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 (13 papers in press)

Regular Issues

  • Professionalisation in safety: in the heart of emergency response   Order a copy of this article
    by Christian Foussard, Wim Van Wassenhove, Cédric Denis-Remis 
    Abstract: During a large-scale exercise designed to test the effectiveness of a Seveso type emergency plan of an industrial site, a specific observation method of the simulation was implemented. It is articulated around the combination of specialised observers (postgraduate students in industrial risk management) that focus on key people, essential tasks and paramount locations that drive the dynamics of the emergency response. Associated with an interpretation model called structure-relation-meaning, this method allows to produce three levels of organisational learning (single loop, double loop and triple loop). Resulting knowledge benefits the company, the administration, the students and the faculties. This paper presents the experimental setup and the analysis methodology, then the results obtained are discussed. The articles goal is to give useful information to safety professionals in companies who can integrate partly or entirely the observation method for emergency response simulation. It is also useful for faculties that teach emergency response simulation.
    Keywords: organisational learning; loop learning; emergency response; resilience engineering; sensemaking; professionalisation in safety.

  • Working memory and team-working in an emergency: the impact of response information systems   Order a copy of this article
    by Md Rokonuzzaman, Md Ali, Md Sadique, Bimal Pramanik 
    Abstract: How does the human's limitation of limited working memory affect team-working in an emergency? This study aimed to explore the effects through the use of a response information system. A response information system (RIS) was developed and tested through standard software test matrices. A quasi-experimental study was then conducted to obtain empirical data. A total of 200 members of the fire and civil defence (FSCD) divided into two groups participated in the study. IBM AMOS based Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) approach was used to obtain the results. This research implies that, with the emerging complexity in urban living and high-impact disasters, it has become crucial for the emergency response and rescue authority to redesign the response services for better acquisition, dissemination, and use of response information.
    Keywords: emergency; team performance; response information systems.

  • Quantitative performance evaluations for crisis response management: a scoping study   Order a copy of this article
    by Nicoletta Baroutsi 
    Abstract: Evaluation methods are vital tools to support learning and ensure quality in Crisis Response Management (CRM). They provide systematic feedback in situations where it is difficult to understand how separate factors affect the outcome of an event. In this article, the scoping study methodology is used to examine the range and nature of methods available for evaluating CRM performance. The methods are systematically charted into classes to highlight significant research gaps and examine current trends. The analysis reveals that evaluation methods are not available for all relevant circumstances, that there are no attempts to create empirical baselines, and that the link between effectiveness and a method rarely is brought up. The article also highlights how doctrinal knowledge may be used to increase interrater reliability, and issues that are complicating statistical validations in this field.
    Keywords: performance evaluations; quantitative evaluations; C2; command & control; CRM; crisis response management; evaluation methods; crisis management; analysis; human performance; performance evaluations; quantitative evaluations; C2; command & control; CRM; crisis response management; evaluation methods; crisis management; analysis; human performance; literature review; scoping study. crisis exercises; training and evaluations.

  • The implications of climate change for emergency management: the example of Australia   Order a copy of this article
    by Jean S. Renouf 
    Abstract: This article investigates the implications of climate change for emergency services, based on an analysis of the documents published by Resilience NSW and using the NSW North Coast region of Australia as a case study. While emergency services have demonstrated definitive capacity to respond to different crises and disasters, shortcomings identified during the 2017 ex-tropical cyclone Debbie and the 2019/2020 bushfire season underscore their limited readiness in light of a rapidly changing climate. In this context, the research reveals a limited focus on climate change by NSW emergency services and argues that they will be faced with increasing uncertainty. It concludes that institutional changes are necessary to better prepare for the impacts to come. A shift in mindset, leading to seeing climate change as an immediate threat, and accompanied with a transformation of the emergency management sector into a better integrated, whole-of-community approach, are to be considered.
    Keywords: emergency management; emergency services; climate change; resilience; Australia; crisis; disasters; bushfire; floods; cyclone; policies; readiness; uncertainty.

  • The supportive role of non-governmental organisations in sustainable emergency management: the case of Poland   Order a copy of this article
    by Dominika Marciniak 
    Abstract: Non-governmental organisations in sustainable emergency management have many roles, depending on the stage of crisis development. In many emergency situations, non-governmental organisations appear first, and in some cases even before host governments. That is why it is so important to discuss the role of NGOs in the process of sustainable emergency management and to assess the effectiveness of joint actions of humanitarian aid providers. For this purpose, research was conducted among organisations of the crisis management network. It turns out that an important factor determining the effectiveness of jointly undertaken activities is the level of trust between organisations, the increase of which results in increasing the effectiveness of cooperation of NGOs with other entities of the crisis management network. Moreover, more than half of the respondents positively assessed the level of organisational effectiveness of joint activities with the participation of NGOs and volunteers.
    Keywords: sustainable emergency management; non-governmental organisations; crisis management network; humanitarian logistics; volunteerism; disaster management; network approach; donors.

