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Journal of Emergency Management
January/February 2008, Volume 6
, Number 1


Article
Tornadoes and mobile homes: The geographic data of a stereotype
Andrew B. Shears, MS; Robert M. Schwartz, PhD
January/February 2008; pages 11-22

Abstract
A stereotype that many in the United States share is the idea of a strong spatial relationship between mobile homes and tornadic activity. Although the origins of this stereotype are unknown, many possibilities may exist including a bias in media coverage or the fact that mobile homes are susceptible to weaker tornadoes that occur more frequently. Residents of mobile homes are usually less affluent than those of frame-built homes and have fewer resources to cope with the destruction of their homes. Despite the knowledge that these homes are more susceptible and the heightened socioeconomic risk, the residents of these homes face little in terms of spatial coincidence between mobile homes and tornadoes has been studied. Tornado occurrences in the southeastern United States between 1970 and 2000 were spatially compared with the locations of mobile homes in 2000 to determine if mobile homes were located in areas climatologically prone to tornadic activity. Key words: hazards, tornadoes, mobile homes, Southeastern United States, vulnerability, risk


Article
Highway traffic management in incidents of national significance
Burak Eksioglu, PhD; Mingzhou Jin, PhD; Ismail Capar, PhD; Zhuoxiu Zhang, BS; Sandra D. Eksioglu, PhD
January/February 2008; pages 23-36

Abstract
A framework is proposed to help federal and state agencies in responding to disasters by effectively routing vehicles around a disaster area. The proposed framework includes an information center that uses prediction and optimization models and heuristic algorithms to generate alternative routes for those vehicles that are not able to follow their planned routes because of a disaster. The prediction model determines the routes that will be taken by the vehicles that do not have any communication means. For those vehicles that can communicate with the information center, alternative routes are generated by an optimization model. When a disaster strikes, the information center is immediately informed about the damage and the current traffic conditions in and around the disaster area. The information gathered is used by the optimization model to find alternative routes. The proposed framework is tested using a simulation model on a hypothetical terrorist attack that takes place in Mississippi. The simulation model is executed to compare the system-wide average mobility and speed for three different cases. The first case represents the traffic situation under normal conditions prior to any disaster. The second case shows the affect of setting up simple detours to reroute the traffic after a disaster. The third case shows the traffic conditions if the proposed framework is implemented. The results indicate that the proposed framework improves both system mobility and average speed. Key words: traffic management, routing, linear programming, disaster management


Article
First-responder preparedness in western North Carolina: A preliminary analysis
Lisa T. Briggs, PhD; Karen A. Mason, PhD
January/February 2008; pages 37-42

Abstract
The need for well-prepared emergency response agencies has become more evident since the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina and the terrorist attack on 9/11. While political and public attention has focused on the needs of urban areas, the state of preparedness among rural first-responder agencies has not been sufficiently addressed. Rural areas are home to nearly 59 million US citizens and are the sites of critical infrastructure and military facilities. An assessment of emergency-related resources in rural areas is necessary not only to protect these assets but also to support disasters in neighboring urban areas. To better understand the level of preparedness in rural western North Carolina (WNC), this survey measures perceptions of emergency preparedness for natural disasters and terrorist attacks among representatives from first-responder agencies in 18 counties. Key words: rural, first responder, preparedness


Article
Emergency management and planning at major sports events
Stacey A. Hall, PhD; Lou Marciani, EdD; Walter Cooper, EdD
January/February 2008; pages 43-47

Abstract
High profile sporting events in the United States have been identified by the Department of Homeland Security as potential targets of terrorism (Lipton E: New York Times. March 16, 2005: A1). Other potential threats to major sports events include natural disasters and crowd management issues. It is therefore imperative that agencies involved in security planning at sports venues are trained in threat/risk assessment practices and engage in multiagency collaboration to ensure effective development and coordination of game day security plans. This article will highlight the potential threats to sports events, provide an overview of research conducted on sports event security, and outline some measures that can be utilized by emergency managers in their planning and preparation for managing major sports events. Key words: emergency management, sports events, emergency planning


Article
RHIOs as the foundation for emergency disaster management response
Ebrahim Randeree, MBA, PhD
January/February 2008; pages 49-58

Abstract
This research explores the regional health information organization (RHIO) framework and models for organization in response to emergencies. The increasing threats from weather-related phenomenon, disease outbreaks, and bioterrorism have focused the national agenda on emergency management and response. The creation of a national health information network is being replicated with state level efforts to create a support structure for emergency management. Efforts by state agencies to create statewide health information infrastructure network can be the foundation for a RHIO model. This article will develop RHIO formation models as well as explore data issues on quality and security. Beyond the focus on stakeholders, RHIOs must establish trust at various levels and provide credible and current information for usage to increase. Stakeholders must be included in RHIO formation. Data must be rich to provide emergency responders with relevant information to coordinate responses. The limited success of RHIOs needs to be reexamined and repositioned as Federal and State initiatives to respond to disasters. RHIOs need to be an integral part of the electronic health record (EHR) rollout to physicians to make them more interoperable and beneficial to regional health planning and response. Key words: regional health information organizations, data sharing, emergency planning, health preparedness


