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Learning in municipalities after disasters

Tore Betten (Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Mangement, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway)
Kristian Vian Pettersen (Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Mangement, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway)
Eirik Albrechtsen (Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Mangement, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 30 March 2021

Issue publication date: 8 July 2021

227

Abstract

Purpose

Learning at the local level is an important contributor to safe and resilient communities. The purpose of this article is therefore to explore what motivates municipalities in Norway to learn from disasters and how they learn from them. This purpose has been fulfilled by (1) addressing the process of learning from disasters occurring within municipalities, and (2) learning from disasters in other municipalities, in particular from the terrorist incidents that occurred in Oslo on 22 July 2011.

Design/methodology/approach

An interview study was conducted of individuals responsible for municipal emergency preparedness.

Findings

Unwanted events that occur outside municipal borders only trigger learning processes if they are geographically proximate. Events occurring within the geographical borders of the municipality represent greater potential for learning than those occurring outside its borders. Availability of resources for municipal civil protection activities is another factor that has an impact on learning.

Originality/value

The local level plays a key role in generating and maintaining adequate civil protection and emergency preparedness in society. Although the literature on learning from disasters is extensive, learning processes at the local level have been given little attention. This article thus contributes to the existing body of knowledge by studying learning processes following disasters at the local level.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: This work was conducted as part of the NEXUS project focusing on the learning processes after the 22 July incidents. The NEXUS project is financed by the Research Council of Norway under its SAMRISK programme, grant number 234391.

Citation

Betten, T., Vian Pettersen, K. and Albrechtsen, E. (2021), "Learning in municipalities after disasters", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 400-411. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-04-2020-0092

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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