Forthcoming and Online First Articles

International Journal of Emergency Management

International Journal of Emergency Management (IJEM)

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International Journal of Emergency Management (12 papers in press)

Regular Issues

  •   Free full-text access Open AccessEvaluation of emergency preparedness exercises: the design of a questionnaire to measure staff perceptions
    ( Free Full-text Access ) CC-BY-NC-ND
    by Elena Skryabina, Naomi Betts, Gabriel Reedy, Paul Riley, Richard Amlôt 
    Abstract: Evaluation is an essential part of health emergency preparedness exercises (HEPE) that allows identification of limitations in performance. Addressing limitations enhances preparedness. However, there is a lack of reliable and validated tools to assist with exercise evaluation. This study reports the design and validation of a questionnaire to collect data from participants to study their experiences with HEPE and perceptions of their own and their organisations emergency preparedness. Questionnaire test-retest reliability using ICC was checked (N=27). Internal reliability using Cronbachs alpha is reported separately for discussion-based (N=97) and operation-based exercises (N=238). Analysis checked for discriminant validity and sensitivity to change. The questionnaire consists of four scales (parts): pre-exercise assessment, participants perceptions, exercise feedback, and satisfaction with the exercise. All scales demonstrated good internal consistency for both exercise types (Cronbachs alpha: 0.672-0.940), but mixed test-retest agreement for the pre-exercise and exercise feedback scales. The questionnaire offers a valid and reliable tool for assessing healthcare staff perceptions of emergency preparedness and exercise satisfaction.
    Keywords: health emergency preparedness exercises; HEPE; evaluation; questionnaire; survey; tabletop exercise; TTX; healthcare emergency responder; emergency preparedness.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2020.10039068
  • Management of infectious animal diseases: the Korean experience   Order a copy of this article
    by Kyoo-Man Ha 
    Abstract: Despite the efforts of stakeholders, infectious animal diseases, including foot and mouth disease and avian influenza, continue to afflict Korea during winter. The present research aims to examine how the nation can improve its management of infectious animal diseases toward the ultimate goal of emergency disease management. The main methodology applied is qualitative content analysis. The management of infectious animal diseases is compared between the normal and the emergency approaches in terms of central government policy, local government strategy, farm efforts, scientific research, and visitor readiness. The key finding is that disease management in Korea has to shift from the current normal approach to an emergency approach. Neighboring nations need to implement all four phases of the emergency management process toward achieving an emergency approach to management.
    Keywords: foot and mouth disease; avian influenza; foreign animal diseases; public health; four phases of emergency management lifetime.

  • Beyond information sharing: stimulating youth recovery and resilience post-disaster through social media   Order a copy of this article
    by Ashley A. Berard, Tamara Plush, Robin S. Cox, Tiffany T. Hill 
    Abstract: In disaster response, social media can perform a critical role in disseminating evacuation information, connecting friends and family, and linking those affected to urgently needed services. Less explored is the role social media might play after disaster in online and offline processes of recovery and resilience, especially for young people deeply engaged in its use. This article considers the possibilities through the #YouthVoicesWB campaign, which was developed with youth a year after the Canadian 2016 Horse River wildfire disaster (a.k.a., the Fort McMurray wildfire). It offers insight into the campaign: an emergent approach to recovery that created agentic spaces for youth through online and offline interactions. It also examines the value of youth-adult partnerships when building a social media platform aimed at strengthening the voices of youth post-disaster. Ultimately #YouthVoicesWB demonstrates the value of listening to youth, and shows how including youth in recovery decision-making as key stakeholders holds potential for more resilient communities.
    Keywords: disaster; emergency response; recovery; resilience; social media; youth; creative arts; action research; voice; policy.

  • Enhancing disaster mutual assistance decisions with machine learning: the case of electricity utilities   Order a copy of this article
    by Ali Asgary, Ghassem Tofighi, Mohammad Ali Tofighi 
    Abstract: Disaster mutual assistance is an important mechanism that is used by many organisations, including the electricity utilities, to generate the needed resources during major disasters and emergencies. The decision to provide (or not to provide) mutual assistance is a complicated decision that needs to be taken by considering different factors and under limited time, therefore, it can benefit from advanced decision support tools. This paper applies several machine learning algorithms (i.e. Logistic Regression, k-NN, Gaussian Naive Bayes, SVM, Decision Tree, and Random Forest) to enhance disaster mutual assistance decisions by electricity utilities. These methods are implemented on an experimental dataset obtained during a workshop participated by disaster management experts from a number of Canadian electricity utilities. Results show that all of the employed machine learning methods have very high and almost similar accuracy in predicting the disaster mutual assistance decisions. However, Random Forest and Decision Tree provide additional information by generating the weight of each criterion, optimum thresholds that can be applied to each criterion, and visual interpretation of the decision process. Therefore, these two methods are recommended to be added to the existing mutual assistance operation management tools that are developed to assist emergency managers at the electricity utilities.
    Keywords: disaster mutual assistance; machine learning; electricity utilities; power distribution.

