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Articles

  1. Sustainable Disaster Recovery: Operationalizing An Existing Agenda
  2. Managing urban recovery: policy, planning, concepts and cases
  3. In This Article

After the Nepal earthquake, the government requested and allocated recovery aid based on the amount of building damage. Two questions arise from the use of building damage estimates for these decisions: Were the building damage estimates accurate? Is building damage necessarily the most useful metric for aid allocation? In the Informatics for Equitable Recovery project, our team of engineers, social scientists, and civil society organizations is trying to address these questions.

Our project aims to develop more accurate damage estimates, assess additional socioeconomic vulnerabilities and impacts that lead to low recovery, and model impact as a combination of damage and socioeconomic vulnerabilities. Currently, our team has been able to model damage and is undertaking an extensive household survey to assess the factors that lead to recovery.

In this presentation, I will discuss both the potential and challenges for developing informatics to inform recovery plans, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, where many countries have little pre-existing data. Most importantly, our goal is that this presentation will lead to a discussion of the limitations of technological solutions, such as improved informatics, in complex techno-political decisions, such as recovery planning.

In a typical crisis infused with uncertainty, leaders have to make sense of cues emerging from a dynamic environment and construct meanings from crisis situations. This research differs from other studies in three ways. First, there have been extensive case studies on crisis sensemaking, which have suggested further large sample size tests. Second, because of limited access to senior executives in times of crisis, most current studies examine the operational level.

Third, most survey or experiment-based behavior research studies still rely on students or online samples, methods which have relatively low external validity.

Sustainable Disaster Recovery: Operationalizing An Existing Agenda

To investigate this behavior, this research aims to capture the dynamic based on a unique Chinese phenomenon, Pishi. Pishi refers to instructions written by leaders on internal official documents to demonstrate their decisions on reported affairs. In the Chinese bureaucratic system, Pishi is widely used to issue commands crossing hierarchies in both normal and crisis situations, which are archived as decision records.

This research tries to uncover sensemaking behaviors based on data collected from senior executive simulation exercises with a typical scenario of the Pishi system. We examine two inter-related issues in interdisciplinary hazards work: the networks of stakeholders involved in local planning processes and the network of plan documents generated by planning processes. We pursue an in-depth case analysis of Tulsa, Oklahoma, a community recognized for over 40 years as a national leader in long-term risk reduction, now often framed as planning for resilience.

In this context we seek to answer three main questions: What are the structures of the dynamic networks of stakeholders and plans in Tulsa, with particular focus on connections between planners and emergency managers? We draw on and extend well-developed research methods and analytical techniques, including content analysis and network analysis. We collect and analyze a wide array of local plans related to risk reduction. We replicate and refine content analysis tools used to measure planning process characteristics, organizational involvement, plan integration, and policies and actions.

We also conduct interviews and web-based surveys with key stakeholders. Altogether, we apply network concepts and analytical techniques and triangulate within the case study to better understand how a community can create a resilient network of plans and people to develop and implement those plans. Flood events are exacting an increasingly heavy toll on communities. Along with broader trends in climate change and coastal urbanization, local land use decisions are important contributing factors. Urban planning and zoning guide and regulate land use, but some uses are more suitable than others in flood-prone areas, e.

We spatially evaluate future land use planning and zoning to reveal whether a community is being guided and regulated in a more suitable less vulnerable direction with respect to land use in flood-hazard areas, as well as instances of incongruity and locations where each may effect an increase in vulnerability. Hot spots of especially low suitability and areas of conflict between future land use guidance and zoning are also revealed. Such results may contribute to focused reevaluations aimed at strengthening resilience through land use. There is a substantial knowledge base concerning the variables that influence the decisions that people make when faced with an approaching hurricane.

However, there exists a research gap in evacuation decision-making with respect to investigating these decisions relative to each other in temporal terms. To this end, our interdisciplinary research team crafted an approach for investigating evacuation decision ordering. The team conducted a post-Hurricane Matthew household survey that integrated research questions about six decisions related to hurricane evacuations: evacuate or stay, time to leave, evacuation accommodations, evacuation destination, travel mode, and travel route.

Using this survey data, the team began a multinomial random parameter modeling process for the first decisions that survey respondents reported. The first decisions were grouped into four categories: evacuate or stay by itself; accommodations by itself; evacuate or stay with any other first decision; and any other combination. The most abundant first-decision set was the choice of whether or not to evacuate by itself. The work involves architects, sociologists, and disaster researchers. It is a mixed-methods approach incorporating key informant interviews, participant observation and document analysis, supplemented by Official Information Act requests.

The broad focus is on how we build sustainability into the city. The narrow focus is on the place of renewable energy in this process. The city in question is post-earthquake Christchurch, New Zealand, which we read as a laboratory for an urban planet facing unprecedented environmental stresses. The rebuild has prioritized physical over social infrastructure, and present environmental conditions over anticipated threats.

For while buildings crumble, institutions and vested interests endure. In the face of current evidence, it appears that Christchurch has built the last city of the twentieth century rather than the first city of this one. The recent terrorist attacks add another layer of complexity to the recovery, as the city desperately needs to attract people and capital if it is to prosper.

Preparedness for health emergencies varies widely across the United States, but the causes and consequences of these differences are poorly understood. We use the National Health Security Preparedness Index to examine how financing mechanisms, health insurance coverage, and multi-sector community networks interact in influencing preparedness levels across states and counties. The index aggregates data from national household surveys, medical records, safety inspection results, and health agency surveys to produce annual composite measures for states, counties, and the United States overall.

We link index data for — with contemporaneous data on preparedness spending, health insurance coverage, community characteristics, and the composition of local preparedness networks. We use hierarchical panel regression models with instrumental variables to estimate how changes in spending, coverage, and networks influence preparedness levels. Our results indicate that preparedness improved by Preparedness increased by 1. We conclude that gains in financing, insurance coverage, and network density appear to strengthen preparedness and may offset subsequent recovery costs. This interdisciplinary project included researchers from social psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

New Zealand has experienced heightened seismic activity since However, our findings revealed a more complex story. Almost 40 percent of people did not participate, despite registering. We found that barriers to participating included: embarrassment, caretakers of children, high body mass, disbelief in the efficacy of the drill, and restrictive clothing. This research identified unique challenges and provided valuable insights into why people do not Drop, Cover, and Hold on. Yet, many states struggle to meet the hour window. Issues surrounding adequate staffing, critical to maintaining necessary Points of Dispensing POD throughout, are noted in the literature.

The utilization of public and private partnerships in the health care sector may improve POD throughput. In this presentation, we evaluate the effectiveness of the model utilizing a case study. First, we provide an overview of the time study and Monte Carlo simulation techniques used to estimate the in-home portion of nurse dispensing shifts i. Second, we describe the geospatial techniques used to estimate the driving portion of the shifts.

These two steps combine to provide an estimate of the overall duration of in-home nurse dispensing shifts. Results are presented for our case study area, and we discuss how the model can be used and its limitations. We conclude that the HHA in-home SNS Dispensing Model shows promise and should receive further consideration, as it can decrease demand at open PODs and increase the reach of MCMs to vulnerable populations who might otherwise have difficulty receiving them.

Widespread power outages after major storms can thwart community and household recovery by limiting access to critical facilities and services. Levels of damage, number of days without electricity, insurance, and access to health services were found to be significant predictors of household recovery. At the county level, the extent and duration of power outages, percent accounts served by rural and municipal cooperatives, and hurricane wind swaths and return periods were statistically significant.

The findings from this study provide insights on the impact of infrastructure disruptions on household recovery, making a case for more comprehensive interdisciplinary studies to reduce power outage-related exposure of vulnerable populations. Eight hundred million people live near active volcanoes worldwide. However, many of them have never experienced volcanic eruptions or their associated hazards. While the volcanologist community provides essential understanding about volcanic systems, geographers and other social scientists share an equally fundamental role in assessing dimensions of vulnerability and risk and aiding preparedness efforts and managing volcanic crises.

Our current case study focuses on Cayambe Volcano in Northern Ecuador, which began to show signs of unrest in It is covered with a 22 km2 glacier that could trigger deadly mudflows in the city of Cayambe in a future eruption. However, little was done to prepare the population. The framework includes, for instance, vulnerability assessments, risk perception, and evacuation modeling. It beneficiates from the inputs of colleagues from other disciplines working in volcanic environments, and from the close collaboration of the local communities and Civil Protection authorities.

Social networking platforms are increasingly used to report or pass along news and other valuable information. Their use increases especially during emergency situations and can be monitored for the analysis of adverse events, such as disasters. In this talk, I will provide an overview of a comprehensive disaster information system using social networks, with landslides serving as an illustrative example. I will briefly describe each of the steps involved and focus on the classification and ranking steps that determine the relevance of individual messages and groups of messages to landslides.

