest inland from the coast. However, homeowners living in Georgia were less trusting of support entities (i.e., FEMA, Red Cross, county emergency management, and local governments) than their southern bordering states—a finding that should not be affected by proximity to the coast. Irrespective of Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana showed no less trust in support entities than any other state throughout the area studied. Also, those with advance levels of formal education were less trusting in support entities than those with less education.

Utilising Participatory Research Techniques For Community-Based Disaster Risk Assessment

Authors
Dewald Van Niekerk and Elrista Annandale
Issue
August 2013
Description
Community-based disaster risk assessment yields the best results and most trustworthy primary data in understanding the disaster risk that communities face. Yet, most of the disaster risk assessments undertaken within South Africa exhibit very little evidence of community-based and participatory approaches. Participatory research techniques and capacity development interventions were used in a community-based disaster risk assessment project covering 22 communities in the North-West Province of South Africa. This article describes the methodology developed, as well as the resulting findings of one of these at-risk communities. The robust research approach proved to be reliable, valid, and trustworthy—and, at the same time, ensured direct community participation. A number of participatory research techniques such as transect walks, community workshops, and participatory GIS were employed. The research found that the knowledge in local communities is extremely reliable in the development of their disaster risk profile, and can mostly be unlocked through participatory methods.

Vandalism-Militancy Relationship: The Influence of Risk Perception and Moral Disengagement

Authors
Oluwasoye P. Mafimisebi and Sara Thorne
Issue
November 2017
Description
Both risk perception and moral disengagement underpin crisis intensification, and influence risk behaviours. This research, examines whether risk perception and moral disengagement mechanisms influence vandalism and militancy (terrorism), and if these mechanisms can provide alternative strategies for managing unconventional mass emergencies and disasters. This paper will also clarify and discuss the relevance of the concepts: moral disengagement, moral evaluation, and social trust. The influence and implications of risk perception and moral disengagement on crisis management on a case study of the vandalism and militant incidents that have occurred Niger Delta region over the last decade are discussed. Specifically, this investigation demonstrates that there are potential gains in crisis management, when crisis dimensions, morality issues, and risk perception are used to help anchor strategic options during crises. The present study found that people are more likely to disengage from moral conducts when the mechanisms of moral evaluation and disengagement are routinely experienced. In doing so, people become skilled at neutralising morally questionable behaviours and activities such as vandalism.

Vicarious Trauma in Aid Workers Following the World Trade Center Attack In 2001

Authors
Ellen Brickman, Chris O Sullivan, Heike Thiel de Bocanegra
Issue
March 2004
Description
This study investigated the prevalence of secondary trauma in volunteers who were involved in the emergency response after the World Trade Center (WTC) attack. Secondary or vicarious trauma is defined as therapists’ emotional reactions to their clients’ traumatic material. A total of 163 caseworkers, non-clinicians involved in addressing victims’ concrete needs, participated in a semi-structured phone interview that assessed their background and volunteer experience and a mailed survey that assessed their psychological status. Outcome data were the PTSD checklist (PCL) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Responses identified two distinct categories of volunteers: volunteers from out of town tended to be older, more experienced in disaster relief work, and had less levels of exposure to the attack than volunteers from the New York area. Most volunteers found the experience rewarding and enriching. However, 7.4% of the sample met diagnostic criteria for PTSD and fifth had BDI scores indicating moderate to severe depression. Prior trauma, exposure to the event, self-reported unmet needs, and beginning or increasing substance use after 9/11 were significantly associated with post-traumatic stress symptoms and depression. Post-traumatic stress and depression symptoms were negatively correlated with age. Having had previous disaster experience and living with a partner appeared to have a protective effect on mental health status. In conclusion, relief agencies should pay particular attention to providing support for volunteers with prior traumatic experiences. Furthermore, they should ensure ongoing support after the end of the relief work

Victimization after a Natural Disaster: Social Disorganization or Community Cohesion?

Authors
Judith M. Siegel, Linda B. Bourque and Kimberley I. Shoaf
Issue
November 1999
Description
Contrasting notions of social disorganization and social cohesion have been offered to describe community interaction after a natural disaster. Data were collected from three independent community samples, beginning seven months after the 1994 Northridge, California, earthquake and following in one year intervals for the two subsequent samples. Exposure to traumatic stress (Norris 1990)-including criminal victimization-in the 12 months prior to the interview was assesed in each sample. For all traumatic stress/victimization and for each of seven individual events, rates remain flat over time (3 data points), suggesting that neither social disorganization nor social cohesion occurred after the earthquake. Owing to the timing of the survey, respondents interviewed in the first sample only could report on pre-disaster events. For these respondents, post-earthquake rates of traumatic stress and victimization were compared with pre-earthquake rates. In contrast to the trend data, reduction in rates of robbery and, to a lesser extent, major life changes suggest that an altruistic community (social cohesion) may have arisen. A third set of analyses show that severity of exposure to the earthquakes does not make a contribution to traumatic stress or victimization beyond that explained by the demographic variables repeatedly found to predict vulnerability to victimization. last, rates of criminal victimization within Los Angeles County are compared to rates for households in the United States, using the National Crime Victimiation Survey (NCVS) for the latter. Victimization rates are elevated in Los Angeles County, but not necessarily above what might be expected if exactly equivalent definitions of crimes had been used in our study and the national data set, and if comparable breakdowns by demographic characteristics were available in the NCVS for metropolitan areas of one million and more. In sum, there is no indication that social disorganization follows a natural disaster, and there is minor support for the emergence of an altruistic community.