Article
An examination of FEMA’s temporary emergency housing program and the criteria used to make site selections in post-Katrina New Orleans
Margaret A. Reams, PhD; Philip J. Chandler, MS
January/February 2008; pages 59-69

Abstract
The authors examine the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) emergency temporary housing program and its implementation in Orleans Parish during the first months after Hurricane Katrina. They identify environmental and demographic factors that may have influenced the selection of sites for temporary trailer parks. The environmental assessments for each of the sites considered for use were obtained directly from FEMA under the Freedom of Information Act. Socioeconomic characteristics of the communities near the proposed sites were gathered from the US Census Bureau. Using cross-tabulations and difference-of-means tests to make comparisons between the sites selected and those not selected, the authors identify several environmental and socioeconomic factors associated with site selection. None of the selected sites was found to be in an area designated as residential nor were any sites selected that possessed known hazardous wastes or materials or contained habitat critical to endangered species. Also, all of the selected developments involved the installation of fewer than one hundred trailers. The analysis suggests that the trailer parks tended to be built in zip-code areas with slightly lower per capita incomes, although this trend was not reflected in property values. The authors found no evidence that the trailer parks were placed in communities with larger percentages of African American residents. All the sites selected for use passed the environmental reviews as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. Key words: Hurricane Katrina, FEMA housing program, environmental siting factors, emergency housing siting criteria


Article
Capacity building of biodefense informatics for public health preparedness and response in rural regions: EpiInfo, GIS, and data management training
Chiehwen Ed Hsu, PhD, MPH; Francisco Soto Mas, MD, PhD, MPH; Ella T. Nkhoma, MPH; Jerry Miller, PhD; William C. Chambers, MHA
January/February 2008; pages 70-78

Abstract
Introduction: Emergency informatics such as data management and geographic information systems applications have become an important training agenda for enhancing health surveillance and risk communication in public health emergencies. The free EpiInfo/Epimap software developed by the CDC offering domain knowledge such as health information management may be particularly useful for preparing nonurban jurisdictions often confronting limited resources in dealing with health emergency events. This article describes the delivery of training workshops to enhance the competencies of health workers in biodefense informatics and discusses its implication for delivering education to rural regions. Methods: Three EpiInfo/EpiMap workshops entitled “Biodefense Informatics and Health Surveillance Database Management” were delivered to public health practitioners of rural Texas. Each workshop covered three modules: tabletop exercises, EpiInfo, and EpiMap hands-on training. A web-based training modality was developed to supplement classroom sessions. Training manuals and a CD-ROM were distributed to trainees. Pretests and posttests were administered to evaluate the workshop effectiveness, and descriptive statistics of the results was summarized. Results: Forty regional or local health department staff attended the workshops. The pretesting and posttesting indicated that participants enhanced competencies and skills in biodefense informatics and data management. Self-reported evaluation indicated that knowledge increased upon completion of the training. The majority (97 percent) of the participants found the workshops relevant and useful, and many noted that the courses enhance their preparedness efforts. Discussion:These results support the need of continuing biodefense informatics training for nonurban public health practitioners and provide directions for developing training programs in health preparedness informatics. Key words: emergency preparedness and response, biodefense informatics, epidemiology, GIS

Journal of Emergency Management
March/April 2008, Volume 6
, Number 2


Article
Crisis preparation, media use, and information seeking: Patterns across Katrina evacuees and lessons learned for crisis communication
Patric R. Spence, PhD; Kenneth A. Lachlan, PhD; Jennifer A. Burke, PhD
March/April 2008; pages 11-23

Abstract
This study examined crisis preparation, information seeking patterns, and media use in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Surveys were collected from 964 Katrina evacuees. Results indicated a continued need to create messages encouraging crisis preparation, especially among at-risk subpopulations. Differences in information seeking behavior were detected across age, income, and sex, while new media proved to be a nonfactor. The findings are discussed in terms of pragmatic implications for crisis communication practitioners regarding message design and placement. Key words: Hurricane Katrina, crisis communication, risk, information seeking


Article
Preparing for the realities of a disaster deployment: Tips, hints, and suggestions for healthcare professionals
Elaine Lust, PharmD; Kenneth P. Hermsen, DDS, MS
March/April 2008; pages 25-30

Abstract
The sharing of common deployment realities learned during medical disaster deployments is intended to assist other healthcare professionals who serve on local, state, regional, or federal disaster response teams. The tips, hints, and suggestions communicated in this article are categorized into four main areas: personal realities, disaster scene realities, practice change realities, and disaster management realities. By sharing disaster realities from “boots on the ground” experience, the authors hope to soften the learning curve that can accompany a medical disaster deployment for other healthcare professionals. Key words: disaster learning curve, disaster realities, deployment, disaster medicine


Article
National emergency management system: The United States and Korea
Kyoo-Man Ha, PhD, CEM; Ji-Young Ahn, MD
March/April 2008; pages 31-44