I will introduce the concept of "relevant" and "irrelevant" virtual communities of users and compute their influence in each of them. The resulting system achieves a 0. A successful supply chain aligns the needs and interests of the actors involved. This paper focuses on how actors involved in the disaster donations supply chain construct and understand their own interests, and how those interests align between actor groups i. The authors conducted interviews following Hurricane Sandy in and two tornadoes outside of Oklahoma City in May with individual actors in the donation supply chain These interviews were analyzed for how interviewees constructed the need for donations, and the alignment of their interests with other actors at different stages.

Overall, we observed a misalignment between donors, donation collectors, and donation distributors. Future research should investigate the specific interests of survivors and how their interests align with other actors in the donation supply chain. Coastal megacities are formulating and implementing adaptation policies in response to climate change. Cities, driven by the logic of neoliberal urbanism, continue to pursue growth-oriented initiatives related to waterfront redevelopment in flood-prone areas. Consequently, the planning process around climate adaptation is shaped by the urban growth agenda.

New York City is among the leading urban centers to tackle the issue of balancing waterfront revitalization in the context of greater risks and exposure to climate extremes. The Sunset Park waterfront, located in Brooklyn, is a site of contestation over land use and climate resilience strategies between municipal agencies, private sector interests, and community-based organizations.

This paper examines efforts to transform the Sunset Park industrial waterfront, focusing on two key issues: industrial retention and climate resilience. Specifically, it investigates how New York City is factoring climate resilience strategies into local land development policies. It also identifies key actors and institutions, as well as key policy instruments, to provide insights into the transformation of Sunset Park and other industrial waterfront areas in the city.

Preliminary findings indicate that land use and zoning regulations are major factors influencing climate resilience strategies. In addition, recent efforts to integrate climate resilience into local land-use planning are taking place in a patchwork manner, ranging from broad and overarching guidelines to project-by-project bases. Finally, there is a need for consideration of social justice and equity in industrial waterfront neighborhoods that are experiencing rapid demographic and socioeconomic transition. When flights to the mainland United States resumed weeks later, Puerto Rican evacuees began streaming into the country, illuminating disaster-induced migration and displacement.

Local governments and nongovernmental organizations NGOs were surprised by the arrival of these evacuees and unprepared to deal with their recovery needs. Research questions were: Are U. NGO models of disaster recovery suited to internally displaced persons needs outside the area of impact? What changes to doctrine, policy, and processes are necessary as U. NGOs face future disasters?

Major themes in both projects were: Federal Emergency Management Agency inadequate response to evacuees, issues with trust between new partners, the role of local government partners, resource scarcity, donors who did not prioritize the evacuee problem, and social justice, equity and advocacy. Intensified natural hazards, in particular hurricanes in Florida, are potential catastrophic risks intersecting with sea level rise.

Hillsborough County, a part of the Tampa Bay area, adopted a Post-Disaster Redevelopment Plan PDRP in to address potential major impacts by prioritizing actions for mitigation measures to create a smooth recovery process post-disaster. Although a change in course of Hurricane Irma in kept the Tampa Bay area from receiving a direct hit, severe floods still impacted particularly low-lying areas in the county.

The PDRP was not activated given the limited impact, but the fundamental question about long-term recovery in case of catastrophic impacts remains: Who will stay and how many will leave after the next disaster? Reactions of households to catastrophic hurricanes should be examined before the next potential catastrophe. This research uses an interdisciplinary approach to planning and public health, with semi-structured interviews and questionnaire surveys. The results indicate that high-risk area residents have insurance, while new-flood zone areas consist of residents without insurance.

The biggest discrepancy among respondents is the concept of the home, i. In South Florida, climate change and sea level rise are evident in more frequent street flooding from tides and more frequent severe hurricanes. Nonetheless, much of the general public remains ignorant of or indifferent to the problem of climate change. This research explores factors associated with the beliefs of residents about climate change, sea level rise, and their expectations about the future of the local housing market, as well as support for a variety of mitigation measures.

Using large-scale maps derived from the website FloodIQ. The survey was conducted in late The goal was to see if exposure to such information increased the likelihood that people would accept the reality of climate change, sea level rise, and the linkage between the two. Audience members will be invited to consider how they might initiate the collective method in the context of their own working groups, and all participants will be encouraged to read the assigned article in advance.

This research explores household residential dislocation after three hurricanes: Andrew in August , Ike in September , and Matthew in October The decision to dislocate may be driven not only by damage to structures, but also by social factors related to vulnerability, such as ethnicity, income, and tenure. Surveys, including structural damage inspections, face-to-face interviews with residents where possible, and interviews with neighbors or residential managers where necessary, were conducted with randomly sampled housing units after each hurricane.

The responses from three surveys are pooled into a single dataset to allow for analysis and comparison of factors influencing the probability of dislocation. Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 hurricane, was primarily a wind event, and Hurricane Ike, was primarily a surge event, while Hurricane Matthew, was a riverine flooding event for the community of Lumberton, North Carolina. The analyses attempt to capture the major factors shaping household dislocation: damage from wind, flooding, or both, and socioeconomic factors. The development of this dislocation model will help identify vulnerable residential areas in communities that have a higher probability of population loss due to household dislocation.

Problem definitions are key in the problem-solving process yet may be difficult to develop in dynamic contexts that require responses from disciplinary actors. Using interviews with people who were involved in providing health and medical relief for either the Nepal earthquake or the — Ebola epidemic in West Africa, this study examines how people involved in international crisis medical relief defined the problems they addressed through their relief efforts.

Their definitions were evident in the kinds of issues groups focused on, the activities they engaged in, and statements participants used to describe their foci. Whether responding to the epidemic or the earthquake, participants from these health relief efforts typically defined needs in public health terms or as issues of general well-being rather than in emergency medical terms.

They often situated these needs in the context of the larger public health issues present in the communities they served. While members of these efforts focused on specific medical issues early in the response, these foci broadened over time. As response transitioned into recovery, the health and well-being issues of interest decreased in specificity, and consequently, increased in similarity across the earthquake and epidemic cases.

While the findings suggest a likelihood toward, and therefore a need to protect against mission creep, they also suggest the ability to mobilize a broad range of multidisciplinary partners and resources toward these goals. They highlight areas of practice and concern shared across disciplinary boundaries in providing relief to epidemics and more traditional disasters. Experiential learning has emerged as a best practice in higher education and professional development programs.

This presentation describes the hour training requirement of an undergraduate degree program at a mid-sized public research university in the northeastern United States. The four tiers of the training program are foundational training, professional development, community engagement, and concentration-specific training. Each tier is assigned a minimum number of hours that students must complete in order to meet the requirements of the program. This paper illustrates a new way to integrate experiential learning into emergency management curriculum through a hour training requirement and demonstrates the benefits this type of educational experience can have for the students and the larger community.

Beyond educational theory, external training opportunities professionalize students to the practical knowledge of the field and into a culture of continuous learning. It also offers the potential to serve the broader community, reflecting the value that higher education can have in communities. Congress on the cost-effectiveness of federally funded disaster mitigation.

The study has become the most cited benefit-cost analysis for natural hazard mitigation, purportedly inspiring thousands of mitigation efforts. The study expands on prior work by examining the cost effectiveness of code development, above-code design, and private-sector retrofit, and by considering fire at the wildland-urban interface, along with earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods. Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves estimates benefits across society: reduced property losses to owners and tenants; improved life safety for building occupants; economic continuity for building occupants and for the people with whom they trade; savings to the federal treasury; and others.

The breadth of benefits matters here because the benefits measure the public good on which philosophers Bentham, Mill, Hume, and other advocates of utilitarianism urged their societies to base public policy. Setting resilience norms counts as public policy. Despite prominent calls to do so, engineers and building officials have balked at deliberately setting such norms, partly from a lack of necessary education and organization.

But they can perform and understand benefit-cost analysis, a common feature of undergraduate engineering economics courses. Through the frame of representative bureaucracy, this study examines the experiences of women working in local emergency management agencies to explore the opportunities and barriers that female emergency managers encounter as employees of these agencies. Highlighted are the systemic organizational barriers that contribute to limited career progression and the pervasiveness of discrimination and harassment in local emergency management agencies.

In addition, structural obstacles and opportunities for change are discussed. Lastly, the author examines cultural shifts in the reporting of sexual misconduct since the study has taken place, prompted by the revolutionary MeToo movement. Across the United States, fire and emergency response systems are facing numerous obstacles. Emergency and disaster response calls have dramatically increased over the past several decades, yet the number of volunteers has significantly declined. More than 70 percent of fire departments in the United States rely only on volunteers, especially in rural areas.

State agencies and local governments in Georgia look to the Georgia Department of Corrections to provide between and inmates each year—trained and certified as firefighters—to respond to car accidents, structural fires, missing person reports, bomb incidents, hazardous materials incidents, military disasters, tornadoes, wildfires, and other major disasters, including the recent Hurricanes Irma and Michael. Through qualitative interviews with former participants and emergency, corrections, and government officials, as well as analyses of policies, news media, and other documents, this study examined the role of inmate firefighters across emergency and disaster response in the state.

