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Article

Henry W. Fischer, Charles K. Scharnberger and Charles J. Geiger

Argues that, while the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (USA) is found to be a low to moderate risk area in terms of seismic vulnerability, it is vulnerable to future episodes…

Abstract

Argues that, while the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (USA) is found to be a low to moderate risk area in terms of seismic vulnerability, it is vulnerable to future episodes which could be quite threatening to a sizeable population. Degree of seismic vulnerability varies across the Commonwealth. Pursuant to assessing Pennsylvania’s earthquake preparedness, the Commonwealth’s various state agencies (n = 12) and the campuses comprising Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (n = 14) were asked to complete a mail‐questionnaire which sought to determine their degree of earthquake experience, risk assessment activity, mitigation activity, and planning for response and recovery. A response rate of 78 per cent was attained. The experience, activity, and planning levels were found to be consistently low. These findings are consistent with research literature which describes the circumstances under which hazard reduction is likely to occur.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article

Farokh Parsizadeh and Mohsen Ghafory‐Ashtiany

This paper seeks to provide a brief summary on the comprehensive earthquake education program for increasing the public awareness and preparedness for earthquake through…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to provide a brief summary on the comprehensive earthquake education program for increasing the public awareness and preparedness for earthquake through an integrated educational program using all types of media, especially in the schools and amongst children.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper will provide an overview to the program on the disaster management education for the managers; general public; and especially children's earthquake safety education in schools. This priority could be better highlighted by looking at the wide coverage of schools as well as the young age structure of Iran.

Findings

There is still a is a long way to go to achieve a fully prepared and seismically safe community and for this stronger cooperation and participation of the whole of society are necessary for enhancing public safety.

Originality/value

Finally, the paper strongly believes that the Iran experience is successful, one that can be shared and from which one can learn.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article

Mahmood Hosseini and Yasamin O. Izadkhah

This paper aims to develop an appropriate earthquake disaster management system for Iranian schools with a main focus on non‐structural problems of schools during disasters.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop an appropriate earthquake disaster management system for Iranian schools with a main focus on non‐structural problems of schools during disasters.

Design/methodology/approach

A framework is proposed for disaster management planning regarding earthquakes in three phases: before, during, and after an earthquake. A detailed description of the proposed management system is also presented with special application to schools, focusing mainly on non‐structural problem.

Findings

There is a need to emphasise on a national‐level contingency planning that includes developing and designing detailed plans for a proper response and training of relevant personnel. Another important issue, which needs special attention is the material which should be taught to the commanders of emergency activities at various levels in order to help them to control an effective emergency situation.

Practical implications

By using the “emergency management system” proposed in this paper for Iranian schools the authorities can make sure that they have utilized all of their resources for an efficient disaster risk management. It is hoped that other developing countries can also benefit from the proposed programme.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper is in the comprehensiveness of the “emergency management system” proposed for the schools, and the approaches it suggests for constructing the “safety culture” in society.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article

Naill M. Momani and Asad Salmi

The purpose of this study is to measure the willingness of general education schools (governmental and private) in the Mecca region to deal with the threat of earthquakes

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to measure the willingness of general education schools (governmental and private) in the Mecca region to deal with the threat of earthquakes through the identification of the preparedness of school buildings, the differences in the willingness of schools, and examine the relationship between the exposure to previous crises and readiness for future crises.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a survey method to explore and determine the readiness range of schools by distributing a questionnaire to school principals. The questionnaire measures the readiness range of the institutions to counter earthquake threat through six main fields which were developed based on Federal Emergency Management Agency Resources (www.fema.gov) and were used in developing an earthquake consequences model (Al Momani), namely: previous emergencies measures, previous earthquake experience measures, earthquake mitigation measures, earthquake preparedness measures, earthquake response measures and earthquake recovery measures.