Abstract
The purpose of this article is to contribute to the ultimate goal of emergency management by comparing the similarities, differences, and implications of the national emergency management systems in the United States (US) and Korea. The primary tenets, or similarities, differences, and implications, are as follows: (1) Both the US and Korean governments have tried to define basic emergency terms, but the Korean definitions are less based on national consensus. It is proposed that the Korean government aim for more national agreement on its definitions. (2) Local governments in the two nations play a direct role in dealing with emergency; yet, the US national system is decentralized, while the Korean one is centralized. Each system has tried to adopt the other’s principle for better management. (3) Although the roles of three nongovernment partners in these two nations are clearly outlined, each problem which they face is unique to their own environment. Through globalization, Korea has developed the framework of three nongovernmental players in emergency management. (4) Military principles, emergency exercises, and training have been used extensively in both nations. In the United States, fire officials have competed with law enforcement officials for resources, whereas the Korean fire officials have competed with civil engineers for resources. These rival groups should eliminate politicking with competition, thus fostering a common purpose among them. Key words: emergency management, United States, Korea


Article
Emergency planning and preparedness in general practice
Kelly A. Shaw, MBBS, MPH, PhD; Tania Winzenberg, MBBS, MMedSc(ClinEpi), PhD
March/April 2008; pages 45-54

Abstract
Objective: The aims of this study were to (1) assess general practitioners’ (primary care doctors) perceptions of their role in responding to emergencies, (2) identify barriers to their involvement in emergency management, (3) measure their willingness to volunteer in an emergency, and (4) determine their level of skills and training in emergency management. Design of Study: Qualitative focus group study and quantitative cross-sectional survey of general practitioners. Setting: General practices in Tasmania, an island state of Australia. Participants: All 541 general practitioners in Tasmania. Methods: Focus groups were conducted to assess general practitioners perceived roles in an emergency and issues relevant to them undertaking these roles. These data were used to design a quantitative crosssectional survey that was administered to all Tasmanian general practitioners to assess their willingness to participate in emergency management and to measure their skills base and training needs. Results: The response rate to the survey was 100 percent. The survey found that 42 percent of respondents were willing to volunteer their services in an emergency. Of those, 46 percent had emergency management training and/or skills and/or experience. Focus group participants felt that general practice resources, including nondoctor staff, practice infrastructure, and equipment, could make a valuable contribution to emergency management. Conclusions: General practitioners are willing to participate in management of emergencies.A significant number have emergency management training and experience. However, appropriate systems and supports are required to facilitate their involvement. Key words: emergency management, general practice, general practitioner, pandemic influenza


Article
The development of the current urban search and rescue program (ESF-9): A policy perspective
Brad Greenberg, MD, MPA
March/April 2008; pages 55-59

Abstract
This article explores the origins of the current urban search and rescue (US&R) program, its philosophical foundations, and examines the history of the catastrophic events that punctuated the stepwise development of national policy and legislation enabling the federal government to conduct such a program. Since its inception, the program goal was to structure existing local assets into an integrated task force capable of national and international response. Past events—natural, political, and terrorist—deeply affected the development of the US&R Response system. It has matured over time, but remains dynamic. Key words: urban search and rescue, disaster medicine, US&R, disaster response, policy, homeland security


Article
Remote sensing spectra of cesium chloride provide a potential emergency management tool for response to a radiological dispersal device detonation
Mark P.S. Krekeler, BS, MS, PhD; C. Scott Allen, BA, MA, MS
March/April 2008; pages 60-64

Abstract
Delineating affected areas from radiological dispersal device (RDD) events is a major challenge in emergency response. Remote sensing is one promising technique for detecting and discriminating dangerous from benign materials over large areas and from a safe distance. Remote sensing spectra of one major threat—cesium chloride (CsCl) powders—identifies previously unrecognized emissivity features at 2.96 ?m (>30 percent), 6.01 ?m (>20 percent), a broad feature at 7.10-7.49 ?m (6-8 percent), and a triplet at 8.46 (6 percent), 8.89 (11-15 percent), and 9.33 ?m (5-7 percent). While the features at 2.96, 6.01, and 7.10-7.49 _m are masked by atmospheric gases such as water vapor, the triplet at 8.46, 8.89, and 9.33 ?m provides a unique spectral fingerprint that can be safely exploited from platforms at standoff distances. Key words: radiological dispersal device(s), dirty bombs, remote sensing, hyperspectral, cesium chloride

Journal of Emergency Management
May/June 2008, Volume 6
, Number 3


Article
Editorial. Catastrophe planning and response
Andrew K. Bumbak
May/June 2008; pages 13-15


Article
Editorial. Sheltering for catastrophes: A call for change
Rick Tobin
May/June 2008; pages 16-17


Article
Editorial. Disaster lessons learned: Apis mellifera and the art and science of communication
Paula A. Burgess, MD, MPH
May/June 2008; pages 18-20

Abstract
Lessons learned from disaster responses often include failure of communication. The author of this editorial is an emergency physician and public health scientist with expertise in disaster response; the author is also an amateur beekeeper. The author whimsically compares and contrasts what honey bees know about communication to what disaster response professionals know. Perhaps, disaster response professionals can learn more about communication from the experts: honey bees. Key words: disaster response, communications, lessons learned, honey bees


Article
Trust among decision makers and its consequences in emergency response operations
Christian Uhr, MSc; Olof Ekman, MSc
May/June 2008; pages 21-37

