Ana səhifə

Learning Objectives

Yüklə 212 Kb.
ölçüsü212 Kb.
Session No. 3

Course Title: Catastrophe Planning

Session Developer: David A. McEntire, Ph.D., Emergency Administration and Planning, University of North Texas

Session Title: Variables and Relationships

Time: 2 hours and 50 minutes

Learning Objectives

By the end of this session (readings, lectures, exercises) the student should be able to:

3.1 Describe how catastrophes result from both hazards and, more importantly, vulnerability.

3.2 Discuss how numerous variables interact to produce disasters and catastrophes.

3.3 Assess the impact of catastrophes and disablement of societal functioning.

3.4 Identify intervention points for potential future catastrophes.

3.5 Identify coordination/cooperation versus command/control models of response along with their respective strengths and weaknesses.
Session Overview:

In this session, the professor helps the student understand how hazards and vulnerability interact to produce catastrophe. The material enables the student to recognize the complexity of catastrophes as well as the significant impact that these events have on individuals, organizations, communities, and societies. Possible intervention points to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from catastrophes are mentioned. The session concludes with a discussion about two approaches for dealing with catastrophes.

Reading and Materials Requirements:

  1. Instructor Reading

Rick Bissell. (forthcoming). “Long-Term Global Threat Assessment: Challenging New Roles for Emergency Managers.” Journal of Emergency Management.

Dynes, Russell R. (1994). “Community Emergency Planning: False Assumptions and Inappropriate Analogies.” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 12 (2): 141-158.

Lagadec, Erwan. (2007). Unconventional Crises, Unconventional Response. JHU Press.

McEntire, David A. (2007). “The Historical Challenges Facing Emergency Management and Homeland Security. “ Journal of Emergency Management 5(4): 17-22.

McEntire, David A. (2005). “Revisiting the Definition of Hazard and the Importance of Reducing Vulnerability.” Journal of Emergency Management 3 (4): 9-13.
Mileti, Dennis S. (1999). Disasters by Design. Joseph Henry Press: Washington, D.C. (particularly chapters 3 and 4).
Tierney, K.J. (1999). Toward a Critical Sociology of Risk.” Sociological Forum. 14(2): 215-242.

  1. Student Reading

Dynes, Russell R. (1994). “Community Emergency Planning: False Assumptions and Inappropriate Analogies.” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 12 (2): 141-158.

McEntire, David A. (2007). “The Historical Challenges Facing Emergency Management and Homeland Security. “ Journal of Emergency Management 5(4): 17-22.

McEntire, David A. (2005). “Revisiting the Definition of Hazard and the Importance of Reducing Vulnerability.” Journal of Emergency Management 3 (4): 9-13.

Mileti, Dennis S. (1999). Disasters by Design. Joseph Henry Press: Washington, D.C. (particularly chapters 3 and 4).

  1. Handout: Relation of Hazards, Vulnerability and Disasters/Catastrophes

  2. Videos:

Hurricane Katrina: A Look Back. 60 Minutes. Wednesday, August 27, 2008.

Tsunami: The Wave that Shook the World. 2005. WGBH Educational Foundation.

General Requirements:

  1. Before teaching this session, the professor should skim through the materials in this session briefly to understand the basic content and line of reasoning. At this point, the professor may read the assigned readings and then spend more time preparing for class.

  1. There are several group activities, thought papers, power point presentations, research papers and guest speaker activities that can be included in this session of the course. See the following below for further details: Objective 3.1VE; Objective 3.2IIIB; Objective 3.3IIC, Objective 3.4II; and Objective 3.5VI.

  1. The professor may wish to invite students to read their assigned articles and chapters in the following order:

McEntire, David A. (2005). “Revisiting the Definition of Hazard and the Importance of Reducing Vulnerability.” Journal of Emergency Management 3 (4): 9-13.

Mileti, Dennis S. (1999). Disasters by Design. Joseph Henry Press: Washington, D.C. (particularly chapters 3 and 4).

McEntire, David A. (2007). “The Historical Challenges Facing Emergency Management and Homeland Security. “ Journal of Emergency Management 5(4): 17-22.

Dynes, Russel R. (1994). “Community Emergency Planning: False Assumptions and Inappropriate Analogies.” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 12 (2): 141-158.
Objective 3.1 Describe how catastrophes result from both hazards and vulnerability.


Present the following as a lecture.

  1. Thus far, we have discussed the concept of “catastrophe” and we’ve identified some important cases throughout history. At this point, we will now turn our attention to understanding why catastrophes occur.

  2. Like a disaster, a catastrophe will take place when a hazard interacts with (or multiple hazards interact with) human-created vulnerability. Unlike a disaster, however, a catastrophe will involve a hazard (or multiple hazards) of substantial magnitude along with extreme forms of vulnerability relative to the hazard.

  1. A hazard is defined by Edward Keller and Robert Blodgett as “a process that poses a threat to human life or property” (2006, 6).

  2. Hazards have been categorized as natural, technological or anthropogenic.

  1. Examples of natural hazards include earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts and epidemics. These result from natural processes from the physical or biological environments (e.g., the movement of tectonic plates, the hydrological cycle, the introduction of disease).

  2. Examples of technological hazards include industrial explosions, chemical releases, and nuclear accidents. These result from the failure of modern computer and other technology or the mistakes made by those handling hazardous materials.