  • Landslide risk, resilience and resistance: confronting community resilience with economic benefits in landslide-prone areas in Kerala   Order a copy of this article
    by Mohammed Irshad 
    Abstract: Landslides are increasingly posing challenges to disaster risk management institutions in countries like India. Unlike other disaster risk reduction measures that include community-based resilience, it is a challenging task in the present context of development. Landslide-prone areas in India are not just risky geographical regions with vulnerable people; instead these are emerging economic zones. The economic value of these regions displaces the risk and hence, state governments and central government often find it difficult to promote community-based resilience in landslide-prone areas. The community often interprets resilience as resistance. Community-based resilience in landslide-prone areas never follows the general theoretical position on resilience as the ability to bounce back. Large-scale concentrations of quarry industries in the landslide-prone areas of Kerala limit the community mobility as resilience. The idea of resilience converged into resistance in the landslide susceptible areas in Kerala. Resistance becomes an easy method rather than building resilience. A communitys perception of resilience is never acceptable to the government and investors and hence no one is promoting community-based resilience in these areas.
    Keywords: community mobility; landslide; quarry industries; resilience.

  • Strengthening community resilience through network building   Order a copy of this article
    by Marvin Starominski-Uehara 
    Abstract: This article argues that individuals mimic actions taken by close neighbours when deciding what they should do to reduce uncertainty around flood damage to their properties. This means that policy makers promoting local resilience to high-impact low-probability should not patronise residents living in risk areas but create opportunities for them to interact with community members who had taken protective actions. Protective actions in this study are flood insurance, house raising, and home improvements. This individual decision is regressed against four variables: i) the number of neighbours taking protective actions; ii) the quality of this relationship; iii) perception over neighbours decision; and iv) general influence that neighbours have on individual decision making. This is the first time that such a model has been presented in the literature of disaster management. It also provides empirical evidence to guide policy making based on data collected among residents living in flood-prone areas in Southeast Queensland, Australia.
    Keywords: decision making; risk perception; social networks; network building; community resilience; heuristics; risk communication.

  • Inter-organisational communication and situational awareness in an Emergency Operation Centre during major incidents   Order a copy of this article
    by Teija Norri-Sederholm, Simo Ekman, Heikki Paakkonen, Aki-Mauri Huhtinen 
    Abstract: Sharing information between different public safety organisations plays a vital role during major incidents. Common situational awareness among the actors is a key element in achieving successful end results in managing and leading operations. In this study, the information flow for enabling situational awareness in an Emergency Operation Centre during a major incident is described. The data were collected during the preparedness exercise. Emergency Operation Centres play a fundamental role in creating collaborative awareness, familiarisation with organisations, long-term commitment, and thus in helping to tackle the known challenges in multi-authority coordination. In addition to being the place where critical far-reaching decisions were made, the Emergency Operation Centre played a very significant role as a information hub in cooperation and collaboration.
    Keywords: collaboration awareness; command centre; common operational picture communication; Emergency Operation Centre; incident; incident command system; major accident; multi-authority cooperation; situational awareness.

  • Mapping the new elements of local government disaster management capability: a systematic analysis of research trends from 2003 to 2018   Order a copy of this article
    by Karina Budiman, Bevaola Kusumasari 
    Abstract: Natural disasters have tested the ability of local authorities to handle them effectively, while at the same time recognising the local government as the first local responders. Nevertheless, the disaster literature studies on local governments are limited, concentrating on their capacity to respond to disasters as a public organisation. Therefore, this research emphasises the capacity of local governments disaster management, centred on the disaster phases, with the goal of contributing to strategic management and to understanding to what degree their local capability was understood in disaster studies. Essentially, this study applies the mapping review method, in which the findings generate new elements as a basis of recommendations regarding the local government capability, particularly in disaster management. The findings of this analysis are meant to offer guidance to public administrators in the hope of getting a deeper understanding of their potential and of improving their response to natural disasters.
    Keywords: disaster management; local government; capabilities; systematic mapping; natural disasters; public sector; organisational capability; Scopus; disaster stages; institutions.