Abstract
In an emergency response operation, trust can have an influence on the efficiency in communication between different decision makers and how the networks of these decision makers are formed. Consequently, it might affect the efficiency, flexibility, and adaptation capability in the response system as a whole. Trust could generally be described as a relation between a trustor and a trustee where the expected behavior and competence of the trustee in a specific context, estimated by the trustor, is a central core in the concept. On the basis of a literature review and interviews with Australian emergency response practitioners, this article discusses relevant characteristics of trust and its consequences in emergency response. The content emphasizes the need for further development of descriptive analysis of the processes underlying the formal charts and documents to understand authentic conditions and further develop valid normative theories for emergency response management. Key words: trust, emergency response, crisis response, defining trust, consequences of trust


Article
Hurricane Katrina and lessons learned utilization: Important findings for the emergency management community
Lindsey McCormick, MPA
May/June 2008; pages 39-44

Abstract
Hurricane Katrina revealed several lessons learned for the emergency management community. This study was conducted to determine common lessons learned from Katrina and how emergency managers in hurricane prone areas were utilizing them. The study attempted to determine if and how the emergency management community is using the lessons learned from Katrina, if at all. The author concludes with some important findings for the emergency management community. The survey results are valuable to emergency managers in the sense that utilizing lessons learned from previous disasters of all types can lead to more effective planning and responding to future disasters. Effective emergency planning or managing effective responses in disasters saves peoples’ money and most important, peoples’ lives. Key words: Hurricane Katrina, lessons learned, emergency management, survey


Article
Using evaluation theory to augment the homeland security exercise and evaluation program (HSEEP) guidance for evaluating operations-based exercises
Ralph Renger, PhD, MEP; Anneke Jansen, MPH; Erin Peacock, MPH; Adriana Cimetta, MPH; Jessica Surdam, MPH
May/June 2008; pages 45-52

Abstract
Exercises play a crucial role in better preparing for, responding to, and recovering from an emergency by providing opportunities for responders and officials to practice and assess their collective capabilities. Conducting a thorough evaluation of these exercises is critical to ensuring that the nation continually improves its ability to save lives and property. A major emphasis of the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) is on defining and evaluating capability- based objectives to determine the impact of an exercise. Using the integrated theory of evaluation, it is shown how a cost-effective, quality evaluation of operations- based exercises can be conducted while simultaneously not interfering or adding to the burden of exercise players, controllers, or evaluators. It is hoped that this article will act as a catalyst in moving HSEEP to recognize the potential of other sources of information to assist in conducting a more comprehensive evaluation and amend their guidelines accordingly. Key words: evaluating, HSEEP, operations-based, exercises, theory


Article
Protecting the functionality of airports during disaster responses: Humanitarian responses to terrorism, war, civil war, and riots
James Fielding Smith, PhD, PE, Captain USNR (Ret), MASCE; Sandra Sue Waggoner, BA, EMT-P, EMSI; Arthur Rabjohn, CEM; Avi Bachar, BGen (Ret)
May/June 2008; pages 53-62

Abstract
The response to almost any disaster has major roles for airports that carry out many or all the functions in an incident management system or act as key assets (emergency support functions). Disaster response itself stresses airports and should require protective measures that may be policy, organizational, operational, physical, or defensive. If the response is humanitarian relief during an intentional disaster such as terrorism, war, civil war, or riot, defensive protective measures become critical to airport functionality, continuity of business, and continuity of operations. This article examines 18 airports for threats to functionality and appropriate, effective defensive measures against these threats. In a disaster, an airport can substitute for almost anything else, but nothing else can substitute for an airport. This truism becomes particularly acute when the operational stresses of humanitarian relief and intentional threats coincide at an airport. Key words: riot, war, terrorism, civil, airport, disaster, humanitarian, response

Journal of Emergency Management
July/August 2008, Volume 6
, Number 4


Article
Capabilities-based planning: A framework for local planning success?
Jeffrey L. Reibestein, BA
July/August 2008; pages 11-16

Abstract
In September 2007, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the National Preparedness Guidelines which advocate a capabilities based planning (CBP) approach to preparedness for state, local, and tribal governments. This article provides an overview of capabilities-based planning and a more specific focus on the aims, objectives, and components of the DHS CBP model. The article also summarizes what scholars have previously suggested are fundamental elements for successful emergency and disaster planning focusing specifically on Quarantelli’s 10 research-based principles. The article evaluates the effectiveness of the DHS CBP model in helping local governments incorporate these fundamental elements into their planning efforts and concludes with an overall assessment of the DHS CBP model as a framework for local planning success. Key words: capabilities-based planning, Department of Homeland Security, emergency planning, community preparedness


Article
Emergency preparedness: Using the Internet to educate the public
Kelly L. Brown, PhD; Christina Scheungrab, BS
July/August 2008; pages 17-23