Findings

It is apparent that schools are not prepared to deal with future earthquakes regardless of their types (public vs private) and levels (primary, elementary, secondary) which require establishing a department for disaster and crisis management within the public administration of Education headed by a specialist in disasters and crises management to make sure that current school campus, under construction campus, or leased buildings be prepared to deal with disasters and crises as they occur in non‐hazardous locations, compatible with building codes, and equipped with safety means. It is important to prepare a public emergency plan for disasters and crises and to train school administrators and teachers to prepare contingency plans for disaster management in school. Finally, there is a need to prepare disasters awareness programs benefiting from public and private media, internet, and workshops through utilizing experiences of other developed countries in disasters and crises management especially for schools.

Originality/value

This research could be used to augment the need of developing education system preparedness in Jeddah Province through implementing effective mitigation, preparedness, and response, as well as recovery options.

Details

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

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Article

Raven Marie Cretney

When the devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand on the 22 February 2011 the landscape of the city and its communities were irrevocably…

Abstract

Purpose

When the devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand on the 22 February 2011 the landscape of the city and its communities were irrevocably changed. The purpose of this paper is to provide case study evidence demonstrating the role of a grassroots organisation in shaping a community defined concept of resilience through self-organised disaster response action.

Design/methodology/approach

The case organisation, Project Lyttelton is a community group, located in the suburb of Lyttelton, dedicated to building community and resilience through local projects and action. This case study was conducted through in-depth qualitative interviews with key members of the organisation, as well as key individuals in the broader community.

Findings

This research has found that Project Lyttelton played a strong role in providing avenues for citizen participation post disaster. Of particular significance was the role of the timebank in providing an already established network for active participation by citizens in the response and recovery. Other findings outline the importance of pre-disaster community activity for facilitating social support and social learning.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the literature by providing case study evidence for the value of a community led and defined framework of resilience. The findings of this work support the need for further integration and support for local community led preparedness and response initiatives and demonstrate the possible value of pre-disaster community preparedness activities. Consequently, this work is of use to academics interested in the role of community following disasters, as well as emergency management practitioners interested in possible pathways for fostering and encouraging locally focused disaster preparedness activities. The findings may also be of interest to community groups working in the sphere of community building and resilience.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article

Seda Kundak

This paper aims to address improvements in household preparedness against earthquake risks.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address improvements in household preparedness against earthquake risks.

Design/methodology/approach

Two surveys were conducted in 2008 and 2013 to reveal prevention and preparedness measures which Istanbul’s inhabitants had taken in their households.

Findings

The findings of surveys show the progress in taking risk reduction measures which have been propagating from higher socio-economic status through all segments of the community in a five-year period. This shift is also evidence of the efficiency of community awareness programs conducted by governmental and non-governmental bodies in Istanbul.

Originality/value

The evaluation of the impacts of community awareness programs which leads the progress in risk reduction activities in Istanbul is a valuable example for large cities which are facing natural threats. The findings of this paper can be considered as a facilitator in understanding the tendency of different socio-economic groups against earthquake risk.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

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Article

David E. Alexander

The purpose of this paper is to offer a critical examination of the aftermath of the L’Aquila earthquake of 6 April 2009. It considers the elements of the recovery process…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer a critical examination of the aftermath of the L’Aquila earthquake of 6 April 2009. It considers the elements of the recovery process that are unique or exceptional and endeavours to explain them.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on a survey and synthesis of the abundant literature on the disaster, coupled with observations from the author’s many visits to L’Aquila and personal involvement in the debates on the questions raised during the aftermath.

Findings

Several aspects of the disaster are unique. These include the use of large, well-appointed buildings as temporary accommodation and the efforts to use legal processes to obtain justice for alleged mismanagement of both the early emergency situation and faults in the recovery process.

Research limitations/implications

Politics, history, economics and geography have conspired to make the L’Aquila disaster and its aftermath a multi-layered event that poses considerable challenges of interpretation.

Practical implications

The L’Aquila case teaches first that moderate seismic events can entail a long and difficult process of recovery if the initial vulnerability is high. Second, for processes of recovery to be rational, they need to be safeguarded against the effects of political expediency and bureaucratic delay.

Social implications

Many survivors of the L’Aquila disaster have been hostages to fortune, victims as much of broader political and socio-economic forces than of the earthquake itself.