These findings reflect the imperiled state of emergency services in many communities and have implications for the future of emergency and disaster response, as inmates are increasingly looked to as a captive source of labor in the United States that can be put to work throughout the life cycle of disasters, despite being a vulnerable population. In the western United States and elsewhere, the frequency of large wildfires, their durations, and the length of the wildfire seasons have all increased, and future projections indicate even higher fire risks in the future.

Fine particulate matter PM2. Although there is a large and growing literature that there are differential health impacts of chronic exposure to air pollution from other sources on communities of color and lower income communities, very few studies have investigated whether there are differential health impacts of wildfire smoke exposure by socioeconomic status SES or race.

This presentation will discuss research to identify if there is differential risk of air pollution exposures during wildfires by SES or race during the northern California wildfires. We found significant associations between asthma emergency department ED visits and PM2. Understanding differential risk of health impacts from wildfire smoke is increasingly important, as wildfires are contributing more to our air pollution exposures, particularly in western North America. Public administrators exercise discretion over a host of matters, including decisions that implicitly trade off lives compared to other objectives, such as economic prosperity or health and well-being.

While practitioners routinely make choices and the scholarly field of public administration analyzes trade-offs among a number of public values, there are almost no empirical analyses of whether and how public managers make trade-offs over lives. Our study asks managers to choose among flood planning scenarios with different outcomes and finds that lives are one issue about which they make trade-offs.

We survey city and county managers, emergency managers, public works managers, and urban planners about a flood risk decision that they all commonly face, but which typically has an implicit rather than explicit potential trade-off regarding lives. We find that individual managers do make trade-offs regarding lives compared to other features in planning scenarios, including project cost, and property damage sustained.

Among the four professional groups we compare, public works managers show a greater aversion to fatalities, while city managers and planners are less averse and emergency managers show no significant relationship. We also find that public managers prefer plans in which losses are distributed equally across a county rather than being concentrated in high- or low-income areas, which suggests that managers favor decisions corresponding to a particular notion of equity.

This presentation will contribute to the discussion on the nexus between research and practice by reflecting on experiences coordinating the Resilient Colorado initiative, which was born out of the — wildfires and floods in the state. I will describe the origins and features of the Resilient Colorado initiative, describe two of our key initiatives collaborating with the Town of Lyons on their disaster recovery plan and the Planning for Hazards project , and highlight some of the key benefits and challenges of pursuing practice and community-based research.

Protecting historic resources from natural hazards is an important part of building resilient communities. They are also important contributors to local and regional employment and economic activity. In Colorado, for instance, many small towns and resort communities rely on their historic resources to provide a sense of place and to help drive tourism spending.

Many historic resources were built before development regulations, however, and are located in hazardous areas, such as floodplains. While there is a burgeoning literature that explores the exposure of historic resources and archeological sites to sea level rise and coastal flooding, there are relatively few studies that analyze the risks posed by riverine flooding and other climate-induced extreme events.

Next, we use a comparative case study research design to study 10 Colorado communities or counties where historic resources contribute to economic activity through qualitative interviews and plans analysis. We find that a significant number of historic resources in the state are at risk from flooding, and that most communities do not proactively plan for or protect their historic resources with regards to flood hazards. Because earthquake preparedness is multi-faceted and circumstance-specific, effective communication strategies require sustained engagement with target audiences.

Video games can potentially promote such engagement and provide tools for researching what motivates preparedness behavior. We use four versions of a custom-built video game in an experiment engaging participants aged 18 to 29 in Portland, Oregon, in preparing for the anticipated Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. Using a social cognitive framework, we assess pre- and post-play levels of self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and intent to act relative to a number of earthquake preparedness and response actions.

Preliminary results show that self-efficacy and intent to act increase significantly for actions depicted in the game but not for other relevant actions, and these effects are not significantly different across experimental conditions. A major challenge in natural hazards engineering is the determination of the effects of an event on an entire region. Regional impact estimates of this type are central to effective planning efforts by city and regional planners, and for maximum utility they need to be conducted at as fine a scale as is practically possible.

This work describes a computational framework developed at the National Science Foundation Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infwaelrastructure SimCenter to study the effects of natural hazards on communities at a regional scale. The modular and extensible framework allows researchers to simulate the response of structures using multiple fidelity models and perform damage and loss estimation for all structures in a region of interest. These large-scale simulations provide aggregated and granular damage and loss estimates for the region, taking into account both the uncertainty in the structural material properties and the loading on the structures due to the natural hazard.

Two testbed simulations demonstrate the capability of the framework—one for the San Francisco Bay Area for a synthetic magnitude 7. The extensibility of the framework is demonstrated by characterizing the earthquake hazards using different models, namely seismic hazard analysis, stochastic earthquake loading models, and physics-based ground motion simulations.

What potential interventions, informed by these key domains, are necessary to build resilience? What evidence-based practices and tools, based on this community resilience model, would best serve practitioners? We formed a multidisciplinary team to develop a conceptual model and associated computational model to predict community functioning and resilience during and after disasters. In pilot testing, the model showed cohesive spatial patterns of resilience, which had face validity with stakeholders. Furthermore, the model demonstrated utility to serve as a tool to bring community members and practitioners from disparate fields together to holistically conceptualize community resilience and identify interventions suited to that community.

This work reflects the power of interdisciplinary applied research and systems thinking to increase practitioner and community collaboration in preparedness activities, as well as promoting understanding of the contributions of the whole community in disaster resilience-enhancing activities. Communities along the United States Gulf Coast are at high risk of natural and man-made hazards. We developed a disaster training designed to increase Knowledge, Attitude, Preparedness, and Skills K.

We held a series of six identical training sessions in Geismar, Louisiana, a community that faces multiple hazards.

Managing urban recovery: policy, planning, concepts and cases

The results indicate that this high-hazard setting called for more extensive instructional content, constructivist teaching methods, and the inclusion of residents at all education levels. Less than two years later, in September , before recovering fully from Matthew, the city was devastated by Hurricane Florence. This unique timeline of repetitive disasters presents an opportunity for exploratory research on the role of federal disaster assistance in community recovery. Using regression analysis and semi-structured interviews with 15 homeowners who received Hazard Mitigation Grant Program HMGP assistance for property acquisition, elevation, or reconstruction following Hurricane Matthew, this study investigates differences in the property values and occupancy status of HMGP recipients based on their decision to remain via property elevation or reconstruction or relocate via property acquisition.

Field observation indicates that more than Preliminary results indicate significant differences in socio-demographic characteristics at the neighborhood level among HMGP recipients. This study provides planners and policymakers a holistic view of federal disaster assistance at the neighborhood level and insights into community resilience.

A coastal flood event in the San Francisco Bay Area has the potential to cause massive commute disruptions, triggering socioeconomic consequences for employees, such as loss of wages and jobs, loss of business due to the delay or absence of employees, less time with family, and increases in traffic accidents and loss of life.

Moreover, without adequate planning, the frequency of flood-induced commute disruption will likely increase in upcoming decades due to rising sea levels. This study models changes in commute patterns, estimates the corresponding increases in commute time, and assesses areas of high congestion in response to a number of sea level rise and storm scenarios.

To simulate flood-induced commute disruption, elevation data is appended into a regional road network, which includes variables for modeling traffic flow. To produce travel time estimates under various flood scenarios, the regional road network is merged with an origin-destination dataset and flood maps. After identifying inundated roadways, an iterative traffic assignment model is used to dynamically assign commuters to their feasible shortest-time routes during peak commute times.

We find that inundated roadways in the immediate vicinity of the Bay Area can disrupt commute patterns further inland, highlighting the far-reaching impacts of coastal flooding. Quantifying indirect losses such as commute disruption may help provide context beyond direct economic loss for sustainable risk adaptation. Sea level rise, as one of the most widespread consequences of climate change, has become a pressing threat to transportation infrastructure, especially in coastal regions. It is particularly a challenge for Hawaii, given the geographic and topographic characteristics of its islands.

While research has been conducted to assess the physical vulnerability of transportation networks to sea level rise, it is often difficult to validate the results because of a lack of empirical data. In recent years, social media have provided a new opportunity to collect hazards data, understand impacts, and provide useful information for disaster management. The value of social media in capturing the views, needs, and experiences of the traveling public to support the development of long-term transport planning has been acknowledged. However, despite its potential, social media has not yet been applied to study the impacts of long-term, slow-onset hazards to transportation, indicating both a gap and an opportunity.

This project combines traditional transportation vulnerability assessments with social media analysis and community mapping to assess the potential impacts of sea level rise on transportation. Through the examination of past coastal flooding events in Honolulu, it demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. The findings show how Twitter data, community mapping, and transportation vulnerability analysis could complement each other to help understand the impacts of sea level rise from different perspectives and at different geographical scales.

