International Journal of Emergency Management (17 papers in press)
Management of infectious animal diseases: the Korean experience
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.
Landslide risk, resilience and resistance: confronting community resilience with economic benefits in landslide-prone areas in Kerala
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
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
by Teija 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
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.
Medical incident commander leadership during a full-scale exercise in an underground mining environment: a qualitative single-case study
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
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
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.
Improving emergency preparedness with a live collaboration exercise model for first responders
by David Sjöberg, Miguel Inzunza
Abstract: Collaboration is essential for successful emergency event management. Live exercises are one method to prepare for such emergencies. In this article, we present and evaluate an exercise model for multi-agency collaboration between first responders that focuses on learning collaboration. The model design emphasizes preparation, the learning climate, scenarios that support learning, and reflection. The model is underpinned by a practice perspective on learning and structured reflection. Data were collected from three collaboration exercises using questionnaires in conjunction with the exercise, and interviews at a later time after the exercise. The analysis showed that the participants developed a knowledge of collaboration and improved their ability to collaborate in real emergency events. The main contribution of the article is the validation of a small-scale exercise model that places learning of the subject matter in the foreground, which is shown to be a successful method for developing relevant knowledge. It is concluded that this live exercise model both complements the more commonly used large-scale collaboration exercise model and strengthens emergency preparedness.
Keywords: exercise; learning; collaboration; first responders; reflection; preparation; emergency preparedness; small scenarios; police; ambulance; emergency services; live simulation.
Resilience on the periphery: understanding the impacts of population displacement on infrastructure systems beyond the disaster zone
by Glenn Voelz
Abstract: This research examines how disaster-induced displacements in the United States impact communities on the periphery of disaster zones when demand pressures push infrastructure systems beyond their design capacity. As displacement events become more complex, disruptive, and prolonged, they threaten both 'hard' infrastructure systems (transportation, energy, water, and communications) as well as 'soft' infrastructure (healthcare systems, emergency response, public safety, and education). This research applies a comparative case study analysis, examining displacement during three disaster events: Hurricanes Katrina and Maria and the Camp Fire in Paradise, California. Several factors appear to influence how community-level infrastructure systems respond to the demands of supporting evacuees: the nature of the triggering event, the dynamics of the displacement, levels of social vulnerability among the affected population, and the pre-disaster capacity of infrastructure systems.
Keywords: population displacement; infrastructure resilience; time compression; social vulnerability; disaster recovery and resettlement.
Professionalisation in safety: in the heart of emergency response
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.
Content analysis of inter-organisational communication networks on social media during disasters
by Qingchun Li, Cheng Zhang, Ali Mostafavi
Abstract: This study conducted content analysis on social media posts to examine topics of interactive communications among organisational accounts during disasters. The objective of this paper is two-fold: (1) examine the extent to which the interactive communications among organisations on social media are related to disaster topics, and (2) uncover the evolution of topics in inter-organisational communications on social media during disasters. We used Twitter data during Hurricane Harvey to conduct content analysis. The results show that (1) 94.5% of interactive tweets among organisations during Harvey were related to Hurricane Harvey, (2) the evolution of tweet topics demonstrated a strong correlation with the triggering events and phases of disasters, and (3) the topics of organisations showed a strong correlation with functions and network positions of organisations, instead of organisation types. The study could help organisations to improve disaster-related communication using online social media for better disaster preparedness, emergency response, and post-disaster recovery.
Keywords: content analysis; social media; twitter data; organizational communication network; disaster response.
The process of integrating risk management: usefulness, standardisation and adaptation
by Mette Leonhardsen, Aud Solveig Nilsen, Odd Einar Olsen
Abstract: In this paper, we analyse how a municipality set out to integrate risk management throughout an organisation with more than 9000 employees in six divisions and over 100 sub-units. An objective was to ensure coherence in risk management related work conducted in various sub-units in the municipality. Being forerunners, those involved had to find their own way. We identify three focus areas of importance in the integration process: usefulness, standardisation and adaptation. We describe and discuss the activities within these focus areas, and their value to the integration process. We collected the data in this study over a six-year period. The period encompasses the development from intention, where only a few people were involved, to realisation in divisions and sub-units. The study is delimited to risk management related to safeguarding the population.
Keywords: risk management; integration; implementation; safety; standardisation; adaptation; usefulness; municipalities; public sector.
Using live video for communication between lay bystanders and emergency dispatchers in command and control centres
by Kristine Steen-Tveit, Bjørn Erik Munkvold, Jaziar Radianti
Abstract: Emergency response operations are usually initiated by emergency calls from lay bystanders at the incident scene, providing information that is vital for assessing the situation. While the communication is mainly verbal, the use of live video systems for providing real-time visual information is increasingly being focused. This study presents an analysis of work practices in command and control centres (CCC) in Norway and documents experiences from early-stage adoption and use of a live video system. Based on interviews with emergency dispatchers, our study contributes knowledge on how this new source of information is incorporated in the emergency response decision process in the CCCs. The results show how the use of live video can enhance situational awareness in multi-agency operations, especially in unclear situations. However, the benefits of using video need to be balanced against the additional manual operations required, which may cause delays in time-critical situations.
Keywords: command and control centres; live video support; information collection; situational awareness; normalisation process theory; decision-making; emergency management; dual-process theories.
Twitter emergency response system during flood-related disaster
by Jagrati Singh, Anil Kumar Singh
Abstract: The ubiquity of mobile, laptop and social media platforms such as Twitter is accelerating the information flow around the world. This can be useful to handle emergencies during a natural disaster, as victims can share on-the-spot situations and officials can put the solutions on the same platform. We proposed a new emergency response system, aimed at providing help to victims during flood-related disasters based on their tweets. The system consists of three modules. The first module identifies high priority tweets that are asking for help. In the second module, each high priority tweet is given an emergency score based on the victim's location information to help them at an early stage. Given that only a very small percentage of tweets are geotagged, the content-based location extraction technique is suitable for such types of system. We propose a new natural language technique named LDFT (location detection from a tweet) to infer the mentioned locations in the text of the tweet. The third module applies the DBSCAN clustering algorithm on high scoring tweets and displays the obtained clusters on Google Maps to visualise the hot-spot areas easily. The proposed disaster response system works well, with its maximum accuracy of 78%, and location prediction accuracy of 75% that can handle emergencies during flood-related disasters.
Keywords: Twitter stream; DBSCAN algorithm; location prediction; emergency-score; classification; clustering.
Institutional and emergent improvisation in response to disasters in Slovenia
by Marjan Malesic
Abstract: The purpose of the article is to check the level of institutional and emergent improvisation during recent disaster responses in Slovenia. The main data source is a research project on the formation of a comprehensive Incident Command System within the Slovenian disaster response system. Triangulation of methods included the analysis of selected secondary sources and a scoping study of recent research on improvisation, analysis of recent disaster cases in the country, and a comparison of improvisation-related experiences. Findings suggest organisations adopted different ways to activate their disaster response forces, changed procedures and how they covered disaster response costs, established new management and coordination structures, and revised existing operational modes and communication channels. The improvised solutions ranged from minor adaptations of procedures to the establishment of new structures. Emergent actors provided help to most affected people, labour, logistical, and communication support. They emerged from both affected communities and outside them.
Keywords: disaster; disaster response; preparedness; planning; improvisation; organisation; emergent actor.
Working memory and team-working in an emergency: the impact of response information systems
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.