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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Kevin R. Ronan, Douglas Paton, David M. Johnston and Bruce F. Houghton

This paper summarizes research involving a multidisciplinary team of volcanologists and social scientists. It describes collaboration in relation to social and physical…

Abstract

This paper summarizes research involving a multidisciplinary team of volcanologists and social scientists. It describes collaboration in relation to social and physical risk and vulnerability following the Mount Ruapehu eruptions of 1995‐1996. This work stresses a key role for such multidisciplinary teams in reducing the social impact of volcanic hazards through assisting communities, organizations, and individuals following an eruption and, importantly, during quiescent periods. We present an overview of a multidisciplinary approach and related research. In stressing the role of the physical science community in managing societal hazards and risk, the paper addresses how this role can be enhanced through collaboration with social scientists and others. The emphasis here is the facilitation of volcanological knowledge and expertise in threat communication, mitigation, community development, emergency planning, and response management. Our research has examined mechanisms for integration, multi‐disciplinary training, and preparing volcanologists for the social demands encountered in playing an active crisis management role. One area of overlap that can tie together disciplines and assist the public is the idea that volcanic activity and the related uncertainties are, at their essence, simply problems that with increasingly integrated efforts likewise have increasingly attainable solutions.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 9 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1999

David M. Johnston, Mark S. Bebbington Chin‐Diew Lai, Bruce F. Houghton and Douglas Paton

Residents of two North Island, New Zealand, communities were surveyed in March 1995 to measure their understanding of volcanic hazards. This was repeated in November 1995…

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Abstract

Residents of two North Island, New Zealand, communities were surveyed in March 1995 to measure their understanding of volcanic hazards. This was repeated in November 1995, following the Ruapehu eruptions of September‐October 1995. Both communities were subjected to intense media coverage during the 1995 Ruapehu eruption. Whakatane was spared any direct effects, whereas Hastings experienced the hazard directly, in the form of ash falls. Only Hastings’ respondents showed a significant change in threat knowledge and perceived volcanic risk. While experiencing the direct and indirect impacts of the 1995 Ruapehu eruption may make subsequent warnings and information releases more salient, thereby enhancing the likelihood of engaging in successful protective actions or other forms of response, the characteristics of hazard impacts may increase susceptibility to a “normalisation bias”, reducing future community preparedness.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2010

Kirsten K. Finnis, David M. Johnston, Kevin R. Ronan and James D. White

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between participation in hazard education programs and levels of hazard awareness, risk perceptions, knowledge of…

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1094

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between participation in hazard education programs and levels of hazard awareness, risk perceptions, knowledge of response‐related protective behaviour and household preparedness.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire examining various measures including participation in hazard education programmes, risk perceptions and household preparedness was delivered under teacher guidance to high school students in three different locations in the Taranaki Region of New Zealand. A total of 282 valid questionnaires were returned. Data were analysed by means of chi‐squared, t‐test and ANOVA.

Findings

Students who have participated in hazard education programmes are more likely to have better knowledge of safety behaviours and higher household preparedness. However, even with hazard education, some aspects of hazard awareness and the uptake of family emergency plans and practices were found to be poor. Overall, hazard education was found to be beneficial and helps to create potentially more‐resilient children and communities.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited to the views of the students. The study would benefit from a parallel study of parents or caregivers to give a more accurate report of household preparedness and family emergency plans and practices. The research highlights areas of change for future hazard education programmes and provides support for the continued inclusion of this topic in the curriculum.

Originality/value

The paper offers insight into the effectiveness and benefit of incorporating hazard education into the school curriculum in New Zealand.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Sharon Torstonson, Denise Blake, Darrin Hodgetts and David M. Johnston

The purpose of this research is to highlight the role of not-for-profit (NFP) organisations in enhancing disaster preparedness. The authors set out to understand their…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to highlight the role of not-for-profit (NFP) organisations in enhancing disaster preparedness. The authors set out to understand their perspectives and practices in regard to disaster preparedness activities to support people who live precarious lives, especially those who live as single parents who are the least prepared for disasters.