We examine differences in health and perceptions of recovery depending on whether respondents view Hurricane Harvey as a natural or natech disaster. Respondents who view Hurricane Harvey as a natech disaster are also more likely to report exposure to chemicals during the disaster. However, we find no evidence of significant differences in symptoms of depression or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

For the meeting, we will develop multivariate models employing pre- and post-Harvey data to explore these relationships further. Flooding from extreme weather events can be exacerbated due to anthropogenic changes that increase impervious surfaces in the built environment. This paper investigates the socio-environmental transformation of landscapes, because these changes are a primary contributor to increasing, changing, and uncertain flood risks during disasters. Using a socio-environmental succession perspective focused on urban environmental inequalities, this work highlights the socio-demographic characteristics of human populations in areas undergoing urbanization in the greater Houston metropolitan area.

Data for this paper synthesize environmental and social changes on census tracts in the county greater Houston area annually from to Median income is the focal variable of interest, as it is linked to social inequalities and environmental change. The panel data is employed using spatial between-within models that test for both fixed effects and random effects in the same model.

Descriptive findings show that an average neighborhood increase from 34 percent impervious surfaces in to 41 percent in Regression findings show that landscape change is shaped in different ways by income. The between effect indicates that high income neighborhoods tend to have more impervious surfaces. The within effect indicates that changes in income across time are not particularly associated with increasing impervious surfaces.

Implications center on how studying the rise of impervious surfaces in cities underlies the foundation on which environmental risks are set. Individuals living in hurricane- and cyclone-prone areas are increasingly vulnerable to property damage and community disruption. For older housing i.

However, the majority of older building stocks in these areas do not have such upgrades installed. This talk will present recent findings from a research project to investigate these factors in North Queensland, Australia, and incorporate findings into a smartphone-based decision support tool for promoting mitigation actions. To understand the factors that influence hurricane mitigation behavior, people living in North Queensland were surveyed using an online questionnaire.

Results suggest that perceived hurricane risk and the benefits of mitigation, relative to cost, influence mitigation behavior. Further analysis was used to understand how people differ in their perceptions toward hurricane risk and mitigation behavior. This presentation will provide insight into these differences and discuss how findings were incorporated into the mitigation decision support tool.

The Fukushima nuclear power accident caused by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami shocked people around the world. As a result, each nuclear power plant in Japan has implemented stricter regulations since the accident. Local governments have obligations to create evacuation plans for residents within 30 km of a nuclear power plant.

Because Kyushu University is outside of the protective zone, the local government is not required to provide preparedness assistance to the university population. Disaster researchers and medical doctors have begun to approach disaster preparedness for nuclear accidents in a multidisciplinary way, which is particularly relevant for the Genkai Nuclear Power Plant after the Kumamoto earthquakes. This presentation will discuss strategies to protect students from radiation in case of a future nuclear accident.

Researchers have largely overlooked mobile home parks, a third housing type that is home to 2. Mobile home parks MHPs are characterized by their private ownership, stigmatization in popular culture, and by local governance institutions and unique tenure arrangement, in which residents own their individual homes but rent the land underneath. Existing studies have largely overlooked these unique characteristics of mobile home parks and remained focused on the physical vulnerability of mobile home units and, to a lesser extent, the sociodemographic characteristics of residents.

The interactions between mobile home parks and the environmental, social, and regulatory contexts of disasters remain largely unexplored. In this paper we present an explanatory case study of the Colorado Flood. Drawing on both quantitative and qualitative data, we uncover five mechanisms of exposure and vulnerability that together describe how mobile home parks and their residents were uniquely at-risk to the disaster. We find that: mobile home parks were exposed to flooding at a higher rate than housing generally; mobile home parks spatially concentrated socially vulnerable households; mobile home parks and their residents were stigmatized by local governance before and after the disaster; post-disaster regulatory exposure was a barrier to recovery; and post-disaster recovery policies and plans disadvantaged mobile home parks and their residents.

We conclude by describing several avenues for future research. Current engineering codes and standards governing infrastructure design and engineering practice in the United States rarely consider social and economic systems and impacts caused by infrastructure disruptions. These documents are well-established, and built on significant longstanding research and experience. Code-based designs have been largely successful in this regard.

These numbers become even more alarming when considering that non-climate related disasters such as earthquakes are not included, and that direct losses underestimate actual total losses, which altogether indicate that a change to the current approach is profoundly needed. An interdisciplinary community-based approach is designed, and shared here, to account for the way building infrastructure supports the social and economic systems in a community, and how goods and services, occupancy, and relative importance change across the disaster timeline and the significance of accounting for this change during the designing stage.

When social media first appeared in the early to mids, researchers and practitioners were simultaneously enthralled by the possibilities, curious about its uses, and repulsed by its silliness. For academics and other researchers, collecting, processing, and analyzing these data has evolved; as knowledge about collective behavior online has grown, so too have the apps and their technical aspects, as well as their users, both real and simulated. Such changes provide grand opportunities for learning about informal communication across the disaster lifecycle, but also present grand challenges, as we are faced with an increasingly unruly online environment.

In this talk, I will present a brief history of social media data for disaster research. I will describe the varying strategies for data collection and analysis used by the HEROIC project, and those used by social science colleagues who have conducted research in this space as knowledge and practice has shifted over time. I will end by identifying a set of research needs for future disaster research using social media.

Puerto Rico has been engaging in a long and complex housing reconstruction process since Hurricane Maria destroyed the island in September Although this event caused widespread loss, previous studies have found that households with a relatively high level of socioeconomic vulnerability have a more difficult time accessing resources for reconstruction. The reconstruction process in Puerto Rico was further complicated by the large presence of informal housing and construction before Hurricane Maria, disproportionately affecting groups with higher socioeconomic vulnerability.

Therefore, in the process of reconstructing their homes, many families have relied on informal reconstruction, such as working without a contractor or building permits, to maintain their path to recovery. Previous literature has shown hazards affect housing reconstruction differently based on socioeconomic vulnerability; however, the literature is limited in the context of informal housing reconstruction. This study questions whether there is a relationship between socioeconomic vulnerability indicators and evidence of informal housing reconstruction.

Data analysis includes multiple linear regression and finds that the most prominent indicators for predicting informal reconstruction are annual income and age when controlled for employment status. Implications include a clearer understanding of access to reconstruction based on socioeconomic factors and bring us closer to predicting which groups have been successful or unsuccessful in rebuilding.

Language is a means of communication, but it functions as much more than this in our social lives. In emergencies and disasters, it can also be a matter of life and death. Language barriers and effective communication in disaster contexts are the central concern in current disaster research, practice, and policy, because distributing critical disaster information and warnings in a timely and accurate manner is critical.

However, based on the data drawn from qualitative interviews with linguistic minority immigrants and refugees in Canterbury, New Zealand, and Tohoku, Japan, I argue that linguistic minorities confront unique disaster vulnerability partly due to linguicism—language-based discrimination at multiple levels. As linguicism is often compounded by racism, it is not properly addressed and analyzed through the framework of language ideology and power.

Communities are embedded in highly interdependent social and physical infrastructure. This coupling between social and physical networks can lead to complex cascading effects that cannot be understood by looking at these networks in isolation. The full implications of these interdependencies for community resilience are not currently understood. This research seeks an understanding of the underlying factors that lead to resilience and recovery of interdependent social and physical networks after disasters.

We further aim to identify potential tipping points, where small changes in social and physical systems significantly impact the recovery of the overall system. We have collected various types of data—focus group interviews, household surveys, mobile phone data, and social media data—from multiple disaster events, including Hurricanes Sandy, Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and the Tohoku tsunami to create and test modeling approaches for improved knowledge of both social and physical factors that lead to recovery.

Through the analysis of mobile phone datasets, we have identified universal patterns in post-disaster population return and recovery, and have shown that the heterogeneity across cities can be explained by social and physical factors. The analysis of different datasets allows state estimation of interdependencies and damage to infrastructure after disasters. Given the knowledge of damage conditions and interdependencies, we also characterize optimal repair policies that decision-makers can follow for efficient infrastructure recovery.

The ecological concept of resilience describes how a system or community responds to a disruption. Thus, it is an inherently community-level concept, and implicitly emphasizes recovery from a crisis or disaster. Yet, the literature offers little in the way of a theoretical framework for understanding how public policy efforts and investments help or hinder the development of resilience within a community. Paralleling preparedness measures, disaster response activities take place at various units of analysis, from individuals and households, to organizations, communities, and intergovernmental systems.

This section does not attempt to deal exhaustively with the topic of emergency response activities, which is the most-studied of all phases of hazard and disaster management. Rather, it highlights key themes in the literature, with an emphasis on NEHRP-based findings that are especially relevant in light of newly recognized human-induced threats. The decision processes and behaviors involved in public responses to disaster warnings are among the best-studied topics in the research literature.

As noted in Chapter 3 , warning response research overlaps to some degree with more general risk communication research. For example, both literatures emphasize the importance of considering source, message, channel, and receiver effects on the warning process. While this discussion centers mainly on responses to official warning information, it should be noted that self-protective decision-making processes are also initiated in the absence of formal warnings—for example, in response to cues that people perceive as signaling impending danger and in disasters that occur without warning.