Abstract
This research examines the use of the Internet to educate the public on emergency management and homeland security issues. Despite the fact that disasters, when they occur, happen at the local level and directly impact the general public, the public is conspicuously absent from emergency management planning and training activities at all levels. This is true despite research which suggests that the public, given accurate and relevant information, can respond well to disasters. Educating the public on possible disasters, response scenarios, and other key emergency management issues is a critical first step to engaging the public in emergency management. The current research investigates the use of one means of educating the public, the Internet, on emergency management and homeland security issues. Content analysis of the 50 largest cities in one Midwestern state was conducted to determine the following: if the Internet is used to educate the public, the types of homeland security and emergency management information available to the public on city web sites, and how difficult the existing information is to access. Results show that few cities are using the Internet as a means of educating the public on emergency management issues. Future research should investigate other means by which the general public should be educated and engaged in emergency management and how the public is using the emergency management information available to them. Key words: public education, Internet use, emergency management and the public


Article
Storming the castle:Strategies for a successful Homeland Security Grant Application
David M. McDonough, JD; Joshua Easton, JD, MA; Rebecca A. Shore-Suslowitz, JD; Orit Zeevi, JD
July/August 2008; pages 25-31


Article
After the storm: K-12 education response to Hurricane Katrina at the state level
Jesse Perez Mendez, PhD, JD; Judith K. Mathers, EdD; David M. Neal, PhD
July/August 2008; pages 32-38

Abstract
This article addresses the policy reaction of 13 high impact states in addressing the K-12 student diaspora that followed Hurricane Katrina. This disaster displaced approximately 372,000 K-12 Louisiana and Mississippi students. After examining various legislative policy responses and administrative management of displacement accommodations, the authors identified various patterns that suggest states resorted to ad hoc policy to address the massive influx of displaced students. The authors recommend that governmental agencies consider the utilization of proactive planning procedures to address educational concerns in further disasters. Key words: state policy, disaster, K-12 education


Article
Developing voluntary agencies in emergency management: The United States and Korea
Kyoo-Man Ha, PhD, CEM; Ji-Young Ahn, MD
July/August 2008; pages 39-50

Abstract
The purpose of this article is to develop policy implications after comparing the roles of voluntary agencies in the United States and Korea with the ultimate goal of contributing to emergency management in both countries. The stipulation is that voluntary agencies can substitute for the lack of government roles. Also, the underlying driver of US voluntary response is more for monetary contributions, whereas the Korean voluntary response is more altruistic in nature as a product of Korean culture. After comparing each country’s (1) volunteers, (2) organization, (3) strategy, and (4) other issues, the article found that the two national voluntary systems have developed very different approaches to voluntary promotion in emergency management. In short, the major tenet of this article is that US voluntary agencies have relied on a bottom-to-top approach, while Korean voluntary agencies have relied on a top-to-bottom approach in emergency management. Key words: voluntary agency, United States, Korea


Article
Tuning in: Weather radios for those most at risk
Robert J. Kupec, BS
July/August 2008; pages 51-56

Abstract
In 2005, a tornado killed 25 people in a Mobile Home Park in Evansville, Indiana. Spurred on by this disaster, the state of Indiana passed a law in 2007 requiring that all new manufactured homes come with a NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Radio. Members of the Indiana Congressional delegation introduced similar legislation in the US House of Representatives (House Bill H.R. 2787), which passed on October 30, 2007. The bill has since moved to the Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs. Since 2000, over 50 percent of deaths from tornadoes have occurred in mobile homes. NOAA weather radio is now accessible by 98 percent of the population, but user ship remains low. More emphasis should be made to notify the citizenry of this vital resource. Key words: tornados, mobile homes, weather radios, history of weather radios


Article
Protecting the functionality of airports during disaster responses: Solutions
James Fielding Smith, PhD, PE, Captain USNR (Ret.), M.ASCE; Sandra Sue Waggoner, BA, EMT-P, EMSI; Arthur Rabjohn, CEM; Avi Bachar, BGen (Ret.)
July/August 2008; pages 57-64

Abstract
Issues of protecting the functionality of airports involved in responses for nearby or distant disasters are examined for nonintentional incidents such as natural disasters, accidents, and pandemics and for humanitarian relief efforts during intentional incidents such as terrorism, war, civil war, and riots. Proposed solutions focus on promoting airport continuity of business and continuity of operations while optimizing airports as sustainable assets during all phases of the response. The most significant recommendations involve policy, organizational, operational, physical, and defensive measures based on sound incident management systems, interoperability, national and international standards for airport use during disaster response, and new national funding sources for incremental improvements to airport capabilities in these areas. Key words: disaster, response, airport, terrorism, COB, COOP, protection, functionality

Journal of Emergency Management
September/October 2008, Volume 6
, Number 5


Article
Editorial. How the next President of the United States can fix FEMA
Jane A. Bullock, BA; George D. Haddow, MURP
September/October 2008; pages 13-14


Article
The principles as the foundation of emergency management
William L. Waugh, Jr., PhD
September/October 2008; pages 15-16


Article
Continuity of Operations planning: Meeting the standard of care
Robin J. Clark, JD; Megan H. Timmins, JD
September/October 2008; pages 17-22

