Title: Understanding emergency response: lessons learned from the helping literature

Authors: Daphne E. Whitmer; Madeleine R. LaGoy; Valerie K. Sims

Addresses: Psychology Department, University of Central Florida, Psychology Building, 4111 Pictor Lane, Orlando, FL Florida 32816, USA ' Psychology Department, University of Central Florida, Psychology Building, 4111 Pictor Lane, Orlando, FL Florida 32816, USA ' Psychology Department, University of Central Florida, Psychology Building, 4111 Pictor Lane, Orlando, FL Florida 32816, USA

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the need for collaboration between two areas of research: classical psychological helping behaviours and emergency warnings. A large-scale disaster (i.e., the Chicago Heat Wave) is used throughout the paper as an example in which knowledge of the helping behaviour literature could have assisted emergency responders. The emergency warning literature is reviewed within the context of people heeding the warnings and deciding to share the information with others. Developments in the helping literature are reviewed, along with a final summary of key lessons from this area of experimental research that can help answer questions for future emergency responders. With a better understanding of experimental findings in the area of prosocial behaviours, emergency managers may be better able to assist their communities. Likewise, a greater collaboration between these two fields may lead to more research with the intent of improving emergency response.

Keywords: emergency management; helping; communication; emergency warnings; emergency response; risk perception.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2018.089187

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2018 Vol.14 No.1, pp.23 - 39

Received: 04 Nov 2016
Accepted: 08 Mar 2017

Published online: 06 Jan 2018 *

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