  3. Examples of anthropogenic (or civil) hazards include riots, terrorism and war. These result from conflicts within or across societies.

  1. Hazards trigger (or initiate) the unfolding events called disasters or catastrophes. In some cases, the magnitude of hazards is impressively severe.

  1. 50,000 years ago, a 54 yard meteorite struck the earth in North Western Arizona at a speed of at least 28,000 mph. It produced crater 4,000 feet in diameter and nearly 600 feet deep. The meteorite is estimated to have displaced 175 million tons of rock over a 100 square mile area. All life would have been destroyed within a 3 to 7 mile radius of the impact zone.

  2. The Great Sumatra earthquake occurred on December 26, 2004, and registered at least 9.1 on the Richter scale. It produced a Tsunami (at least 30 feet high) that traveled between 300 and 600 mph and reached over 1 mile inland. At least 250,000 people died as a result of the tsunami.

  3. According to scientists, the May 12, 2008 earthquake that struck China registered between 7.8 and 8.0 on the Richter scale. Thousands of buildings as well as countless roads and bridges were damaged or destroyed by the event. Many communities were isolated from others for hours, days and even weeks.

  4. Hurricane Katrina included sustained winds of 160 mph and, in some places, a storm surge of 28 feet. It broke several levees which flooded 80% of New Orleans. 1 million people were displaced and forced to evacuate to cities around the United States.

  5. The 1918-1919 Spanish Flu Pandemic killed between 20 and 40 million people. The influenza A virus affected 50% of the population and was virulent killer. This event brought up numerous questions about quarantines and adequate medical care.

  6. On December 3, 1984, a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal accidentally released 40 tons of methyl isocyanate gas, causing pulmonary edema and instant death for over 5,000 people living near the industrial facility and producing over 100,000 injured.

  7. The 9/11 terrorist attacks caused the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers 1 and 2, resulting in 1.2 million tons of debris. The attacks had far reaching economic and political impacts in the United States and around the world.

  8. A future nuclear attack would kill hundreds of thousands of Americans and cause $1 trillion in economic damages.

  9. It is anticipated that California and the Midwest will experience major earthquakes in the next 30 years. Loss of transportation, electrical and water infrastructure will accompany these massive events.

  10. Major hurricanes are will threaten Miami, Florida, and even New York City. These major urban areas are predicted to experience substantial negative consequences from intense storms that have heretofore been ignored or downplayed.

  1. Although the intensity of hazards can at times be almost unimaginable, focusing on hazards as the sole cause of catastrophe can be problematic (McEntire 2005).

  1. In most cases, we have very little control over asteroids, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and hurricanes.

  2. Also, giving excessive attention to hazards tends to down play the human element in disasters and catastrophes.

  3. “Scholars have long proposed that we reconsider the ‘naturalness’ of disasters, arguing that we must acknowledge the social construction of such events” (McEntire 2005, 10).

  4. For instance, Ken Hewitt, quoting Claude Gilbert, states that there is “danger with . . . the hazards paradigm: a viewpoint that classifies, explains and responds to disasters as if they were wholly or essentially a function of the agent that impinges on upon a vulnerable society” (Hewitt 1998, 78). Hewitt continues: “Under the hazards view, society – at least, communities, the public or populations – are made to appear passive victims of natural and technological agents” (Hewitt 1998, 78).

  5. E.L. Quarantelli, the editor of the book, What is a Disaster? New Answers to Old Questions (2005), shares similar views:

    1. “A focus on disaster calls attention to the social nature of such happenings; a focus on hazards tends to emphasize physical and natural phenomena. With rare exceptions little can be done about the latter; much can be done about the former” (Quarantelli 2005, 342).

    2. The imagery of hazards as leading to disasters is a very misleading one. To be sure, a hazard may at times be involved. However, the hazard. . . is one factor at best, and not necessarily the most important one.” (Quarantelli 2005, 342).

    3. It is a misnomer to talk about ‘natural’ disasters as if they could exist outside of the actions and decisions of human beings and their societies. . . . For instance, floods, earthquakes, and other so-called ‘natural’ disaster agents have social consequences only because of the activities of human beings and their societies” (Quarantelli 2005, 343).

  1. For the above reasons, it is imperative that we rethink our current perspectives.

      1. “In a way, academics need to ‘unlearn’ in order to learn what the issues are . . . and how they could contribute to issue solution” (Britton 2005, 116).

      2. What is needed is more revolutionary, the creation of a new paradigm for disaster research” (Quarantelli 1998, 235).

      3. “A number of researchers have commented on the need for a redirection of risk, hazards, and disasters research into understanding vulnerability and reorienting disaster policy” (Cutter 2005, 44).

      4. “Hazards researchers studying disasters have moved slightly from what might be considered an ‘agent centered’ approach to a greater focus on vulnerability” (Perry 2006, 9).

      5. “The recent shift in much of the literature from a primary focus on hazards to one on vulnerability is a step in the right direction” (Quarantelli 2005, 343-344).

      6. These comments bring up the human role in catastrophes.

  1. It is true that hazard agents can be formidable. However, it is also evident that people play a significant role in disasters and catastrophes. Rick Bissell’s paper, “Long-Term Global Threat Assessment: Challenging New Roles for Emergency Managers,” outlines several human activities that will lead to future catastrophes. (See also Brown 2008).