Design/methodology/approach

The research draws on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 12 staff members, either in a group setting or individually, from seven NFP organisations, who were located in Ōtautahi (Christchurch) and Kaiapoi in Aotearoa New Zealand. These participants were interviewed eight years after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

Findings

Four key narrative tropes or elements were drawn from across the interviews and were used to structure the research results. These included: “essential” support services for people living precarious lives; assisting people to be prepared; potential to support preparedness with the right materials and relationships; resourcing to supply emergency goods.

Originality/value

This research contributes to disaster risk reduction practices by advocating for ongoing resourcing of NFP groups due to their ability to build a sense of community and trust while working with precarious communities, such as single parents.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Karlene S. Tipler, Ruth A. Tarrant, David M. Johnston and Keith F. Tuffin

– The purpose of this paper is to identify lessons learned by schools from their involvement in the 2012 New Zealand ShakeOut nationwide earthquake drill.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify lessons learned by schools from their involvement in the 2012 New Zealand ShakeOut nationwide earthquake drill.

Design/methodology/approach

The results from a survey conducted with 514 schools were collated to identify the emergency preparedness lessons learned by schools through their participation in the ShakeOut exercise.

Findings

Key findings indicated that: schools were likely to do more than the minimum when presented with a range of specific emergency preparedness activities; drills for emergency events require specific achievement objectives to be identified in order to be most effective in preparing schools; and large-scale initiatives, such as the ShakeOut exercise, encourage schools and students to engage in emergency preparedness activities.

Practical implications

Based on the findings, six recommendations are made to assist schools to develop effective emergency response procedures.

Originality/value

The present study contributes to the ongoing efforts of emergency management practitioners and academics to enhance the efficacy of school-based preparedness activities and to, ultimately, increase overall community resilience.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1999

Kevin R. Ronan and David M. Johnston

Represents the first systematic attempt to examine the effects of school‐based interventions on children’s self‐reported PTSD‐related distress and coping ability following…

Abstract

Represents the first systematic attempt to examine the effects of school‐based interventions on children’s self‐reported PTSD‐related distress and coping ability following a series of volcanic eruptions in a sample of 112 children. Pretreatment assessments carried out after the eruptions revealed that time was more of an ally for PTSD symptoms than for active coping ability. In terms of randomly assigned intervention conditions, both an exposure and a cognitive behavioural intervention were found to lead to significant improvement in both PTSD‐related distress and coping ability. In terms of effect sizes (Cohen’s d), the coping scores changed more following the one‐hour intervention than they had during the entire two‐month pretreatment interval; PTSD‐related scores changed over half as much as during the two‐month pretreatment interval. In addition, at four‐month follow‐up, either children continued to improve (PTSD‐distress scores) or gains were maintained (coping scores). Treated children’s PTSD and coping scores were significantly more adaptive than those of untreated children. Finally, multiple regression analyses did not reveal any significant, prospective predictors of treatment responsivity. Includes consideration of the value of self‐report methodologies at the “early gates” of a multiple gating intervention model and the value of collaborations between scientists in the wake of a disaster.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Victoria A. Johnson, Kevin R. Ronan, David M. Johnston and Robin Peace

The purpose of this paper is to assess the national implementation of disaster preparedness education in New Zealand primary schools through the dissemination of What's

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1243

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the national implementation of disaster preparedness education in New Zealand primary schools through the dissemination of What's the Plan, Stan?, a voluntary, curriculum-based teaching resource.

Design/methodology/approach

Results and findings from a focus group study with school teachers and local civil defence staff in 2011 and a nationally representative survey of schools in 2012 were analyzed to identify intervening, facilitating and deterrent factors of uptake and use of the resource.

Findings

The main intervening factors between resource promotion and school teachers’ awareness of the resource are word of mouth among school teachers and teachers’ proactive lesson plan research. The strongest facilitating factor was school-wide use of the resource. Lack of awareness of the resource and the perceived need for teacher training are the greatest deterrents to use of the resource.

Practical implications

Based on the findings, several recommendations are provided for increasing use of the resource including use of web-based technology for teacher training, integration of disaster preparedness messaging into other children's programs, ongoing evaluation and curriculum requirements.