Previous research suggests that the basic deci-. As in other areas discussed here, empirical studies on warning response and self-protective behavior in different types of disasters and emergencies have led to the development of broadly generalizable explanatory models. According to that theory, groups faced with the potential need to act under conditions of uncertainty or potential danger engage in interaction in an attempt to develop a collective definition of the situation they face and a set of new norms that can guide their subsequent action.

These collective determinations are shaped in turn by such factors as 1 the characteristics of warning recipients , including their prior experience with the hazard in question or with similar emergencies, as well as their prior preparedness efforts; 2 situational factors , including the presence of perceptual cues signaling danger; and 3 the social contexts in which decisions are made—for example, contacts among family members, coworkers, neighborhood residents, or others present in the setting, as well as the strength of preexisting social ties.

Through interaction and under the influence of these kinds of factors, individuals and groups develop new norms that serve as guidelines for action. Conceptualizing warning response as a form of collective behavior that is guided by emergent norms brings several issues to the fore. One is that far from being automatic or governed by official orders, behavior undertaken in response to warnings is the product of interaction and deliberation among members of affected groups—activities that are typically accompanied by a search for additional confirmatory information.

Circumstances that complicate the deliberation process, such as conflicting warning information that individuals and groups may receive, difficulties in getting in touch with others whose views are considered important for the decision-making process, or disagreements among group members about any aspect of the. Note that what is being discussed here are group-level deliberations and decisions, not individual ones. Actions under conditions of uncertainty and urgency such as those that accompany disaster warnings should not be conceptualized in individualistic terms.

Another implication of the emergent norm approach to protective action decision making is the recognition that groups may collectively define an emergency situation in ways that are at variance from official views. This is essentially what occurs in the shadow evacuation phenomenon, which has been documented in several emergency situations, including the Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident Zeigler et al.

While authorities may not issue a warning for a particular geographic area or group of people, or may even tell them they are safe, groups may still collectively decide that they are at risk or that the situation is fluid and confusing enough that they should take self-protective action despite official pronouncements. The behavior of occupants of the World Trade Center during the September 11, terrorist attack illustrates the importance of collectively developed definitions.

Groups of people in Tower 2 of the World Trade Center decided that they should evacuate the building after seeing and hearing about what was happening in Tower 1 and after speaking with coworkers and loved ones, even when official announcements and other building occupants indicated that they should not do so. Others decided to remain in the tower or, perhaps more accurately, they decided to delay evacuating until receiving additional information clarifying the extent to which they were in danger. Journalistic accounts suggest that decisions were shaped in part by what people could see taking place in Tower 1, conversations with others outside the towers who had additional relevant information, and directives received from those in positions of authority in tenant firms.

In that highly confusing and time-constrained situation, emergent norms guiding the behavior of occupants of the second tower meant the difference between life and death when the second plane struck NIST, The large body of research that exists regarding decision making under threat conditions points to the need to consider a wide range of individual, group, situational, and resource-related factors that facilitate and inhibit self-protective action.

Qualitatively based decision-tree models developed by Gladwin et al. As illustrated by their work on hurricane evacuation, a number of different factors contribute to decisions on whether or not to evacuate. Such factors range from perceptions of risk and personal safety with respect to a threatened disaster, to the extent of knowledge about specific areas at risk, to constraining factors such as the presence of pets in the home that require care, lack of a suitable place to go, counterarguments by other family members, fears of looting shown by the literature to be unjustified; see, for example, Fischer, , and fear that the evacuation process may.

Warning recipients may decide that they should wait before evacuating, ultimately missing the opportunity to escape, or they may decide to shelter in-place after concluding that their homes are strong enough to resist hurricane forces despite what they are told by authorities. In their research on Hurricane Andrew, Gladwin and Peacock describe some of the many factors that complicate the evacuation process for endangered populations :. Except under extreme circumstances, households cannot be compelled to evacuate or to remain where they are, much less to prepare themselves for the threat.

Even under extraordinary conditions many households have to be individually located and assisted or forced to comply. Segments of a population may fail to receive, ignore, or discount official requests and orders. Still others may not have the resources or wherewithal to comply. Disputes, competition, and the lack of coordination among local, state, and federal governmental agencies and between those agencies and privately controlled media can add confusion. Businesses and governmental agencies that refuse to release their employees and suspend normal activities can add still further to the confusion and noncompliance.

The normalcy bias adds other complications to the warning response process. While popular notions of crisis response behaviors seem to assume that people react automatically to messages signaling impending danger—for example, by fleeing in panic—the reality is quite different.

As noted earlier, people will not act on threat information unless they perceive a personal risk to themselves. Simply knowing that a threat exists—even if that threat is described as imminent—is insufficient to motivate self-protective action. Nor can people be expected to act if warning-related guidance is not specific enough to provide them with a blueprint for what to do or if they do not believe they have the resources required to follow the guidance.

One practical implication of research on warnings is that rather than being concerned about panicking the public with warning information, or about communicating too much information, authorities should instead be seeking better ways to penetrate the normalcy bias, persuade people that they should be concerned about an impending danger, provide directives that are detailed enough to follow during an emergency, and encourage pre-disaster response planning so that people have thought through what to do prior to being required to act.

As noted earlier, evacuation behavior has long been recognized as the reflection of social-level factors and collective deliberation. Decades ago, Drabek established that households constitute the basic deliberative units for evacuation decision making in community-wide disasters and that the decisions that are ultimately made tend to be consistent with pre-disaster household authority patterns. For example, gender-related concerns often enter into evacuation decision making.

Women tend to be more risk-averse and more inclined to want to follow evacuation orders, while males are less inclined to do so for an extensive discussion of gender differences in vulnerability, risk perception, and responses to disasters, see Fothergill, In arriving at decisions regarding evacuation, households take official orders into account, but they weigh those orders in light of their own priorities, other information sources, and their past experiences. Information received from media sources and from family and friends, along with confirmatory data actively sought by those at risk, generally has a greater impact on evacuation decisions than information provided by public officials Dow and Cutter, , Recent research also suggests that family evacuation patterns are undergoing change.

For example, even though families decide together to evacuate and wish to stay together, they increasingly tend to use more than one vehicle to evacuate—perhaps because they want to take more of their possessions with them, make sure their valuable vehicles are protected, or return to their homes at different times Dow and Cutter, Other social influences also play a role.

Neighborhood residents may be more willing to evacuate or, conversely, more inclined to delay the decision to evacuate if they see their neighbors doing so. NEHRP-sponsored research has shown that different racial, ethnic, income, and special needs groups respond in different ways to warning information and evacuation orders, in part because of the unique characteristics of these groups, the manner in which they receive information during crises, and their varying responses to different information sources. For example, members of some minority groups tend to have large extended families, making contacting family members and deliberating on alternative courses of action a more complicated process.

Lower-income groups, inner-city residents, and elderly persons are more likely to have to rely on public transportation, rather than personal vehicles, in order to evacuate. Lower-income and minority populations, who tend to have larger families, may. Lack of financial resources may leave less-well-off segments of the population less able to afford to take time off from work when disasters threaten, to travel long distances to avoid danger, or to pay for emergency lodging.

Socially isolated individuals, such as elderly persons living alone, may lack the social support that is required to carry out self-protective actions. Members of minority groups may find majority spokespersons and official institutions less credible and believable than members of the white majority, turning instead to other sources, such as their informal social networks.

Those who rely on non-English-speaking mass media for news may receive less complete warning information, or may receive warnings later than those who are tuned into mainstream media sources Aguirre et al. Hurricane Katrina vividly revealed the manner in which social factors such as those discussed above influence evacuation decisions and actions. In many respects, the Katrina experience validated what social science research had already shown with respect to evacuation behavior.

Those who stayed behind did so for different reasons—all of which have been discussed in past research. Some at-risk residents lacked resources, such as automobiles and financial resources that would have enabled them to escape the city. Based on their past experiences with hurricanes like Betsey and Camille, others considered themselves not at risk and decided it was not necessary to evacuate.

Still others, particularly elderly residents, felt so attached to their homes that they refused to leave even when transportation was offered. This is not to imply that evacuation-related problems stemmed solely from individual decisions. Katrina also revealed the crucial significance of evacuation planning, effective warnings, and government leadership in facilitating evacuations. Planning efforts in New Orleans were rudimentary at best, clear evacuation orders were given too late, and the hurricane rendered evacuation resources useless once the city began to flood. With respect to other patterns of evacuation behavior when they do evacuate, most people prefer to stay with relatives or friends, rather than using public shelters.

Shelter use is generally limited to people who feel they have no other options—for example, those who have no close friends and relatives to take them in and cannot afford the price of lodging. Many people avoid public shelters or elect to stay in their homes because shelters do not allow pets. Following earthquakes, some victims, particularly Latinos in the United States who have experienced or learned about highly damaging earthquakes in their countries of origin, avoid indoor shelter of all types, preferring instead to sleep outdoors Tierney, ; Phillips, ; Simile, The disaster literature shows little support for the cry-wolf hypothesis.