  1. Environmental Degradation.

  1. The use of carbon-based fuels has added to greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. This may change weather patterns significantly. As a result:

    1. tropical diseases may spread due to warmer temperatures and the lack of immunity in areas that have historically had a cooler climate.

    2. desertification, or the loss of arable lands, may expand as deserts encroach upon fertile and forested areas.

    3. sea levels may rise and flood low-lying coastal areas as polar ice caps melt.

    4. abrupt ice age may occur, as the melting of the ice caps may dilute the salinity of the water that contributes to the distribution of life-supporting tropical waters to the Northern Hemisphere.

    5. storms may increase in frequency and intensity, and occur in places that are not accustomed to such climatologically phenomena.

  1. Population Growth.

  1. Because of rising fertility rates and declining death rates, the population is expanding at exponential rates. Population growth may:

    1. encourage or force people to move to hazard-prone areas (e.g., flood plains).

    2. force people to live in densely populated urban areas, which will result in more deaths or impacts when hazards occur.

  1. Resource Depletion.

  1. Humans are consuming more and more resources as time goes by. As a consequence:

    1. watersheds and forests may be lost due to increasing environmental pollution.

    2. forests and wetlands are in jeopardy due to the encroachment of a growing population. Biodiversity is lost in conjunction with these trends.

    3. water is becoming scarce due to the pumping of aquifers.

    4. food security is in question due to expanding demand.

    5. petroleum based economies may collapse as demand is anticipated to exceed future supplies.

  1. Spread of Infectious Diseases.

  1. Medical practices and human social interactions are resulting in the introduction of new, more virulent and contagious diseases.

    1. antibiotics may be accompanied by microbial mutations.

    2. global transportation services are allowing disease strains to span the earth within days and even hours.

  1. Changes in Warfare.

  1. Conflict among humans shows the potential of becoming more deadly as compared to the past.

    1. terrorists continue to make threats and launch attacks.

    2. civilians are now targeted in addition to uniformed soldiers.

    3. weapons such as nuclear weapons, dirty bombs, germ and chemical agents have unthinkable consequences.

Thus, humans are not blameless – particularly when we are discussing anthropogenic catastrophes. This brings up the important concept of vulnerability.

  1. Vulnerability is the dependent variable (or set of variables) in a disaster or catastrophe. In other words, a hazard agent can be witnessed independent of human activity (a tornado in a remote and isolated area cannot produce a disaster or catastrophe). It is only when a hazard interacts with vulnerability that a disaster or catastrophe may occur.

  1. Vulnerability . . . refers to the proneness of people to disasters based on factors such as their geographic location, exposed property and level of income. The ability of individuals, organizations, and communities to deal with disaster also has a close relation to vulnerability” (McEntire 2007, 2).

  2. There are two schools of thought pertaining to vulnerability: the social vulnerability school and the holistic school. Both are related, but the second is perhaps more comprehensive than the first.

  3. The social vulnerability school discusses the social, political and economic structures that perpetuate vulnerability and it identifies those persons who are most vulnerable in society. This school is represented by the work of Hewitt (1983), Wisner et. al. (2004), Peacock et. al. (1997), and Fothergill et. al. (1999) among others.

  1. According to this view, social relationships, which are maintained by government policies as well as economic institutions and structures, are to blame for vulnerability.

    1. For instance, emergency management law, employment relationships, and class divisions benefit some more than others.

    2. Dangerous industries are almost always located far from wealthy neighborhoods.

    3. The rich have better jobs, which allow them to purchase insurance that can be used to replace property and other financial losses from a disaster or catastrophe.

    4. Because of economic opportunities, some people are more educated than others. This allows them to make better response decisions when a hurricane approaches or an earthquake occurs.

    5. The rich also have better social networks (family, friends or professionals) to help them through the difficult recovery period.

    6. In contrast, because of economic constraints, the poor are more likely to live in hazard prone areas and in dilapidated housing.

    7. They are often unprepared for disasters and catastrophes because they less able to purchase emergency supplies.

    8. The poor are least able to respond effectively to a disaster because they lack transportation and have limited funds for hotels during evacuation.

    9. Those with fewer economic means will also recover more slowly than others because they do not have savings to help them get through challenging times.

  2. Besides the poor who are disadvantaged due to structural relationships in society, the social vulnerability school identifies others who are vulnerable to disasters and catastrophes.

    1. Minorities – African Americans, Hispanics and other ethnic groups are often poor and may struggle with warnings distributed in the English language.

    2. Women and children – Women, particularly single mothers, may have limited economic resources which increase their vulnerability. Women and their children may not be as able as men to protect themselves physically when hazards strike.

    3. The elderly – Older individuals live on fixed incomes, and they are frail in terms of health and physical abilities.

    4. The handicapped – The blind, deaf, physically disabled and mentally retarded/ill are faced with obvious challenges that put them at a distinct disadvantage in a disaster or catastrophe.

    5. Prisoners – Those incarcerated may be trapped when a disaster occurs (they are unable to evacuate to higher ground during a flood due to the metal bars and other barriers that prevent them from escaping).

    6. Others – homeless individuals, patients, college students, tourists, people with pets and countless individuals are faced with unique circumstances that may make them especially vulnerable to disasters and catastrophes.