  • Institutional capacity of Nigerias emergency management system: nexus of resource availability and communication capacity   Order a copy of this article
    by Justine Uyimleshi 
    Abstract: This study aims to investigate Nigerias EMSs capacity considering its resource availability and communication ability to share information. Both qualitative and quantitative methods involving the use of questionnaire and interview with staff of NEMA, NSCDC, NPF, FRSC, FMOH and NH was adopted. Limited resources, lack of well-trained personnel, lack of communication equipment and networks for sharing of information and lack of technological facilities to support rapid response affects effective disaster management in Nigeria. Likewise, poor coordination, lack of cooperation and integration between different actors and mismanagement and unwise use of resources. There is a need to improve accountability to create a viable, effective and efficient EMS that conform to global standards. And the National Disaster management framework should be implemented effectively. Conclusion contended that more collaboration, cooperation and integration in the public-private-partnership is needed to improve resource utilisation and regular training programmes must be established to keep staff knowledge up-to-date.
    Keywords: disaster management; emergency preparedness; institutional capability; resource availability; communication ability and response.

  • Cybersecurity challenges for field hospitals: impacts of emergency cyberthreats during emergency situations   Order a copy of this article
    by Nasir Baba Ahmed, Nicolas Daclin, Marc Olivaux, Gilles Dusserre 
    Abstract: The use of technology and IT assets in healthcare and emergency response personnel in field hospitals improves emergency care and service delivery. However, these benefits create increasing concerns about the security of infrastructure such as medical devices, health data etc., as healthcare is an attractive target owing to its rich source of valuable data and its weak defences. This paper evaluates how cyberthreat actors take advantage of a current emergency situation to exploit and attack the healthcare emergency response IT infrastructure. It also explores the opportunistic approach used by cyberthreat actors, and highlights the new vulnerabilities creative themes used to effectively deliver social engineering campaigns and physical attack scenarios successfully. Furthermore, it establishes the impacts of the cyber-attacks on the emergency response infrastructure and its stakeholders.
    Keywords: emergency; cybersecurity; cyber-attack; health data; medical devices; field hospital.

  • Detecting the risk of COVID-19 spread in near real-time using social media   Order a copy of this article
    by Mohammed Ahsan Raza Noori, Bharti Sharma, Ritika Mehra 
    Abstract: COVID-19 is a contagious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Given the lack of adequate facilities and vaccines in the early months of pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended a set of preventive measures, such as social distancing, intensive testing, lockdown, face masks, etc., to limit the spread of virus. To ensure public health safety, proper implementation and monitoring of preventive measures is important. However, failing to do so thereby increases the risk of COVID-19 spread, which leads to high mortality and overwhelms the healthcare systems. In this paper, we propose a near real-time system for detecting the risk of COVID-19 spread using Twitter social media platform. The proposed system is developed using open source Apache Spark framework for performing many tasks, including text mining, machine learning, and near real time processing of data stream from Twitter. We used five base machine learning classifiers: Support Vector Machine (SVM), Logistic Regression (LR), Multilayer Perceptron (MLP), Decision Tree (DT), and Naive Bayes (NB). In addition, to improve the overall accuracy and performance, we combined the base classifiers to form a single Ensemble Majority Voting Classifier (EMVC). Experimental results show that 92.07% accuracy of SVM is optimal relative to other base classifiers whereas 94.76% accuracy of EMVC is overall highest compared with individual base classifiers. Finally, the system is built using EMVC and tested in near real-time for detecting the tweets related to the risk of COVID-19 spread in three cities: London, Mumbai, and New York in the month of June 2020. Our analysis reveals that many risk-related factors were still spiralling in these cities such as not wearing of masks, and no or less social distancing by the people, whereas less testing and decisions related to lockdown by the governing bodies are the major issues that need to be handled to contain the spread of COVID-19 further during this ongoing pandemic.
    Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus; risk detection; social media; Twitter; machine learning; ensemble learning; near real-time system; apache spark.

  • Impact of coordination on post-earthquake last mile relief distribution operations in India   Order a copy of this article
    by Reda M. Lebcir, Priyanka Roy 
    Abstract: The operations to deliver relief to disaster-affected populations are complex, requiring careful planning, execution, and coordination especially during the Last Mile Relief Distribution (LMRD) phase. This paper investigates the impact of coordination on LMRD performance in the context of India, one of the most affected countries in the world by natural disasters. The research was carried out in two phases. First, qualitative interviews were conducted with Indian government, national, and international non-governmental organisations involved in disaster relief operations in the country. Second, an agent-based simulation model representing Indian LMRD operations was developed and used to evaluate the impact of three coordination scenarios on the total level of inventory in distribution centres (TLIDC) and the logistics chain responsiveness during the 45 days period following an earthquake. Findings indicate that better coordination can reduce TLIDC by up to 16% and improves responsiveness by up to 13%. The practical implications of these findings are discussed.
    Keywords: emergency logistics; last mile relief distribution; agent-based simulation; coordination; India; earthquake; natural disaster; relief chain.