Victimization by Natural Hazards in the United States, 1970-1980: Survey Estimates

Authors
James D. Wright, Eleanor Weber-Burdin, Joseph Pereira, Peter H. Rossi
Issue
November 1983
Description
Estimates of average annual damages and personal injuries over the period 1970-1980 to households in the United States from each of five hazards--household fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes--are derived from national sample surveys. The annual incidence rate for the four natural hazards combined a 18.7 per 1,000 households, or approximately 1.5 million household annually experiencing one or more incidents of floods, hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes. Average annual damages from the same hazards reported by the households amount to U.S. $6.1 billion (in 1980 dollars). Analyses of aid received in the forms of insurance payments, gifts, grants and loans show that floods present the most serious problems to households when experienced, not only causing more damage but also more likely not to be covered by insurance and more likely to lead the household into enlarging its debt burden. No substantively significant biases were found in the distribution aid to households afflicted by natural hazards.

Vietnamese Refugees’ Perspectives on their Community’s Resilience in the Event of a Natural Disaster

Authors
Huaibo Xin, Robert E. Aronson, Kay A. Lovelace, Robert W. Strack, and Jose A. Villalba
Issue
November 2014
Description
Researchers have urged that community resilience be integrated in preparing for public emergencies to improve individuals’ resilience. This study explored Vietnamese refugees’ shared perspectives on their community resilience in the face of a natural disaster and factors that either facilitated or impeded their community resilience. Using ethnographic approach, 20 ethnic Vietnamese and Montagnard adult refugees living in North Carolina were interviewed, using a semi-structured interview guide. Three themes emerged from the data: (1) Greensboro is a good place to live, with many resources to draw on during a natural disaster; (2) The City can be trusted to respond effectively during a natural disaster especially because of the city government; and (3) The refugee community will face significant challenges. Future efforts should be directed to developing effective channels for refugees to access information, make connections with existing community resources, and facilitate collaboration among multiethnic groups when encountering a natural disaster.

Volcanic Eruptions and Functional Change: Parallels in Japan and the United States

Authors
Hirotada Hirose, Ronald W. Perry
Issue
August 1983
Description
The purpose of this paper is to examine one aspect of community change following disaster: the impact of volcanic eruptions on two small communities with tourist-based economies. The data presented here are in the form of two case studies of towns affected by, respectively, the eruptions of Mt. Usu on the northern island of Hokkaido in Japan and of Mount St. Helens in Washington, located in the northwestern United States. Specifically, the paper describes the effects of the eruptions and subsequent emergency management policies upon the tourist economies of Toyako-Onsen, Japan, and Cougar, Washington. The study highlights differences and commonalities in response between the two communities, including reactions to the imposition of access controls, functional shifts in the local economies after controls had been lifted, and the impact of the public\\'s perception of the hazard upon tourism.

Voluntary Labor, Utah, The L.D.S. Church, and the Floods of 1983: A Case Study

Authors
Albert L. Fisher
Issue
November 1985
Description
National attention was focused on Utah in the Spring of 1983 when an abnormally deep snow pack in the mountains combined with abrupt, very warm weather to cause sudden, severe flooding along the state\\'s densely populated Wasatch Front. Public officials were not prepared for what happened and they could not control the crisis generated problems with their own resources. A large, efficient, volunteer labor force was needed immediately to prevent serious flooding from becoming a disaster. The extensive media attention given to Utah during this period looked mostly at the way public officials and the people responded to the crisis.\r\n\r\nThis is a report of voluntary labor and the floods of 1983 in Utah. The only public, semi public, or private organization that could provide the number of volunteer workers that were necessary during the crisis period and supervise the workers adequately was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (L.D.S.).\r\n\r\nThe traditions, attitudes, and organization of the L.D.S. Church as they are important to the immediate delivery of large numbers of volunteer workers, equipment, and supervisors in an emergency period are investigated in this paper. The relationships between government in Utah and the Church are also examined to explain why the Church is relied on to supply the voluntary labor force for any mass emergency in Utah and how this is accomplished. The question is also addressed of whether or not the Utah experience would be either appropriate or transferable to any other area. There might be something to be learned from Utah that could aid disaster work elsewhere. \r\n