  1. The holistic vulnerability school accepts the premises of the social vulnerability school, but it adds additional variables that must be taken into consideration. This school is supported by McEntire (2004; 2005).

  1. The holistic vulnerability school argues that the social vulnerability school is indeed correct. Social structure obviously augments vulnerability in numerous ways.

    1. Construction practices may result in vulnerable infrastructure.

    2. Certain occupations, such as fire fighting and law enforcement, may make men more vulnerable than some women.

    3. Environmental degradation can augment vulnerability to flooding and famine.

    4. The perception that emergency management deals with disaster responses alone discourages the implementation of much needed mitigation measures.

    5. Failure to establish redundant warning systems may limit the sharing of information needed to protect property and lives.

    6. Operational mistakes or errors may result in major accidents and disasters at industrial facilities.

    7. People may choose not to evacuate due to traffic jams and re-entry delays.

    8. Writing plans to fulfill mandates instead of build capability does nothing to reduce vulnerability.

    9. The move away from an agricultural economy and a reliance on a just-in-time shipping strategy could make people vulnerable to food shortages after a major catastrophe (at least initially).

    10. The presence of an established emergency operations center could be one of many factors that determine successful response operations.

    11. Apathy about disasters and catastrophes (due to their infrequent occurrences) discourages adequate preparedness measures.

    12. Urbanization may augment the vulnerability of cities to disasters due to a larger number of people in a smaller geographic area.

    13. People’s diet and exercise patterns determine, to some extent, their susceptibility to disease.

    14. Our reliance on technology may limit what we can do when the conveniences of life our taken away when disaster strikes.

    15. Certain religious doctrines may be accompanied with fatalistic attitudes (although this is not always the case).

    16. Demographic patterns may result in a higher number of nursing home residents, who are highly dependent upon the care of medical and other personnel.

    17. Ignoring the need for public education and CERT teams will ensure a population is more vulnerable to catastrophe than it would be otherwise.

    18. Insufficient education and training may result in incorrect decisions on emergency managers, first responders or the public.

    19. Poor coordination among all levels of government is likely to aggravate the impact of disasters and catastrophes.

    20. The convenience of fast food discourages people from developing planting, harvesting and cooking skills, which may be needed in times of a disaster or catastrophe.

    21. Lax border control could permit the infiltration of terrorists who wish to attack the United States.

    22. Disaster relief programs may at times subsidize risk and encourage people to avoid taking personal responsibility for their own vulnerability.

    23. Viewing emergency management as a public sector function only ensures that the private sector remains vulnerable to disasters.

    24. Decisions made during recovery will certainly have an impact on future vulnerability (e.g., rebuilding vs. relocation).

In short, there are countless variables that make individuals, groups, organizations, communities and nations vulnerable to disasters and catatastrohes.

  1. If desired, the professor may wish to ask the students to add to this list of variables that determine vulnerability, disasters and catastrophes. The professor can break students up into groups of 5 people each and ask them the following question “What are other potential causes of vulnerability and catastrophe?” After the students have enough time to develop their lists (about 10-15 minutes), invite one student from each group to report on their findings.

Objective 3.2 Discuss how numerous variables interact to produce disasters and catastrophes.

I. As noted earlier, disasters and catastrophes are produced from the interaction of hazards and vulnerability. Nonetheless, the equation “hazard agent + vulnerability = disaster or catastrophe” is much too simple.

A. For instance, many disasters and catastrophes are not always sudden occurrences, but gradual processes that develop over time.

1. Drought and problematic agricultural policies may be present for several years before a famine is witnessed.

2. A hurricane will not generate a catastrophe unless development over several decades puts thousands or millions of people in harms way.

3. An earthquake becomes catastrophic when construction practices over a significant period of time have not keep up with the reality of the threat of major building collapses.

B. A single hazard may also trigger other hazards and expose vulnerabilities in dynamic ways.

1. An earthquake may produce devastating tsunamis as we witnessed in the Indian Ocean. Earthquakes may also produce landslides that inhibit disaster assistance (as was illustrated by the broken road and bridges in China recently). Fires from broken gas lines may rage since water lines are also damaged as well (thereby making fire suppression difficult or impossible). The Kobe earthquake is illustrative of this problem.

2. A hurricane includes strong winds, rain and storm surges that may collapse buildings, produce flooding, topple levees, and damage fuel storage systems (as we witnessed in New Orleans).

3. An industrial accident involving hazardous materials may reveal the deficiencies of detection systems, the lack of education and training among some first responders, and insufficient medical equipment, supplies and personnel. A case in point is the disaster that occurred in and around the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India. (see Objective 3.1 IIC6)

4. The terrorist attack on 9/11 is illustrative of the cascading effect of certain disasters. The intentional crashing of the plane into the World Trade Center buildings damaged the structures and created intense fires. The structures were weakened further by the fires, which ultimately resulted in them falling to the earth. The collapse of the buildings severed the subway and road systems in addition to damaging electrical and water lines below. The loss of power and water subsequently made the response to the attack even more difficult.

5. The use of a nuclear weapon in a terrorist attack on a major city would kill millions of people instantly. Fires would quickly spread in the surrounding area, destroying hundreds of the buildings still standing. The accompanying electromagnetic pulse from the nuclear device would render most vehicles useless and evacuation would lag as a result. The radiation fallout would create both short- and long-term health consequences. The loss of electricity or overloading of hospitals in nearby areas would hinder medical care and outstretch physician abilities.