Abstract
Recent disasters have increased the public’s awareness of the lack of emergency preparedness of state and local governments. The attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 highlighted failures in government agency coordination, while the anthrax attacks that followed and the more recent natural disasters of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 have deepened concerns that our government is unprepared for emergencies. Partially in response to the public’s concern, the federal government has encouraged Continuity of Operations (COOP) planning at the federal, state, and local government levels. Public attention, government engagement, and the promulgation of federal directives and guidance are leading to an increase in the standard of care for all public sector planning efforts, thus creating potential liabilities in the areas of COOP planning, testing, training, and maintenance. At this point, COOP planning is becoming the norm for state and local government agencies, and while the process of COOP planning may itself expose agencies to certain liabilities, there is also an increase in the potential liability for agencies that do not undertake COOP planning efforts. Further, it appears that the potential liability of agencies that do not engage in COOP planning far exceeds any liabilities incurred through the planning process. Key words: Continuity of Operations, legal, liability, standard of care, Federal Preparedness Circular 65


Article
Toxic gas dispersion models: Can they predict protective action distances in case of a chemical spill?
John S. Nordin, PhD
September/October 2008; pages 23-35

Abstract
Emergency responders often use a gas dispersion model to estimate downwind airborne concentrations of a toxic chemical in case of a chemical spill accident. For protecting the public, a protective action distance from the spill source is established based on the distance where the toxic concentration drops below some level of concern. This distance is used as a basis for evacuation of the public from the area or for instructions to shelter-in-place. However, in real-world accidents, the responders neither know the amount of chemicals released into the air nor the duration of the release, and moreover, the concentrations of chemicals at any location will vary over time. Depending on what input information is put into the model, different results will be obtained. The problem of what input parameters to use for gas dispersion modeling is illustrated for a hypothetical 90-ton chlorine railcar accident, where the railcar is breached. Different answers for a protective action distance are obtained depending on whether the tables in the Emergency Response Guidebook or any of the popular gas dispersion models are used. Very different answers are obtained from any model depending on whether whole of the chemical is released at once as a gas or aerosol or whether the liquefied chlorine evaporates slowly inside a ruptured 90-ton railcar tank, and also the weather conditions. To avoid misunderstandings, people who use models to establish a protective action distance must also communicate the circumstances in which the models are used, eg, “worst possible what-if scenario,” etc, or “nighttime stable conditions,” or other situations. Key words: dispersion, mathematical model, toxic chemicals


Article
Management of inquiries into disasters: Experts’ views and perspectives
M. S. Aini, PhD; A. Fakhru’l-Razi, PhD
September/October 2008; pages 37-50

Abstract
In most democratic countries, inquiries are conducted into major accidents. One of the main functions of inquiries into disasters is to establish the causes and to learn lessons from them so as to prevent a recurrence. However, previous studies showed that the learning aspect is often curtailed because of the inadequate guides to the conduct and procedures of inquiry management. A study was conducted to determine the disaster experts’ views and perspectives on management of disaster inquiries. A sample of 80 experts representing various organizations in Malaysia was selected using judgmental sampling method. The data indicated that they were less agreeable with regards to statements about recommendations and learning aspects as compared with function and procedural issues. Suggestions for improvements of inquiry management into disasters were discussed and proposed. Inquiry into disasters is costly to manage and may last from a few months to a few years; thus, these shortcomings ought to be addressed as they will remain as one of the valuable sources of information for society and corporations to learn from past incidents. Key words: disaster, public inquiry, accidents, tribunal


Article
Transportation for evacuations: The variation in planning between urban and rural cities
Natalie Easterday, BS
September/October 2008; pages 51-56

Abstract
A city’s emergency operation plan (EOP) establishes the framework for which all disaster-related activities will be administered. Seven communities’ EOPs were assessed to explore potential planning differences between urban and rural cities. Four urban and three rural communities were selected from the Federal Emergency Management Agency Regions V, VII, and VIII. The EOPs of the selected cities were evaluated against a comprehensive list of questions that explored pre-evacuation planning, operations, roles and responsibilities, communication, and postevacuation return. Within each category, the questions probed for the roles of public transportation in disaster situations. The results yielded several parallels between urban and rural communities in general evacuation planning, and these differences were not based on the city size. From this information, six suggested best practices were developed regarding the role of public transportation in emergency management. Key words: emergency management, transportation, evacuation, rural, urban, planning


Article
The effect of training on disaster response: Lessons learned from recent events
Hessam M. Afshari, BS; Paul N. Cervone, MD, LTC; Mark J. Seaton, PhD; Miley A. Taylor, BA; Bruce S. Rudy, Ded
September/October 2008; pages 57-63

Abstract
National attention to emergency preparedness has resulted in the development of numerous tabletop and exercise-based training programs for responders. The importance of this type of training with respect to the effectiveness of disaster response, while not in doubt, is difficult to measure. Here, we examined after action reports (AARs) from a variety of disasters in an attempt to determine what, if any, effect training has had on the response to a particular event and on disaster response in general.We also examined AARs and lessons learned from two training exercises. Possibly, the most significant effect of training was the opportunity for people from different response units to interact as a team. Exposure to the Incident Command System was vital to the smooth deployment of assets.