Originality/value

An evaluation of the implementation of What's the Plan, Stan? adds to the limited body of knowledge on the benefits and challenges to distributing a voluntary teaching resource as a national strategy for curriculum integration of disaster education. The findings and lessons are relevant for nations meeting the Core Indicators of progress toward the 2005-2015 Hyogo Framework For Action.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 24 August 2012

Helen Sinclair, Emma E. Doyle, David M. Johnston and Douglas Paton

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how training or exercises are assessed in local government emergency management organisations.

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2894

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how training or exercises are assessed in local government emergency management organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

An investigative review of the resources available to emergency managers across North America and within New Zealand, for the evaluation and monitoring of emergency management training and exercises was conducted. This was then compared with results from a questionnaire based survey of 48 local government organisations in Canada, USA, and New Zealand. A combination of closed and open ended questions was used, enabling qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Findings

Each organisation's training program, and their assessment of this training is unique. The monitoring and evaluation aspect of training has been overlooked in some organisations. In addition, those that are using assessment methods are operating in blind faith that these methods are giving an accurate assessment of their training. This study demonstrates that it is largely unknown how effective the training efforts of local government organisations are.

Research limitations/implications

Further study inspired by this paper will provide a clearer picture of the evaluation of and monitoring of emergency management training programs. These results highlight that organisations need to move away from an ad hoc approach to training design and evaluation, towards a more sophisticated and evidence‐based approach to training needs analysis, design, and evaluation if they are to maximise the benefits of this training.

Originality/value

This study is the first investigation to the authors’ knowledge into the current use of diverse emergency management training for a range of local government emergency offices, and how this training impacts the functioning of the organisation's emergency operations centre during a crisis.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2015

Thomas J. Huggins, Stephen R Hill, Robin Peace and David M. Johnston

Emergency management groups aiming to address community resilience work with complex systems which consist of multiple interacting dynamics. The purpose of this paper is…

Abstract

Purpose

Emergency management groups aiming to address community resilience work with complex systems which consist of multiple interacting dynamics. The purpose of this paper is to help ensure that information is displayed in a way which supports strategic performance, to address longer term challenges faced by these groups.

Design/methodology/approach

Ten professional emergency managers completed an online simulation of complex, community resilience related tasks faced in their normal working lives. They responded to either table-or diagram-based information about a relevant emergency management strategy. Responses were rated by academic and practitioner experts using 0-5 point Likert scales.

Findings

Analyses of the expert ratings found that certain components of macrocognitive performance reached large degrees of inter-rater reliability (ρ=0.76, p=0.003; ρ=0.58, p=0.03; ρ=0.53, p=0.05). Current situation awareness increased by an average of 29 per cent in the diagram condition. Prospective amendment quality also increased, by an average of 38 per cent. A small sample size meant that these increases are difficult to generalise.

Research limitations/implications

Extensions of this pilot research could use larger samples and more generic simulation conditions, to increase confidence in the claim that certain displays help improve strategic emergency management planning.

Practical implications

It is recommended that further research continues to focus on current and prospective situational awareness, as measures of strategic emergency management performance which can be reliably expert rated.

Originality/value

This research provides novel methodological considerations for supporting a more strategic approach to emergency management, with a focus on longer term implications.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2012

Helen Sinclair, Emma E.H. Doyle, David M. Johnston and Douglas Paton

The purpose of this paper is to contribute information and recommendations that could better equip emergency managers to prepare for and respond to emergencies and…

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1953

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute information and recommendations that could better equip emergency managers to prepare for and respond to emergencies and disasters, with a focus on improving their decision‐making capabilities during response.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire‐based survey approach was used in this research and 48 different local government organisations participated. These results were examined in conjunction with contemporary emergency management decision‐making literature. A combination of closed and open ended questions was used, enabling qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Findings

Results suggest that while there is information available about decision making, not all emergency managers are aware of the existence of this information or understand its relevance to emergency management. It is likely that those who did have a comprehensive understanding of decision making had gained this knowledge through non‐emergency management‐related courses. In total, 71 percent of participants said they would be interested in receiving more support regarding training and practice for decision making in Emergency Operations Centres.

Originality/value

A wide body of research has investigated decision‐making styles. However, this paper shows that in the local government emergency management sector there is little awareness of the understanding of the different decision‐making approaches. In addition, for those organisations surveyed, there is a great desire for further training and practice in decision making. It is thus vital that this need is addressed, to further improve the future response of these organisations to emergencies.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

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