II. Disasters and catastrophes therefore unfold in extremely complicated ways.

      1. Dennis Mileti, in his important work, Disasters by Design, suggests that “losses from hazards and disasters in the United States in the next millennium will be determined, as in the past, by a large number of variable factors. These factors can be grouped into three broad categories: the natural environment, the social world, and the human-made constructed environment” (1999, 105).

  1. The physical environment is “the earth’s physical systems (the atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere)” (Mileti 1999, 107).

  2. The social environment includes “human systems (e.g., population, culture, technology, social class, economics, and politics)” (Mileti 1999, 107).

  3. The built environment is comprised of “the constructed system (e.g., buildings, roads, bridges, public infrastructure, housing)” (Mileti 1999, 107).

      1. The East Bay Hills fire in California on October 22, 1991 provides a good glimpse of these systems (McEntire 2007, 361).

  1. The East Bay Hills area is prone to the fire hazard. A combination of abundant vegetation, drought conditions, strong winds, low humidity, and steep terrain created tinderbox conditions.

  2. The construction of homes and infrastructure in the area increased vulnerability. Residences included a great deal of flammable wood in their construction. Narrow roads hindered evacuation and the arrival of first responders. Water systems relied on electricity, but power lines were severed by the high winds and were responsible for the ignition of the fire.

  3. Many social factors aggravated the disaster. People moved to the hazardous location because of scenic views overlooking the valley below. Regulations on construction and fire suppression were dismissed due to popular outcry and the expense of enforcing them. The use of different sized hoses created problems for first responders who arrived to provide mutual aid.

  4. The net result of these systems was the scorching of over 1,500 acres, the destruction of 3,000 houses, the death of 25 people, injuries to at least 150 others, 10,000 people left homeless, the evacuation of 20,000 to 30,000 others and $1.5 billion in losses.

III. The systems and variables that lead to disasters and catastrophes interact in chaotic and, at times, unpredictable ways.

  1. David McEntire (2004, 2005) has developed a model of vulnerability that explores how a myriad of variables work together to reduce or augment disasters and catastrophes (Note: instructor should distribute handout at this point). This model illustrates the relationship between hazards, vulnerability and disaster/catastrophe.

  1. Some hazards are external in nature (e.g., earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, etc.).

  2. Other hazards have internal origins and they are produced from human actions that augment vulnerability (e.g., mistakes that lead to hazardous material spill or computer malfunctions, cultural disagreements that lead to terrorist attacks, etc.).

  3. Both external and internal hazards may also interact at times in complicated ways (e.g., human activity that causes deforestation could exacerbate flooding and mudslides from excessive precipitation).

  4. When the hazard(s) interact with vulnerability, a disaster or catastrophe may result. This vulnerability is determined by many variables.

  5. Disasters and catastrophes may augment vulnerability over time (e.g., people will lose precious resources in disasters). Increased vulnerability will occur unless significant activities are undertaken to reduce it (e.g., relocation of families to avoid repetitive losses in the future).

  6. The most important aspect of this model deals with human activities that have a bearing on vulnerability.

    1. Humans live and interact in and with the physical environment. The physical environment includes their choice of location, how they construct buildings and infrastructure, and their use of technology.

    2. Humans live and interact in the social environment as well. This includes many variables ranging from politics and economics to culture and psychology. The social environment may also include how humans are organized and their planning efforts in emergency management.

    3. Human activities have a bearing on the attributes of the physical and social environments. These attributes are known as liabilities and capabilities. Liabilities are factors that augment vulnerability by increasing exposure/risk and susceptibility. Capabilities are factors that reduce vulnerability by increasing resistance and resilience.

    4. The levels of risk/exposure, susceptibility, resistance, resilience interact in complicated ways. For instance, the variables related to “risk, susceptibility, resistance, and resilience are not mutually exclusive or exempt from interaction. Each category . . . may influence, or is influenced by, every other category. Risk may be increased if resistance is lowered (e.g., higher exposure to a hazard in a poorly constructed building), while resilience may be decreased if susceptibility is heightened (e.g., poverty may preclude purchasing insurance to aid recovery). At the same time, risk and susceptibility, as well as resistance and resilience, often interact in mutually reinforcing ways (e.g., social, cultural, political, technological, and economic environments may encourage people to live in dangerous areas, while weak infrastructure makes response and recovery more difficult). Furthermore, risk could jeopardize resilience (e.g., living on or near certain soils will make response and recovery after an earthquake more difficult), while resistance and susceptibility may have an inverse relationship (e.g., safe construction will lower susceptibility, and constraining cultural attitudes may discourage the careful use of technology for resistance). Complex, interdependent relationships exist among risk, susceptibility, resistance and resilience” (McEntire 2004, 25). All of these variables consequently determine our degree of vulnerability.

  1. If desired, give the students an assignment to develop their own model of how catastrophes occur. Students should draw their model on the first page and then describe the model in the next 2-3 pages. After each of the models has been turned in, the professor may wish to revisit the best models and illustrate their complex interactions.

Objective 3.3 Assess the impact of catastrophes and disablement of societal functioning.

      1. Disasters, and by extension catastrophes, have been described by sociologists as non-routine social problems.

  1. “The phrase ‘non-routine events’ distinguishes disasters as unusual and dramatic social happenings from the reservoir of everyday routines and concerns which human beings encounter” (Kreps and Drabek 1996, 133).