For example, Dow and Cutter studied South Carolina residents who had been warned of impending hurricanes that ultimately struck North Carolina. However, false alarms did result in a decrease in confidence in official warning sources, as opposed to other sources of information on which people relied in making evacuation decisions—certainly not the outcome officials would have intended. Studies also suggest that it is advisable to clarify for the public why forecasts and warnings were uncertain or incorrect.

Numerous individual studies and research syntheses have contrasted commonsense ideas about how people respond during crises with empirical data on actual behavior. Among the most important myths addressed in these analyses is the notion that panic and social disorganization are common responses to imminent threats and to actual disaster events Quarantelli and Dynes, ; Johnson, ; Clarke, True panic, defined as highly individualistic flight behavior that is nonsocial in nature, undertaken without regard to social norms and relationships, is extremely rare prior to and during extreme events of all types.

Panic takes place under specific conditions that are almost never present in disaster situations. Panic only occurs when individuals feel completely isolated and when both social bonds and measures to promote safety break down to such a degree that individuals feel totally on their own in seeking safety. Panic results from a breakdown in the ongoing social order—a breakdown that Clarke describes as having moral, network, and cognitive dimensions:.

There is a moral failure, so that people pursue their self interest regardless. There is a network failure, so that the resources that people can normally draw on in times of crisis are no longer there. Failures on this scale almost never occur during disasters. Panic reactions are rare in part because social bonds remain intact and extremely resilient even under conditions of severe danger Johnson, ; Johnson et al. Panic persists in public and media discourses on disasters, in part because those discourses conflate a wide range of other behaviors with panic.

Often, people are described as panicking because they experience feelings of intense fear, even though fright and panic are conceptually and behaviorally distinct. Another behavioral pattern that is sometimes labeled panic involves intensified rumors and information seeking, which are common patterns among publics attempting to make sense of confusing and potentially dangerous situations. Under conditions of uncertainty, people make more frequent use of both informal ties and official information sources, as they seek to collectively define threats and decide what actions to take.

Such activities are a normal extension of everyday information-seeking practices Turner, They are not indicators of panic. The phenomenon of shadow evacuation, discussed earlier, is also frequently confused with panic. Such evacuations take place because people who are not defined by authorities as in danger nevertheless determine that they are—perhaps because they have received conflicting or confusing information or because they are geographically close to areas considered at risk Tierney et al.

These types of behaviors, which constitute interesting subjects for research in their own right, are not examples of panic. Research also indicates that panic and other problematic behaviors are linked in important ways to the manner in which institutions manage risk and disaster. Such behaviors are more likely to emerge when those who are in danger come to believe that crisis management measures are ineffective, suggesting that enhancing public understanding of and trust in preparedness measures and in organizations charged with managing disasters can lessen the likelihood of panic.

Blaming the public for panicking during emergencies serves to diffuse responsibility from professionals whose duty it is to protect the public, such as emergency managers, fire and public safety officials, and those responsible for the design, construction, and safe operation of buildings and other structures Sime, The empirical record bears out the fact that to the extent panic does occur during emergencies, such behavior can be traced in large measure to environmental factors such as overcrowding, failure to provide adequate egress routes, and breakdowns in communications, rather than to some inherent human impulse to stampede with complete disregard for others.

Any potential for panic and other problematic behaviors that may exist can, in other words, be mitigated through appropriate design, regulatory, management, and communications strategies. As discussed elsewhere in this report, looting and violence are also exceedingly rare in disaster situations. Here again, empirical evidence of what people actually do during and following disasters contradicts what many officials and much of the public believe. Beliefs concerning looting are based not on evidence but rather on assumptions—for example, that social control breaks down during disasters and that lawlessness and violence inevitably result when the social order is disrupted.

Such beliefs fail to take into account the fact that powerful norms emerge during disasters that foster prosocial behavior—so much so that lawless behavior actually declines in disaster situations. The myth of disaster looting can be contrasted with the reality of looting during episodes of civil disorder such as the riots of the s and the Los Angeles unrest.

During episodes of civil unrest, looting is done publicly, in groups, quite often in plain sight of law enforcement officials. Under these circumstances, otherwise law-abiding citizens allow themselves to take part in looting behavior Dynes and Quarantelli, ; Quarantelli and Dynes, Looting and damaging property can also become normative in situations that do not involve civil unrest—for example, in victory celebrations following sports events. Once again, in such cases, norms and traditions governing behavior in crowd celebrations encourage destructive activities.

Rosenfeld, The behavior of participants in these destructive crowd celebrations again bears no resemblance to that of disaster victims. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, social scientists had no problem understanding why episodes of looting might have been more widespread in that event than in the vast majority of U.

Looting has occurred on a widespread basis following other disasters, although such cases have been rare. Residents of St. Croix engaged in extensive looting behavior following Hurricane Hugo, and this particular episode sheds light on why some Katrina victims might have felt justified in looting. Hurricane Hugo produced massive damage on St. Croix, and government agencies were rendered helpless. Essentially trapped on the island, residents had no idea when help would arrive.

Instead, they felt entirely on their own following Hugo. The tourist-based St. Croix economy was characterized by stark social class differences, and crime and corruption had been high prior to the hurricane. Under these circumstances, looting for survival was seen as justified, and patterns of collective behavior developed that were not unlike those seen during episodes of civil unrest.

Even law enforcement personnel joined in the looting Quarantelli, ; Rodriguez et al. Despite their similarities, the parallels between New Orleans and St. Croix should not be overstated. It is now clear that looting and violent behavior were far less common than initially reported and that rumors concerning shootings, rapes, and murders were groundless.

In hindsight, it now appears that many reports involving looting and social breakdown were based on stereotyped images of poor minority community residents Tierney et al. Extensive research also indicates that despite longstanding evidence, beliefs about disaster-related looting and lawlessness remain quite common, and these beliefs can influence the behavior of both community residents and authorities.

For example, those who are at risk may decide not to evacuate and instead stay in their homes to protect their property from looters Fischer, Concern regarding looting and lawlessness may cause government officials to make highly questionable and even counterproductive decisions. These decisions likely resulted in additional loss of life and also interfered with citizen efforts to aid one another. Interestingly, recent historical accounts indicate that similar decisions were made following other large-scale disasters, such as the Chicago fire, the Galveston hurricane, and the San Francisco earthquake and firestorm.

In all three cases, armed force was used to stop. Along with Katrina, these events caution against making decisions on the basis of mythical beliefs and rumors. As is the case with the panic myth, attributing the causes of looting behavior to individual motivations and impulses serves to deflect attention from the ways in which institutional failures can create insurmountable problems for disaster victims. When disasters occur, communications, disaster management, and service delivery systems should remain sufficiently robust that victims will not feel isolated and afraid or conclude that needed assistance will never arrive.

More to the point, victims of disasters should not be scapegoated when institutions show themselves to be entirely incapable of providing even rudimentary forms of assistance—which was exactly what occurred with respect to Hurricane Katrina. In contrast to the panicky and lawless behavior that is often attributed to disaster-stricken populations, public behavior during earthquakes and other major community emergencies is overwhelmingly adaptive, prosocial, and aimed at promoting the safety of others and the restoration of ongoing community life.

The predominance of prosocial behavior and, conversely, a decline in antisocial behavior in disaster situations is one of the most longstanding and robust research findings in the disaster literature. Research conducted with NEHRP sponsorship has provided an even better understanding of the processes involved in adaptive collective mobilization during disasters. Helping Behavior and Disaster Volunteers. Helping behavior in disasters takes various forms, ranging from spontaneous and informal efforts to provide assistance to more organized emergent group activity, and finally to more formalized organizational arrangements.

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With respect to spontaneously developing and informal helping networks, disaster victims are assisted first by others in the immediate vicinity and surrounding area and only later by official public safety personnel. In a discussion on search and rescue activities following earthquakes, for example, Noji observes In Southern Italy in , 90 percent of the survivors of an earthquake were extricated by untrained, uninjured survivors who used their bare hands and simple tools such as shovels and axes….

Following the Tangshan earthquake, about , to , entrapped people crawled out of the debris on their own and went on to rescue others…. They became the backbone of the rescue teams, and it was to their credit that more than 80 percent of those buried under the debris were rescued. Thus, lifesaving efforts in a stricken community rely heavily on the capabilities of relatively uninjured survivors, including untrained volunteers, as well as those of local firefighters and other relevant personnel. The spontaneous provision of assistance is facilitated by the fact that when crises occur, they take place in the context of ongoing community life and daily routines—that is, they affect not isolated individuals but rather people who are embedded in networks of social relationships.

When a massive gasoline explosion destroyed a neighborhood in Guadalajara, Mexico, in , for example, survivors searched for and rescued their loved ones and neighbors. Indeed, they were best suited to do so, because they were the ones who knew who lived in different households and where those individuals probably were at the time of the disaster Aguirre et al.