Article
Learning from failures in emergency response: Two empirical studies
Sidney W. A. Dekker, PhD; Magnus Jonsén, MSc; Johan Bergström, MSc; Nicklas Dahlström, PhD
September/October 2008; pages 64-70

Abstract
Recent high-visibility disasters have fueled public and political awareness of the importance of managing and mitigating their consequences effectively. In response, various countries have enacted legislation that demands the evaluation of emergency responses so that lessons for improvement can be learned. A series of field and experimental studies were conducted from 2005 to 2007 to assess the ability of first responder organizations (eg, fire departments) to learn from failures that occurred during their emergency responses. The departments studied often lacked basic organizational requisites for effectively learning from failure (eg, mutual trust, participation, knowledge of possible learning mechanisms). Further, neither first responder training, nor daily practice, seems supported by knowledge of generic competencies necessary for effective crisis management. This not only hampers coordination during a response, but also keeps its evaluation from using a language that could help organizations learn and improve. Key words: learning, failure, emergency response, safety culture


Article
Strategies for resilience: A qualitative analysis of rural community leaders’ advice on disaster recovery
George A. Youngs, Jr., PhD; H. Katherine O’Neill, PhD
September/October 2008; pages 71-80

Abstract
Resilience refers to the capacity to withstand, overcome, or recover from serious threat, such as a natural disaster. In small towns, community leaders are intimately involved with their towns’ response and recovery from a disaster and can see resilience processes, or their absence, virtually one person at a time. The authors interviewed 30 community leaders in two small towns along the Red River of the North, 7 to 8 years after a devastating flood. Responses to the question, “Based on your experience and observations (in your community), what advice would you give a similar community that was trying to recover from a major flood?” revealed a pattern of suggestions consistent with resilience strategies identified in the psychological literature. Specifically, the strategies of taking action, accepting help from others, engaging in self-discovery, maintaining a realistic long-term perspective, and fostering hope and optimism were mentioned repeatedly by the respondents. The authors also found rich subthemes within each of these general strategies. These findings support the applicability of psychological resilience strategies to a community’s disaster response and recovery processes. Key words: resilience, recovery, leaders, rural

Journal of Emergency Management
November/December 2008, Volume 6
, Number 6


Article
Establishing identity during a disaster: The Emergency Management Assistance Compact and the First Responder Authentication Credential
Jillian A. Williams, JD; Aileen B. Xenakis, JD
November/December 2008; pages 11-15

Abstract
As emergencies consistently overwhelm the resources of the jurisdictions they affect, the emergency management community responds with legislation enacting programs to send aid more efficiently, including the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). Correspondingly, emergency management technology develops to meet the field’s evolving needs. The Office of the National Capital Region Coordination (ONCRC) finds that the technology behind First Responder Authentication Credentials, or FRAC cards, will supplement the EMAC program by providing the trust framework that will enable identity and typing to be electronically verified to one individual issued from an authoritative source. It puts into practice “trust but verify” with verification being enabled electronically and provides a trust framework that assures the incident scene commander that a visiting first responder is who he says he is and is certified to perform the tasks that he has been assigned. In the chaos that accompanies such disasters, there is a latent threat of doing more harm by admitting unauthenticated people to an already vulnerable asset or scene; in an effort to protect against further harm, capable and available assisting responders are often prevented from actually helping. The FRAC program is the next stage in the emergency management field’s development of more efficient response mechanisms. In essence, FRAC picks up where EMAC left off: it provides a credential with photo and biometric identification that accesses computer data confirming the visiting first responder’s attributes and skill sets. It allows on-scene security to confirm a visiting first responder’s identity and credentials. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the FRAC program meets the current need for electronic verification of identity and skills, while simultaneously allowing for greater accountability on the scene of a disaster. The FRAC technology will be a critical element in reaching the next level of success in emergency response. It should fit seamlessly into the programs that have already yielded positive results and should help first responders to be more effective and efficient. Key words: technology, FRAC, authentication, credential, security


Article
Evaluating and promoting disaster awareness among children: The disaster awareness game
Virginia Clerveaux, PhD Candidate; Balfour Spence, PhD; Toshitaka Katada, PhD
November/December 2008; pages 17-30

Abstract
Children account for the greatest proportion of casualties from hazard impacts, especially in developing countries where they comprise the largest percentage of total population. This disproportionate vulnerability of children has recently been the focus of various United Nations initiatives for disaster risk reduction and is increasingly being the focus of local and national measures to reduce the impacts of hazards. The overarching focus of these children specific measures has been the promotion of disaster education to enhance the level of awareness among school-age children. However, this new trust toward the disaster awareness among children presents a new challenge for disaster planners, especially as this relates to the development of appropriate tools and techniques for the enhancement of the disaster knowledge base of children. Specifically, disaster management planners are challenged in ensuring not only that the information provided is appropriate to the information-assimilation capacity of children but also that the appropriate tools and techniques are developed to ensure effective conveyance of information through a medium that is neither stoic nor boring. The disaster awareness game presented in this article was designed with these challenges in mind and is intended to evaluate and promote disaster awareness in children. Preliminary results suggest that the tool is effective in meeting this objective. Key words: disaster risk reduction, disaster education, hazard vulnerability, disaster educational game technique, disaster risk education, children