  1. Disasters and catastrophes are not frequently experienced (although it is evident that the rate of occurrence appears to be increasing).

  2. Disasters and catastrophes are unique occurrences that are usually outside the normal frame of human reference. That is to say, most people have never been directly impacted by disasters and catastrophes.

  1. Disasters, and especially catastrophes, thus create new and, for some lay people, unforeseen challenges in society.

  1. According to Bates and Peacock, “a disaster [or catastrophe] occurs when an environmental event overwhelms . . . the use of established, institutionalized, routine or ‘normalized’ patterns of activity or behavior” (1989, 352).

  2. A simple example of household routines helps to elucidate such challenges. Frederick Bates and Walt Peacock illustrate that households perform several important and life-sustaining functions on a daily basis. These include: shelter, food preservation/cooking/serving, clothes washing, dishwashing, bathing, waste disposal, sleeping, heating/air conditioning, and communication (1992).

  3. However, in a disaster or catastrophe, such functions may become impossible for households.

    1. You cannot protect yourself from the elements (e.g., heat, cold, wind, rain, snow, etc.) if your home has been damaged or destroyed by a hurricane or a tornado.

    2. Since there is no electricity, gas, or water systems after major disasters or catastrophes (i.e., these lifelines are severed by earthquakes and mudslides), it will be difficult to prepare and serve food and water.

    3. The lack of water or lack of clean water also prohibits the washing of clothes and dishes, bathing, and waste disposal.

    4. Because personal property is often rendered useless in a disaster, sleeping, heating/air conditioning and communication becomes challenging. Beds become soggy mattresses in floods, there is no power or gas for heating and air conditioning, and phone lines are disabled.

  1. Such challenges are amplified at the community, state and even national levels. For instance:

    1. Transportation becomes problematic due to the loss of roads and bridges.

    2. This complicates not only routine commerce for business purposes but also emergency medical care, damage assessment, debris removal, and all other forms of disaster assistance.

Note: the professor may wish to open up a discussion or participate in a class activity that identifies such challenges more fully here. It could include discussions about the impact of the dead and injured in natural disasters, the environmental consequences of major hazardous materials releases, the medical results of pandemics, or the probable disruption resulting from weapons of mass destruction.

      1. In light of these significant non-routine social problems, citizens as well as city, state and even federal governments may not have the ability to deal effectively with disasters and catastrophes.

  1. In a disaster and catastrophe, “a sociocultural system’s capacity to adapt” is severely hampered (Bates and Peacock 1989, 352). “A disaster in the sociological sense, is then, a failure in the social structure or organization of the social system. The failure is brought on by an environmental event which is out of the range of the system’s internal adaptive capacity” (Bates and Peacock 1989, 352). For instance:

  1. Medical care becomes problematic if hospitals were destroyed, and doctors and paramedics have been killed.

  2. Sheltering is difficult if thousands are left homeless and the housing stock has been decimated.

  3. Public information is nearly impossible when radio and TV stations have been knocked out of service.

  4. Clean up and debris removal cannot take place when heavy equipment has been damaged and when fuel is no longer available.

  5. Rebuilding time is lengthened as resources have been destroyed or demand outstrips supply.

  1. The need for outside involvement is therefore characteristic of major disasters and catastrophes.

      1. In most cases, impacted societies cannot address basic needs of daily life – let alone the urgent demands of the response and recovery phases of disaster.

      2. For instance, when evacuees returned to Galveston after Hurricane Ike, there was nothing to return to. Buildings were destroyed, roads were damaged, electrical and water systems were not functioning. In this situation, those affected by catastrophes may not be able take care of their own needs.

      3. Outsiders have to help with the provision of food and shelter, the distribution of relief and the restoration of services.

  1. If desired, the professor may wish to give students a power point presentation assignment in this part of the session. Divide students into groups of 4-5 people. Ask each group to select one catastrophe and identify its causes. Tell them to be as thorough as possible, since catastrophes have multiple causes. Then, have students discuss the primary, secondary and tertiary consequences of the catastrophe. For instance, the destruction of a road or bridge is a primary consequence. The inability to move about the city is a secondary consequence. The inability to go to work, remove debris or provide assistance is a tertiary consequence. The power point presentation should last 10 minutes and will be graded on content (critical thinking and evidence) and presentation (clarity of argument).

Objective 3.4 Identify possible intervention points for potential future catastrophes.

  1. Because the consequences of catastrophes are so substantial, a variety of proactive steps must be taken to minimize their impact. This may require mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery efforts that go beyond normal or traditional emergency management principles and practices.

  1. For instance, in terms of mitigation for all types of hazards, we might need to:

  1. Undertake more serious and thorough risk assessments, develop more stringent land-use policies, and begin a serious withdrawal from the most hazard-prone areas in our nation.

  2. Foster environmental protection through expanded educational programs, further environmental monitoring, and the administration of fines for ongoing degradation.

  3. Improve construction standards and practices, paying special attention to the development of policies that promote resistance.

  4. Increase regulations in industry to avert industrial accidents, ensure caution with hazardous materials, and back up systems relying heavily on computer programs.

  5. Enhance the health status of citizens and build capabilities in the medical community (e.g., inoculation programs, epidemiological surveillance, and surge capacity).