Similarly, crowds and gatherings of all types are typically comprised of smaller groupings—couples, families, groups of friends—that become a source of support and aid when emergencies occur. As the emergency period following a disaster lengthens, unofficial helping behavior begins to take on a more structured form with the development of emergent groups—newly formed entities that become involved in crisis-related activities Stallings and Quarantelli, ; Saunders and Kreps, Emergent groups perform many different types of activities in disasters, from sandbagging to prevent flooding, to searching for and rescuing victims and providing for other basic needs, to post-disaster cleanup and the informal provision of recovery assistance to victims.

While emergent groups are in many ways essential for the effectiveness of crisis response activities, their activities may be seen as unnecessary or even disruptive by formal crisis response agencies. In the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center, for example, numerous groups emerged to offer every conceivable type of assistance to victims and emergency responders. Disaster-related volunteering also takes place within more formalized organizational structures, both in existing organizations that mobilize in response to disasters and through organizations such as the Red Cross,.

Indeed, many individuals persisted in literally demanding to be allowed to serve as volunteers, even after being repeatedly turned away. Some of those who were intent on serving as volunteers managed to talk their way into settings that were off-limits in order to offer their services. Organizations such as the Red Cross and the NVOAD federation thus provide an infrastructure that can support very extensive volunteer mobilization. That infrastructure will likely form the basis for organized volunteering in future homeland security emergencies, just as it does in major disasters.


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Helping behavior is very widespread after disasters, particularly large and damaging ones. Activities in which volunteers engaged after that disaster included searching for and rescuing victims trapped under rubble, donating blood and supplies, inspecting building damage, collecting funds, providing medical care and psychological counseling, and providing food and shelter to victims Wenger and James, Thus, the volunteer sector responding to disasters typically constitutes a very large proportion of the population of affected regions, as well as volunteers converging from other locations.

Social science research, much of it conducted under NEHRP auspices, highlights a number of other points regarding post-disaster helping behavior.

In This Article

One such insight is that helping behavior in many ways mirrors roles and responsibilities people assume during nondisaster times. For example, when people provide assistance during disasters and other emergencies, their involvement is typically consistent with gender role expectations Wenger and James, ; Feinberg and Johnson, Research also indicates that mass convergence of volunteers and donations can create significant management problems and undue burdens on disaster-stricken communities. After disas-. Research on public behavior during disasters has major implications for homeland security policies and practices.

The research literature provides support for the inclusion of the voluntary sector and community-based organizations in preparedness and response efforts. Initiatives that aim at encouraging public involvement in homeland security efforts of all types are clearly needed. In using that term to refer to fire, police, and other public safety organizations, current homeland security discourse fails to recognize that community residents themselves constitute the front-line responders in any major emergency.

One implication of this line of research is that planning and management models that fail to recognize the role of victims and volunteers in responding to all types of extreme events will leave responders unprepared for what will actually occur during disasters—for example, that, as research consistently shows, community residents will be the first to search for victims, provide emergency aid, and transport victims to health care facilities in emergencies of all types.

These research findings have significant policy implications. To date, Department of Homeland Security initiatives have focused almost exclusively on providing equipment and training for uniformed responders, as opposed to community residents. Recently, however, DHS has begun placing more emphasis on its Citizen Corps component, which is designed to mobilize the skills and talents of the public when disasters strike.

Fire department personnel dispatched in vehicles to the damaged area following the earthquake mistook the structure, a three-story building that had pancaked on the first floor, for a two-story building, and they did not stop to inspect the structure or look for victims. The need for community-based preparedness and response initiatives is more evident than ever follow-ing the Katrina disaster.

Organizational, Governmental, and Network Responses. The importance of observing disaster response operations while they are ongoing or as soon as possible after disaster impact has long been a hallmark of the disaster research field. The quick-response tradition in disaster research, which has been a part of the field since its inception, developed out of a recognition that data on disaster response activities are perishable and that information collected from organizations after the passage of time is likely to be distorted and incomplete Quarantelli, , NEHRP funds, provided through grant supplements, Small Grants for Exploratory Research SGER awards, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute EERI reconnaissance missions, earthquake center reconnaissance funding, and small grants such as those provided by the Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, have supported the collection of perishable data and enabled social science researchers to mobilize rapidly following major earthquakes and other disasters.

NEHRP provided substantial support for the collection of data on organizational and community responses in a number of earthquake events, including the Whittier Narrows, Loma Prieta, and Northridge earthquakes see, for example, Tierney, , ; EERI, , as well as major earthquakes outside the United States such as the Mexico City, San Salvador, and Armenia events.

Many of those studies focused on organizational issues in both the public and private sectors. In many cases, quick-response research on disaster impacts and organizational and governmental response has led to subsequent in-depth studies on response-related issues identified during the post-impact reconnaissance phase. Following major events such as Loma Prieta, Northridge, and Kobe, insights from initial reconnaissance studies have formed the basis for broader research initiatives.

Recent efforts have focused on ways to better take advantage of reconnaissance opportunities and to identify topics for longer-term study. A new plan has been developed to better coordinate and integrate both reconnaissance and longer-term research activities carried out with NEHRP support. Through both initial quick-response activities and longer-term studies, NEHRP research has added to the knowledge base on how organizations cope with crises. Studies have focused on a variety of topics. A partial list of those topics includes organizational and group activities associated with the post-disaster search and rescue process Aguirre et al.

Focusing specifically at the interorganizational level of analysis, NEHRP research has also highlighted the significance and mix of planned and improvised networks in disaster response. It has long been recognized that post-disaster response activities involve the formation of new or emergent networks of organizations. Indeed, one distinguishing feature of major crisis events is the prominence and proliferation of network forms of organization during the response period.

Emergent multiorganizational networks EMON constitute new organizational interrelationships that reflect collective efforts to manage crisis events. Such networks are typically heterogeneous, consisting of existing organizations with pre-designated crisis management responsibilities, other organizations that may not have been included in prior planning but become involved in crisis response activities because those involved believe they have some contribution to make, and emergent groups. EMONs tend to be very large in major disaster events, encompassing hundreds and even thousands of interacting entities.

As crisis conditions change and additional resources converge, EMON structures evolve, new organizations join the network, and new relationships form. This is not to say that response activities always go smoothly. The disaster literature, organizational after-action reports, and official investigations contain numerous examples of problems that develop as inter-. Hurricane Katrina became a national scandal because of the sheer scale on which these organizational pathologies manifested. However, Katrina was by no means atypical.

In one form or another and at varying levels of severity, such pathologies are ever-present in the landscape of disaster response for examples, see U. The command-and-control model equates preparedness and response activities with military exercises. It assumes that 1 government agencies and other responders must be prepared to take over management and control in disaster situations, both because they are uniquely qualified to do so and because members of the public will be overwhelmed and will likely engage in various types of problematic behavior, such as panic; 2 disaster response activities are best carried out through centralized direction, control, and decision making; and 3 for response activities to be effective, a single person is ideally in charge, and relations among responding entities are arranged hierarchically.

In contrast, the emergent human resources, or problem-solving, model is based on the assumption that communities and societies are resilient and resourceful and that even in areas that are very hard hit by disasters, considerable local response capacity is likely to remain. Another underlying assumption is that preparedness strategies should build on existing community institutions and support systems—for example by pre-identifying existing groups, organizations, and institutions that are capable of assuming leadership when a disaster strikes.

Again, this approach argues against. The model also recognizes that when a disaster occurs, responding entities must be flexible if they are to be effective and that flexibility is best achieved through a decentralized response structure that seeks to solve problems as they arise, as opposed to top-down decision making. For more extensive discussions of these two models and their implications, see Dynes, , ; Kreps and Bosworth, forthcoming.

Empirical research, much of which has been carried out with NEHRP support, finds essentially no support for the command-and-control model either as a heuristic device for conceptualizing the disaster management process or as a strategy employed in actual disasters. Instead, as suggested in the discussion above on EMONs, disaster response activities in the United States correspond much more closely to the emergent resources or problem-solving model.

More specifically, such responses are characterized by decentralized, rather than centralized, decision making; by collaborative relationships among organizations and levels of government, rather than hierarchical ones; and, perhaps most important, by considerable emergence—that is, the often rapid appearance of novel and unplanned-for activities, roles, groups, and relationships. Other hallmarks of disaster responses include their fluidity and hence the fast pace at which decisions must be made; the predominance of the EMON as the organizational form most involved in carrying out response activities; the wide array of improvisational strategies that are employed to deal with problems as they manifest themselves; and the importance of local knowledge and situation-specific information in gauging appropriate response strategies.

For empirical research supporting these points, see Drabek et al. Advancements brought about through NEHRP research include new frameworks for conceptualizing responses to extreme events. Accordingly, effective responses depend on the ability of organizations to simultaneously sustain structure and allow for flexibility in the face of rapidly changing disaster conditions and unexpected demands. Response networks must also be able to accommodate processes of self-organization —that is, organized action by volunteers and emergent groups.

This approach again contrasts with command-and-control notions of how major crises are managed Comfort, :. A socio-technical approach requires a shift in the conception of response systems as reactive, command-and-control driven systems to one of inquiring systems , activated by processes of inquiry, validation, and creative self-organization….