  • Drivers and barriers for learning within full-scale emergency response exercises   Order a copy of this article
    by Michael Humann, Craig Collie, Virad Kisan, Phil Crook 
    Abstract: With increased demands on emergency response agencies and organisations, it essential that skills and capabilities are maintained during times of non-deployment. A unique setting to do this is during multi-agency full-scale exercises (FSX), which bring together partners and organisations who would be expected to cooperate and work together during emergency response deployments. During the delivery of a recent FSX - designed to establish a learning environment for players to practice disaster event response plans, policies and procedures - we reviewed the experience and perceptions of those who participated. Focusing on drivers and barriers for learning, we outline key factors that increase the benefit these have on individuals while also outlining components of exercises that can have a negative impact if not addressed correctly. We also provide recommendations for planning and delivery, aimed at increasing the return on investment when organising these events.
    Keywords: exercise; training; learning; disaster management; emergency response.

  • Medical incident commander leadership during a full-scale exercise in an underground mining environment: a qualitative single-case study   Order a copy of this article
    by Lina Gyllencreutz, Sophia Mårtensson, Britt-Inger Saveman 
    Abstract: Swedish underground mines are constantly improving their safety. However, major incidents still occur, and the extreme environment poses challenges during rescue operations. The aim of this study was to evaluate prehospital medical management during a full-scale exercise in an underground mine in order to gain knowledge on the leadership and decision-making of the medical incident commander. We used a qualitative single-case study design following a full-scale exercise that included emergency medical services, rescue services, and a mining company. The exercise was documented through on-site observation notes, audio recordings, and video recordings, all of which were written out as text and analysed using qualitative content analysis. The results showed that few decisions were made, and without all available medical information, and that they were made by others than the medical incident commander. This resulted in a delay in decision-making, in vital treatment, and in transport of patients from the site. Clearer leadership and more active decisions might have resulted in a different outcome for the injured parties.
    Keywords: decision-making; disaster; extreme environment; mining environment; medical leadership; full-scale exercise.

  • Barriers and challenges to emergency medical services response to disasters and mass casualty incidents in the Middle East   Order a copy of this article
    by Waleed Alazmy, Brett Williams 
    Abstract: Efficient response by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) mitigates the risk of associated high mortality and morbidity in disasters. This scoping review aims to explore the extent, range and nature of the of existing literature on barriers and challenges faced by the EMS in responding to disasters and Mass Casualty Incidents (MCIs) in the Middle East. A scoping review using Arksey and O'Malley's six-step framework was undertaken. A total of 2,858 publications were identified in the initial search. After the removal of duplicates, 2,668 articles remained. Consensus was reached on 11 publications for final review. After full analysis of the articles, communication and preparedness were the two major barriers or challenges identified in the literature. The development of education, communication strategies, and standardised policies for EMS across all phases of disasters and MCIs are essential to improve the service in the future.
    Keywords: ambulances; barriers; challenges; disaster response; emergency care; emergency medical services; EMTs; emergency medical technician; mass casualty incidents; Middle East; paramedics; pre-hospital.

  • Impact of flood disaster on small businesses in Ghana: a case study   Order a copy of this article
    by Seth Anim Owusu, Collins Appiah-Kubi 
    Abstract: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the majority of businesses and play an important role in the national economy and development. However, hazards such as flood disasters threaten the continuity and sustainability of small businesses, hence the need to safeguard them. This case study investigates the impact of a recent flood event on 78 SMEs in Ghana, using structured survey and statistical analysis techniques. The findings show that small businesses are hugely impacted by flood disasters. The indirect impact and financial losses from the June 2019 floods were significant, with the mean damage to a business building and stock being $887 and $1,170 respectively. Small businesses lacked adaptive capacity and the take-up of flood resilience including insurance was low, making them more vulnerable to floods. The outcome of this study should inform policy and plans to promote flood resilience, and proactive measures to protect enterprises and society from disasters.
    Keywords: hazard; flood disaster; flood impact; SME; small business; resilience; adaptive capacity.