  6. Prevent terrorism via more deliberate foreign policy directions, valued information sharing among intelligence agencies, better-equipped counter-terrorism forces, and more fully-trained law enforcement personnel.

  1. Regarding preparedness, there is a need to focus on capacity building rather than planning (i.e., the writing of documents) alone.

  1. This includes all pre-disaster functions ranging from community education, first responder training, grant management, and exercises.

  2. It would also cover ways to increase successful post-disaster functions (particularly those pertaining to warning, communications and decision making as well as the often-neglected components of long-term recovery).

  1. For response, the intervention points pertain to any post-disaster operation.

      1. However, special attention must be given to the needs of vulnerable populations, major evacuation and sheltering operations, rapid damage and impact assessments, flexible deployment of search and rescue and medical resources, effective use of inter-state and international mutual aid compacts, and an orchestrated coordination of donations and volunteers.

  1. When speaking of recovery, it will be imperative that we implement well-crafted plans that identify the best ways of overcoming the impacts of disasters in the short- and long-terms.

  1. Particular emphasis should be given to removing massive quantities of debris, helping thousands or millions of people through disaster assistance programs, and finding ways to speed up rebuilding of lives, businesses and communities through effective partnerships.

  1. At this point, the instructor may wish to introduce a research/writing assignment.

  1. Students will be required to write an 8-10 page paper (double-spaced) that addresses a single intervention point in an in-depth manner. This may include any of the topics mentioned above and in any phase of emergency management. Alternatively, the paper may cover any additional topic that must be addressed in a catastrophe. The paper will be due within two or three weeks of this lecture.

  2. The most important elements of the paper are as follows:

  1. First, the paper must focus on catastrophes (and not just disasters alone) since catastrophes are dramatically different than emergencies and even disasters.

  2. Second, the paper should include references to the lessons learned from actual catastrophes as well as citations from the academic literature.

  3. Third, the paper must illustrate how and why the intervention point is unique as compared to traditional emergency management principles and practices (i.e., remind the students that catastrophes are both more intense and broader in impacts than disasters).

  4. Finally, the discussion and argument must provide concrete recommendations that could be utilized in catastrophe planning and operations.

  5. Remind the students of the due date, ask if there are any questions, and follow up with necessary answers.

Objective 3.5 Identify coordination/cooperation versus command/control models of response along with their respective strengths and weaknesses.

  1. As we have illustrated thus far, the causes and consequences of catastrophes are significant. There are also many steps that must be taken to effectively deal with them before, during and after they occur. If we look at the approaches that might be undertaken to address them in an effective manner, they typically fall into one of two ideal type categories: the bureaucratic and problem solving models (Dynes 1994; see also Neal and Phillips 1995).

  2. One of these approaches is referred to as the Bureaucratic Model. The model has four significant features.

        1. First, the bureaucratic model is very centralized. Decisions and activities, under this model, are made and completed by politicians, government leaders, the military and first responders. The reasoning is that they are experts who have the knowledge and resources to tackle the problems related to catastrophes.

        2. Second, this model is top-down in orientation. That is to say, policies are distributed from key leaders to lower ranking officials or lower levels of government. It is believed that this approach is best suited to ensure communication and coordination among the participants dealing with catastrophes.

        3. Third, this approach is very rigid. It is imperative to stick to plans and follow standard operating procedures. Such a perspective is believed to lead to effective pre- and post-catastrophe activities.

        4. Finally, the bureaucratic model may assume the worst about human behavior in catastrophes. This perspective is often associated with the belief that humans will panic, become dependent on others, and engage in anti-social behavior (e.g., looting).

      1. A second approach has been referred to as the Problem Solving model. This approach also has four significant features.

        1. First, this model is decentralized. It recognizes that there are many players and stakeholders involved in catastrophes. Therefore, government officials, military commanders and emergency workers are not alone in dealing with catastrophes.

        2. Second, this model is bottom-up in orientation. In other words, those in the field understand best what is happening and are in the best position to make decisions and implement policies. This approach stresses efficiency and rapid reactions to problems.

        3. Third, the problem solving model is flexible. It recognizes that departing from plans and standard operating procedures is inevitable. It values creativity and improvisation when dealing with the challenges of catastrophes.

        4. Finally, the problem solving model assumes that people will not become self-serving individuals in catastrophes. Instead, they will work together to solve mutual problems and show concern for the well-being of others.

      2. As can be seen, each model has different strengths and implications. Each model has different strengths and capabilities.

        1. For instance, the bureaucratic model relies more on government, concrete organization and standardized policies, and realizes that people will need assistance and oversight in a catastrophe.

        2. In contrast, the problem solving model recognizes that others will be involved in catastrophes including the private sector, non-profit organizations and even citizens. It acknowledges that government will not be able to solve all disaster problems, and understands that most people will do all they can to take care of their own needs and those of others.

        3. As a result, it may be problematic to rely on any single model before, during or after a catastrophe.

  1. The bureaucratic model helps with planning, standardization and the occasions when social order appears to break down. However, it is less able to integrate new participants and adapt as the situation may require.

  2. The problem solving model is open to the involvement of any entity which has resources that can be applied to the challenges of catastrophes, it recognizes that flexibility is required when dealing with uncertainty, and it assumes that everyday citizens can be part of the solution. However, the problem solving model may downplay the role of experts in catastrophic situations.

