The purpose of this study is to identify the preparedness of disaster mitigation agency officers in both urban and rural areas as high vulnerability zones in Aceh, Indonesia, in dealing with disasters.
This cross-sectional study adopted a conceptual framework from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and United Nations of Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)/International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) (LIPI-UNESCO/ISDR, 2006), explaining the study of community preparedness in anticipating earthquake and tsunami disasters. The framework of the study consists of five disaster preparedness parameters, namely, knowledge and attitude to face disasters, policies and guidelines, emergency response plans, disaster early warning systems and mobilization of resources. This conceptual framework was developed after the 2004 tsunami through an analysis study in the three provinces in Indonesia (Aceh, Padang and Bengkulu) experiencing earthquakes and tsunamis. This conceptual framework serves as a guideline and is in line with the objective of the regional disaster management Agency to reduce disaster risk through increasing community preparedness, especially providers or officers in anticipating disasters.
There was a significant difference in disaster preparedness among officers from the urban and rural areas. The area size, location accessibility, the communication network and disaster detection and warning facilities could associate with the results.
The respondents were selected from only two districts in Aceh Province, Indonesia, which are vulnerable to disasters. The study only identifies the disaster preparedness among disaster management agency officers (DMAOs) adopted from LIPI-UNESCO/ISDR about community preparedness in anticipating disasters particularly tsunami and earthquake. Therefore, the results of this study may have limited generalizability to other areas in Indonesia and beyond.
The results of this study could possibly serve as recommendations for policymakers and disaster management agencies, particularly in rural areas to prepare contingency plans that involve both internal and external institutions to arrange the regulations related to community-based emergency response plans and disaster early warning systems. Such programs of education, training and disaster drill needed to be in place and conducted regularly for the officers in a rural area. Finally, the other sub-scales showed no difference in disaster preparedness, however, collaboration and support to each other in disaster risk reduction plan by improving the capacity building, policy enhancement and disaster management guidelines are required. Also, attempts to optimize logistics adequacy, budget allocations and disaster preparedness education and training for both DMAOs are strongly recommended through the lens of the study. The results of the study might useful for further research that could be developed based on this current study.
The emergency response plans and disaster early warning systems were significantly different between the rural and urban officers in disaster preparedness. Attending disaster management programs, experiences in responding to disasters and the availability of facilities and funds could be considered in ascertaining the preparedness of officers to deal with disasters.
The authors are grateful to the Head of the Disaster Management Agency in both areas for their willingness to facilitate the study process. Furthermore, the authors would like to express sincere thank you to all respondents in both DMAOs for their participation in the study.
Author contributions: Concept and design (CH), data collection (RF), analysis and interpretation of data (CH and DM), manuscript draft (CH, EW and RF), critical revision of the manuscript (CH, EW and SRJ), final approval of the manuscript (CH, RF, EW and SRJ).
Conflicts of interest: None declared.
Husna, C., Firdaus, R., Wardani, E. and Jannah, S.R. (2022), "Disaster preparedness among disaster management agency officers: a study from rural and urban areas in Aceh, Indonesia", International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 484-497. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJDRBE-02-2021-0015
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