Originality/value

Although there are now many published analyses of the L’Aquila disaster, as the better part of a decade has elapsed since the event, there is value in taking stock and making a critical assessment of developments. The context of this disaster is dynamic and extraordinarily sophisticated, and it provides the key to interpretation of developments that otherwise would probably seem illogical.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article

Mohammad Lutfur Rahman

Among the many studies about risk perception, only a few deal with Bangladesh. Paul and Bhuiyan’s (2010) study has shown the earthquake-preparedness level of residents of…

Abstract

Purpose

Among the many studies about risk perception, only a few deal with Bangladesh. Paul and Bhuiyan’s (2010) study has shown the earthquake-preparedness level of residents of Dhaka, but there are some biases in the data collection. This paper aims to examine the seismic-risk perception and the level of knowledge on earthquake and preparedness among the residents of Dhaka.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was developed, and data collection was undertaken through home and sidewalk surveys. This paper investigates how attitude, perception and behavior differ depending on gender, age, education and casualty awareness. This research tries to examine and make a comparison of the risk perception and preparedness level between different groups of gender, age and level of education.

Findings

This research shows that female respondents have a much better risk perception of and are better prepared for earthquakes than male respondents; younger people have a higher knowledge about earthquake preparedness than older people and less-educated people are at a higher risk of unpreparedness than more-educated people.

Research limitations/implications

This research is only limited to the Dhaka Division.

Originality/value

This paper concludes by noting that public awareness on seismic-risk perception and mitigation is poor, and their knowledge on basic theory and emergency response must be improved.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

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Article

Hoda Baytiyeh and Mohamad K. Naja

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the unique and necessary role that Middle Eastern educational institutions must play to reduce the negative influence of fatalism…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the unique and necessary role that Middle Eastern educational institutions must play to reduce the negative influence of fatalism regarding risk perception and disasters.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on conceptual analysis and real situational cases to confirm the existing fatalistic attitudes in the Middle Eastern communities and shows how education can be used to reduce and limit the negative effects of such fatalism on earthquake risk mitigation.

Findings

The paper calls for the integration of critical thinking along with disaster risk education throughout the schools’ system to reduce the dominating culture of fatalism and to facilitate the implementation of disaster risk reduction strategies in the Middle Eastern communities. In addition, the assistance of the religion instructors and clergy, in reducing fatalistic attitudes has positive implications.

Originality/value

The paper represents an effort to accelerate the implementation of earthquake disaster risk reduction strategies in the Middle Eastern vulnerable communities. It uncovers the mask on one of the most critical social issues that has for long time hindered social progress in the Middle East region.

Details

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

Keywords

Content available
Article

Anne M. Sanquini, Sundar M. Thapaliya and Michele M. Wood

The purpose of this paper is to apply social theory to the creation of a mass-media communications intervention designed to encourage earthquake-resistant construction in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to apply social theory to the creation of a mass-media communications intervention designed to encourage earthquake-resistant construction in Nepal.

Design/methodology/approach

A three-step process was employed in this study: first, a narrative literature review was completed regarding the motivation of protective action. Second, key informant elicitation interviews with 15 community members at five public schools who supported making their buildings earthquake-resistant informed the script for a documentary film. Finally, the film was reviewed with stakeholders, plus 16 community members associated with a school in need of seismic work. Sociograms were used to determine relative closeness of the study participants to the film role models.

Findings

Motivating factors identified in the literature synthesis were included in the film, which focussed on effective actions taken by role models, and avoided the use of fear-based appeals. Key informant interviews yielded role-modeling details for the film script, including triggers and obstacles faced by the community members, and outcomes of their actions. Sociogram outcomes guided film editing and increased relative screen time for those community members with whom the study participants felt greater closeness. A pretest-posttest cluster randomized trial (details reported elsewhere) showed greater gains in knowledge, perceived outcome effectiveness, and intended behaviors among intervention film viewers than control participants.

Originality/value

This three-step process yielded the information required by a practitioner to develop a theory-based, culturally appropriate mass-media intervention designed to motivate reduction of disaster risk.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

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