  3. For these reasons, both models must be applied in the context of catastrophes. In fact, it may be argued that the application of both models is inevitable in catastrophes.

Note: the professor may wish to provide additional arguments, evidence and case studies regarding these two approaches from the following readings:

Bigley, Gregory A. and Karlene H. Roberts. 2001. “The Incident Command System: High-Reliability Organizing for Complex and Volatile Task Environments.” Academy of Management Journal 44(6): 1281-1299.

Mileti, Dennis S. 1989. “Catastrophe Planning and the Grass Roots: A Lesson to the U.S.A. from the U.S.S.R.” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 7 (1): 57-67.

Neal, David M. and Brenda D. Phillips. 1995. “Effective Emergency Management: Reconsidering the Bureaucratic Approach.” Disasters 19 (4): 327-337.

Perry, Ronald. 2003. “Incident Management Systems in Disaster Management.” Disaster Prevention and Management. 12 (5): 405-453.

      1. The professor may wish to include one final activity to conclude the session. Invite a fire fighter and an emergency manager into the class and have them address the following questions: How do you think a catastrophe is different than a disaster? Do you rely on the incident command system or networking to fulfill your job responsibilities? Is it good to have standardization (SOPs)? Is it useful to be flexible in your position? Are civilians part of the problem or part of the solution? After the guest speakers leave, be sure to allow the students time to comment on what they have heard.

      2. Wrap up the session by reiterating the following points:

        1. Catastrophes result from hazards and vulnerability.

        2. There are many variables that lead to catastrophes and they interact in complicated ways.

        3. The impacts of catastrophes are significant.

        4. We must take special measures to deal with catastrophes.

        5. There are two models that will help us to approach the management of catastrophes.

Works Cited

Bates, Frederick L. and Walter Gillis Peacock. (1992). “Measuring Disaster Impact on Household Living Conditions: The Domestic Assets Approach.” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters. 10 (1): 133-160.

Bates, Frederick L. and Walter Gillis Peacock. (1989). “Long Term Recovery.” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters. 7 (30): 349-365.

Britton, Neil R. (2005). “What’s A Word? Opening Up the Debate.” Pp. 60-78 in Perry, Ronald W. and E.L. Quarantelli (eds) What is a Disaster? New Answers to Old Questions. International Research Committee on Disasters.

Brown, Lester R. (2008). Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization. W.W. Norton, New York.

Cutter, Susan L. (2005). “Are We Asking the Right Question?” Pp. 39-48 in Perry, Ronald W. and E.L. Quarantelli (eds) What is a Disaster? New Answers to Old Questions. International Research Committee on Disasters.

Dynes, Russell R. 1994. “Community Emergency Planning: False Assumptions and Inappropriate Analogies.” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 12 (2): 141-158.
Fothergill, Alice, Enrique G.M. Maestas, and JoAnne DeRouen Darlington. (1999). “Race, Ethnicity and Disasters in the United States: A Review of the Literature.” Disasters 33(2): 156-173.

Hewitt, Kenneth. (1998). “Excluded Perspectives in the Social Construction of Disaster.” Pp. 75-92 in Quarantelli, E.L. (ed). What is a Disaster? Perspectives on the Question. Routledge: New York.

Hewitt, Kenneth. (1983). Interpretations of Calamity. Allen & Unwin: Boston, MA.

Keller, Edward A. and Robert H. Blodgett. (2006). Natural Hazards: Earth Processes as Hazards, Disasters and Catastrophes. Pearson: Upper Saddle River, N.J.

Kreps, Gary A. and Thomas E. Drabek. (1996). “Disasters are Non-Routine Social Problems.” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters. 14 (2): 129-153.

McEntire, David A. (2007). Disaster Response and Recovery: Strategies and Tactics for Resilience. Wiley: Hoboken, New Jersey.

McEntire, David A. (2005). “Why Vulnerability Matters: Illustrating the Need for a Modified Disaster Reduction Concept.” Disaster Prevention and Management. 14(2): 206-222.
McEntire, David A. (2004). “Tenets of Vulnerability: Assessing a Fundamental Disaster Concept.” Journal of Emergency Management, 2(2): 23-29.
McEntire, David A. (2005). “Revising the Definition of ‘Hazard” and the Importance of Reducing Vulnerability.” Journal of Emergency Management 3(4): 9-10.

Mileti, Dennis. (1999). Disasters by Design: A Reassessment of Natural Hazards in the United States. Joseph Henry Press: Washington, D.C.

Neal, David M. and Brenda D. Phillips. 1995. “Effective Emergency Management: Reconsidering the Bureaucratic Approach.” Disasters 19 (4): 327-337.
Peacock, Walter G., Elaine Enarson and Betty Hearn Morrow. (1997). Hurricane Andrew: Ethnicity, Gender and the Sociology of Disasters. Routlege: New York.

Quarantelli, E.L. (2005). “A Social Science Research Agenda for the Disasters of the 21st Century: Theoretical, Methodological and Empirical Issues and Their Professional Implementation.” Pp. 325-396 in Perry, Ronald W. and E.L. Quarantelli (eds) What is a Disaster? New Answers to Old Questions. International Research Committee on Disasters.

Verilənlər bazası müəlliflik hüququ ilə müdafiə olunur © 2016
rəhbərliyinə müraciət