Combining technical with organizational systems appropriately enables communities to face complex events more effectively by monitoring changing conditions and adapting its performance accordingly, increasing the efficiency of its use of limited resources. It links human capacity to learn with the technical means to support that capacity in complex, dynamic environments [emphasis added].

Similarly, research stressing the importance of EMONs as the predominant organizational form during crisis response periods points to the importance of improving strategies for network management and of developing better methods to take advantage of emergent structures and activities during disasters. Planning and management approaches must, in other words, support rather than interfere with the open and dynamic qualities of disaster response activities. Indicators of improved capacity to manage emergent networks could include the diversity of organizations and community sectors involved in pre-crisis planning; plans and agreements facilitating the incorporation of the voluntary sector and emergent citizen groups into response activities; plans and tools enabling the rapid expansion of crisis communication and information-sharing networks during disasters to include new organizations; and protocols, such as mutual aid agreements, making it possible for new actors to more easily join response networks Tierney and Trainor, In the wake of the Katrina disaster, the need for disaster management by command-and-control-oriented entities has once again achieved prominence.

For example, calls have increased for greater involvement on the part of the military in domestic disaster management. Such recommendations are not new. Giving a larger role in disaster management to the military was an idea that was considered—and rejected—following Hurricane Andrew National Academy of Public Administration, Post-Katrina debates on needed policy and programmatic changes will likely continue to focus on how to most effectively deploy military assets while ensuring that disaster management remains the responsibility of civilian institutions.

One issue that has come to the fore with the emergence of terrorism as a major threat involves the extent to which findings from the field of disaster research can predict responses to human-induced extreme events. Although some take the position that terrorism and bioterrorism constitute such unique threats that behavioral and organizational responses in such events will differ from what has been documented for other types of extreme events, others contend that this assumption is not borne out by social science disaster research.

The preponderance of evidence seems to suggest that there is more similarity than difference in response behaviors across different types of disaster agents. Regarding the potential for panic, for example, there is no empirical evidence that panic was a problem during the influenza pandemic of , among populations under attack during World War II Janis, , in catastrophic structure fires and crowd crushes Johnson, ; Johnson et al. Nor was panic a factor in the bombing of the World Trade Center Aguirre et al. The failure to find significant evidence of panic across a wide range of crisis events is a testimony to the resilience of social relationships and normative practices, even under conditions of extreme peril.

Similarly, as noted earlier, research findings on challenges related to risk communication and warning the public of impending extreme events are also quite consistent across different types of disaster events. For individuals and groups, there are invariably challenges associated with understanding what self-protective actions are required for different types of emergencies, regardless of their origin.

In all types of disasters, organizations must likewise face a common set of challenges associated with situation assessment, the management of primary and secondary impacts, communicating with one another and with the public, and dealing with response-related demands. The need for more effective communication, coordination, planning, and training transcends hazard type.

Although recent government initiatives such as the National Response Plan will result in the incorporation of new organizational actors into response systems for extreme events, most of the same local-, state-, and federal-level organizations will still be involved in managing extreme events of all types, employing common management frameworks such as. Social scientific studies on disasters have long shown that general features of extreme events, such as geographic scope and scale, impact severity, and speed of onset, combined with the overall quality of pre-disaster preparedness, have a greater influence on response patterns than do the specific hazard agents that trigger response activities.

Regardless of their origins, very large, near-catastrophic, and catastrophic events all place high levels of stress on response systems. In sum, social science disaster research finds little justification for the notion that individual, group, and community responses to human-induced extreme events, including those triggered by weapons of mass terror, will differ in important ways from those that have been documented in natural and technological disasters. Instead, research highlights the importance of a variety of general factors that affect the quality and effectiveness of responses to disasters, irrespective of the hazard in question.

With respect to warning the public and encouraging self-protective action, for example, warning systems must be well designed and warning messages must meet certain criteria for effectiveness, regardless of what type of warning is issued. Members of the public must receive, understand, and personalize warning information; must understand what actions they need to take in order to protect themselves; and must be able to carry out those actions, again regardless of the peril in question. Community residents must feel that they can trust their leaders and community institutions during crises of all types.

For organizations, training and exercises and effective mechanisms for interorganizational communication and coordination are critical for community-wide emergencies of all types. When such criteria are not met, response-related problems can be expected regardless of whether the emergency stems from a naturally occurring event, a technological accident, or an intentional act. Individual and group responses, as well as organizational response challenges, are thus likely to be consistent across different types of crises.

At the same time, however, it is clear that there are significant variations in the behavior of responding institutions as opposed to individuals, groups, and first responders according to event type.

Knowledge Center

In most technological disasters, along with the need to help those affected, questions of negligence and liability typically come to the fore, and efforts are made to assign blame and make responsible parties accountable. In terrorist events, damaged areas are always treated as crime scenes, and the response involves intense efforts both to care for victims and to identify and capture the perpetrators. Further, although as noted earlier, scapegoating can occur in disasters of all types, the tendency for both institutions and the public to assign blame to. Finally, with respect to responses on the part of the public, even though evidence to the contrary is strong, the idea that some future homeland security emergencies could engender responses different from those observed in past natural, technological, and intentional disasters cannot be ruled out entirely.

The concluding section of this chapter highlights the need for further research in this area. Like hazards and disaster research generally, NERHRP-sponsored research has tended to focus much more on preparedness and response than on either mitigation or disaster recovery. This is especially the case with respect to long-term recovery, a topic that despite its importance has received very little emphasis in the literature. However, even though the topic has not been well studied, NEHRP-funded projects have done a great deal to advance social science understanding of disaster recovery.

As discussed later in this section, they have also led to the development of decision tools and guidance that can be used to facilitate the recovery process for affected social units. It is not an exaggeration to say that prior to NEHRP, relatively little was known about disaster recovery processes and outcomes at different levels of analysis.

Researchers had concentrated to some degree on analyzing the impacts of a few earthquakes, such as the Alaska and San Fernando events, as well as earthquakes and other major disasters outside the United States. Generally speaking, however, research on recovery was quite sparse. Equally important, earlier research oversimplified the recovery process in a variety of ways.

First, there was a tendency to equate recovery, which is a social process, with reconstruction, which involves restoration and replacement of the built environment. At the same time, consistent with positions taken elsewhere in this report, it is important to recognize that in crises of all kinds, blame and responsibility are socially constructed.

For example, although triggered by a natural disaster, the levee failures during Hurricane Katrina are increasingly being defined as the result of human error. The disaster itself is also framed as resulting from catastrophic failures in decision making at all levels of government Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina, While the connections are obviously clearer in crisis caused by willful attacks, it is now widely recognized that human agency is involved in disastrous events of all types—including not only terrorist events but also technological and natural disasters.

Since the inception of NEHRP and in large measure because of NEHRP sponsorship, research has moved in the direction of a more nuanced understanding of recovery processes and outcomes that has not entirely resolved but at least acknowledges many of these issues. The sections that follow discuss significant contributions to knowledge and practice that have resulted primarily from NEHRP-sponsored work. Those contributions can be seen somewhat arbitrarily as falling into four categories: 1 refinements in definitions and conceptions of disaster recovery, along with a critique and reformulation of stage-like models; 2 contributions to the literature on recovery processes and outcomes across different social units; 3 the development of empirically based models to estimate losses, anticipate recovery challenges, and guide decision making; and 4 efforts to link disaster recovery with broader ideas concerning long-term sustainability and environmental management.

Conceptual Clarification. Owing in large measure to NEHRP-sponsored efforts, the disaster field has moved beyond equating recovery with reconstruction or the restoration of the built environment. More usefully, research has moved in the direction of making analytic distinctions among different types of disaster impacts, recovery activities undertaken by and affecting different social units , and recovery outcomes. Although disaster impacts can be positive or negative, research generally tends to focus on various negative impacts occurring at different levels of analysis.

As outlined in Chapter 3 , these impacts include effects on the physical and built environment, including residential, commercial, and infrastructure damage as well as disaster-induced damage to the environment; other property losses; deaths and injuries; impacts on social and economic activity; effects at the community level, such as impacts on community cohesiveness and urban. Such impacts can vary in severity and duration, as well as in the extent to which they are addressed effectively during the recovery process.

subdonini.tk An emphasis on recovery as a multidimensional concept calls attention to the fact that physical and social impacts, recovery trajectories, and short- and longer-term outcomes in chronological and social time can vary considerably across social units. Recovery activities constitute measures that are intended to remedy negative disaster impacts, restore social units as much as possible to their pre-disaster levels of functioning, enhance resilience, and ideally, realize other objectives such as the mitigation of future disaster losses and improvements in the built environment, quality of life, and long-term sustainability.

In some circumstances, recovery activities can also include the adoption of new policies, legislation, and practices designed to reduce the impacts of future disasters. Recovery processes are significantly influenced by differential societal and group vulnerability; by variations in the range of recovery aid and support that is available; and by the quality and effectiveness of the help that is provided. For example, insurance is an important component in the reconstruction and recovery process for some societies, some groups within society, and some types of disasters, but not for others.