Article
Reconstruction and exploration of large-scale distributed operations—Multimedia tools for evaluation of emergency management response
Sofie Pilemalm, PhD; Dennis Andersson, MS; Niklas Hallberg
November/December 2008; pages 31-47

Abstract
This study presents an approach for computer-supported reconstruction and exploration (R&E) of distributed tactical operations. The approach involves several steps for constructing a time-synchronized, event-driven multimedia model of the course of events collected from multiple sources in the operational environment and visualizes this model in the F-REX Studio multimedia suite. In this study, the use of R&E and F-REX is explored in large-scale emergency management exercises. The approach’s possibilities, limitations, and needs for modification are first outlined followed by a comparison to traditional quantitative and qualitative data collection methods applied in the same context. It is found that the R&E approach in combination with F-REX has several advantages in relation to the other methods, in terms of avoiding problems of retrospection and in being able to provide an overview of the entire operation based on multiple perspectives—addressing the question “why” something happened rather than “what happened.” Correctly used, multimedia-supported R&E can thereby be used for more solid evaluations of large-scale emergency management exercises and operations, thus contributing to more effective handling of future crises. Keywords: reconstruction & exploration, distributed tactical operations, emergency management, evaluation, computer technology


Article
University of Miami 'Canes Emergency Response Team: A look at an undergraduate disaster response team
Jonathan P. Meizoso, BS; D. V. Shatz, MD, FACS; K. G. Fletcher, Med; M. V. Shpiner, BBA; D. Carvajal, BBA; A. Ring; W. Coffin; M. Pearlman, BS; A. Pearlman, BS; S. Ragland; S. M. Murphy, NREMT-B; D. Rivero, BPS; W. Gerlach, MPA; J. Pepper, CPP, VSP; J. Tighe, BA
November/December 2008; pages 48-52

Abstract
Through recurrent disasters, both natural and man-made, the US government has developed a sophisticated emergency and disaster response system, ranging from local to federal government responses. But in large-scale disasters, the number of professional responders and the response times may be inadequate both for the physical magnitude of the disaster area involved and the number of victims. With that experience in hand, the Los Angeles City Fire Department promoted the concept of citizen response and training in 1985, which is now known as the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). The CERT program seeks to educate the lay public in disaster preparedness and train volunteers in basic disaster response skills. Training has been made available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Emergency Management Institute, and the National Fire Academy (http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/). These teams can be used to promote awareness programs in the community and to be readily available in the event of a local incident. Their proximity to the event and knowledge of the area can be a valuable asset both prior to and after the arrival of professional responders. But building such a team from scratch can be a daunting challenge. Known more for their football program, this article describes the system built by the undergraduate student body of the University of Miami Hurricanes. Key words: university disaster response, campus security, undergraduate disaster response


Article
Tsunami: Corroborating the need for vulnerability and capacity analysis
Sushma Guleria, MSc; J. K. Patterson Edward, PhD
November/December 2008; pages 53-62

Abstract
Purpose: Conducting vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA) becomes imperative as it gives an insight about the means people employ to cope with emergencies, and it is the firmest basis on which we can build appropriate and cost-effective actions for preparedness and mitigation aspects in disaster management. VCA was conducted to delineate risk zones among the sample villages and group them in risk zones (high, moderate, and low) depending upon the persisting vulnerabilities due to natural hazards, impact caused by the Tsunami in 2004, implementation of various disaster management aspects, and assessing the capacities of the respective sample villages. Design methodology: Overall methodology was based on collection, collation, and analysis of baseline and historical data. A questionnaire was developed for assessing capacity and vulnerability of the selected villages of three districts, namely, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, and Kanniyakumari along the Tamil Nadu coast. Findings: In this article, it was found that out of the nine sample villages, four villages, namely, Devanampattinam, Pichavaram, Tarangambadi, and Melamanakuddi, fell under high-risk zones, another four, namely, Samiyarpettai, Poompuhar, Kaniyakumari, and Kolachel, fell under medium risk zones as compared with just one, ie,Velanganni, which fell under low-risk zone. Practical implications/Originality: The most effective approach to reduce the long-term impact of natural hazards is to incorporate natural hazard assessment and mitigation activities into the process of integrated development planning and investment project formulation and implementation. The key to reduce vulnerabilities is through training and education, which are of critical importance by incorporating VCA into any development planning process and thereby upgrade the standard of living to ensure sustained well-being and prosperity and achieve sustainability. Key words: vulnerability and capacity assessment, risk zones, training and capacity building, community empowerment


Article
School-based relief centers: A community level assessment and discussion
Wiley Thompson, MS
November/December 2008; pages 63-72

Abstract
An effective community relief center plan provides emergency managers with the ability to provide shelter and services to a population following the onset of a hazard and is a key component of emergency preparedness and disaster recovery. This paper presents a practical method whereby an assessment of schools as the basis of a community-wide relief center plan is made. The paper suggests desired characteristics of a relief center, details a selection methodology, and provides recommendations for implementation of a community relief center plan. Alternative considerations and the role of GIS are also discussed. Key words: emergency preparedness, disaster preparedness, schools, emergency shelters, relief shelters, GIS