  • How effective is digital marketing for government organisations in times of crisis? The case of Kuwait's Fire Force during COVID-19.   Order a copy of this article
    by Yousef Mohammed 
    Abstract: Digital marketing is increasingly used by government organisations during crises to improve information dissemination as well as foster citizen and general public participation. The aim of this paper is to explore the adoption of digital marketing by Kuwait Fire Force. Qualitative data was used with officials in the organisation to understand the strategic approach and effectiveness. Secondary data has been collected from social media platforms of the organisation to determine participation of citizens, the impact of the digital marketing strategies, the sentiments of the information and the reach of this information through the platforms. This paper argues that commercial digital marketing strategies can be applied in crisis management through use of social media channels. Using a proxy of Twitter for measuring engagement through social media, the results show that, to a certain extent, the digital marketing strategies are effective. However, care should be taken to ensure that all platforms are well-integrated and have similar messages, and that the tone of these messages is clearly defined in the digital marketing strategy. Recommendations have been provided to improve the impact of these strategies.
    Keywords: Kuwait; marketing; digital; government; crisis; pandemic.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2022.10049348
  • Crisis management and forced collaboration: a case study during the coronavirus pandemic   Order a copy of this article
    by Camilla Lönngren, Erik Hedlund 
    Abstract: This article investigates one crisis management effort during the COVID-19 pandemics first wave in Stockholm, Sweden. Decision-makers in Stockholm were afraid that intensive care unit beds would run out due to the massive spread of the virus and therefore decided to build a temporary hospital in an exhibition hall outside Stockholm. Using field study observations and interviews, this article uses grounded theory method to describe what happened between two actors, a hospital and a regional administrative body, during this process. These two actors, in this article called the Operational and the Administrative organisations, are two separate but dependent actors who had to collaborate during this crisis. The crisis management process can be seen as forced collaboration. By investigating the different phases of the crisis management, we found that there were conflicting situational assessments, conflicting actions, power play and stereotyping, which contributed to making collaboration and crisis management difficult.
    Keywords: crisis management; COVID-19; collaboration; grounded theory; Sweden.

  • Drought risk management in Madhya Pradesh, India: a policy perspective   Order a copy of this article
    by Ashish Sharma 
    Abstract: Madhya Pradesh, the central State of India, is susceptible to drought risks owing to its unique geophysical characteristics and vulnerable eco-system. The State predominantly depends on agriculture from the employment and occupational engagements perspective. Government intervention is essential to reduce agricultural and other economic losses and support livelihoods. This paper, therefore firstly examines the vulnerability profile of the State towards drought. Secondly, it evaluates the State governments intervention through policies, particularly pre and post-disaster budgetary policy towards drought risk management. The examination focuses on the short-term (relief) and the long-term (mitigation) budgetary allocations to important State run programs and trends to reduce the exposure, vulnerability, and damage caused by droughts. Further, the existing disaster management policies effectiveness, shortcomings, and challenges are also analysed. These findings are useful for the State government to re-design the policies and improve disaster management frameworks shortcomings.
    Keywords: droughts; drought risks; drought risk management; mitigation; budgetary allocations; risk management framework.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2022.10050715
  • To observe and evaluate sensemaking: the development of the sensemaking interaction analysis   Order a copy of this article
    by Nicoletta Baroutsi 
    Abstract: Systematic evaluations are vital to support learning and enhance performance in complex events, such as a crisis response. There are quantitative methods available for evaluating crisis response management, but limiting factors are affecting their potential. For example, they include procedures questionable from a learning perspective, are often not applicable across professions, lack validity and reliability testing, and their relation to effectiveness is rarely investigated or described. The Sensemaking Interaction Analysis (SIA) is a new evaluation method developed based on techniques from the design sciences, where identified needs guide the design of an artefact. Consequently, SIA is an observation-based evaluation method, generalisable across professions, applicable for both exercises and real events, and that is practically feasible. The basic idea behind SIA is that a crisis management team that collectively makes sense of a crisis, its consequences, and possible actions will perform better than a team that fails to do so.
    Keywords: sensemaking; performance; performance evaluations; quantitative evaluations; method development; evaluation method; crisis respons; crisis response management; crisis management; team evaluations.