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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1995

Charles P. McHugh

Tucson, Arizona, experienced two large‐scale floods in October 1983and January 1993. In comparing these floods, examines both the naturalevents and the response of public…

Abstract

Tucson, Arizona, experienced two large‐scale floods in October 1983 and January 1993. In comparing these floods, examines both the natural events and the response of public safety organizations. A summary of the natural events compares the weather, flooding and damages. In consideration of the human response to the 1983 event, finds that the community′s emergency co‐ordination centre was ineffective and isolated from the public safety response network. Furthermore, an organizational structure, suited to the management of large‐scale, multi‐organizational response, failed to emerge. Concludes that local government mitigated these deficiencies before the January 1993 flood. This was accomplished in two ways. First, the community′s emergency management agency merged into the Sheriff′s Department and second, through consensus building and training, the community institutionalized an effective disaster response organizational structure.

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

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Book part
Publication date: 9 November 2020

Carl Adams and Andreas Neef

This chapter presents an exploration of the ways in which humanitarian non-government organisations (NGOs) and communities affected by the 2014 floods in Solomon Islands…

Abstract

This chapter presents an exploration of the ways in which humanitarian non-government organisations (NGOs) and communities affected by the 2014 floods in Solomon Islands interpreted and responded to the disaster, identifying factors that assisted and constrained stakeholders in disaster response and recovery. The research investigates the extent to which communities were consulted and participated in NGO responses, and the factors which informed community–NGO relationships. A qualitative case study approach was used, employing interviews, focus groups and document analysis, guided by a reflexive discourse analysis and narrative inquiry approach, which places the focus of the study on the experiences of participants. Communities played very limited roles in NGO responses, especially non-dominant or marginalised sectors of society, such as youth, women and people with disabilities. Failure to respond appropriately to the differentiated needs of affected populations can exacerbate their risk of experiencing secondary disaster. The authors argue that there is a need to improve the inclusiveness of responses to disaster, engaging women, youth and people with disabilities in decision making in order to respond more appropriately to their needs.

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Climate-Induced Disasters in the Asia-Pacific Region: Response, Recovery, Adaptation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-987-8

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Book part
Publication date: 13 August 2014

Othniel Yila, Eberhard Weber and Andreas Neef

Floods are among the most significant and frequent hazards to affect communities in the downstream part of the Ba River in Western Viti Levu, Fiji Islands. They often…

Abstract

Floods are among the most significant and frequent hazards to affect communities in the downstream part of the Ba River in Western Viti Levu, Fiji Islands. They often leave in their wake displacements and death putting thousands at risk of sliding into poverty. Using the recent 2009 and 2012 floods, we examine how social capital aids in post-disaster response and recovery among residents in five selected villages in the downstream communities of the Ba River. Data were collected from a questionnaire survey administered to 97 households and semi-structured interviews with a further 20 respondents. It is conventionally believed that moving supplies, aid and expertise into flood-affected areas offers the best path to effective response and recovery. By contrast, our results indicate that residents of downstream communities in Ba District are using four approaches to create and deploy social capital among them to facilitate disaster response. The patterns of social capital used for effective response include practices of search and rescue, information, mutual assistance and commercial cooperation. Such strategies help to build resilience at household and community levels and reduce risks of loss of life and costly damage to property. The findings can be used to generate policies concerning the integration of social capital as a component of flood disaster response and recovery mechanisms.

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Risks and Conflicts: Local Responses to Natural Disasters
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-821-1

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Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2012

Susan E. Parker

The Morgan Library at Colorado State University in Fort Collins suffered catastrophic flooding as the result of a historic rain storm and flood that swept through the town…

Abstract

The Morgan Library at Colorado State University in Fort Collins suffered catastrophic flooding as the result of a historic rain storm and flood that swept through the town on July 28, 1997. This study examines this single library's organizational disaster response and identifies the phenomena that the library's employees cited as their motivation for innovation.

Purpose – This study provides an example of a library where a pre-disaster and post-disaster organizational environment was supportive of experimentation. This influenced the employees’ capacity and motivation to create a new tool meant to solve a temporary need. Their invention, a service now called RapidILL, advanced the Morgan Library organization beyond disaster recovery and has become an effective and popular consortium of libraries.

Design/methodology/approach – This is an instrumental case study. This design was chosen to examine the issues in organizational learning that the single case of Morgan Library presents. The researcher interviewed employees who survived the 1997 flood and who worked in the library after the disaster. The interview results and a book written by staff members are the most important data that form the basis for this qualitative research.

The interviews were transcribed, and key phrases and information from both the interviews and the published book were isolated into themes for coding. The coding allowed the use of NVivo 7, a text analysis software, to search in employees’ stories for “feeling” words and themes about change, innovation, motivation, and mental models.

Three research questions for the study sought to learn how employees described their lived experience, how the disaster altered their mental models of change, and what factors in the disaster response experience promoted learning and innovation.

Findings – This study investigates how the disruptive forces of disaster can influence and promote organizational learning and foster innovation. Analysis of the data demonstrates how the library employees’ feelings of trust before and following a workplace disaster shifted their mental models of change. They felt empowered to act and assert their own ideas; they did not simply react to change acting upon them.

Emotions motivate adaptive actions, facilitating change. The library employees’ lived experiences and feelings influenced what they learned, how quickly they learned it, and how that learning contributed to their innovations after the disaster. The library's supervisory and administrative leaders encouraged staff members to try out new ideas. This approach invigorated staff members’ feelings of trust and motivated them to contribute their efforts and ideas. Feeling free to experiment, they tapped their creativity and provided adaptations and innovations.

Practical implications – A disaster imposes immediate and often unanticipated change upon people and organizations. A disaster response urgently demands that employees do things differently; it also may require that employees do different things.

Successful organizations must become adept at creating and implementing changes to remain relevant and effective in the environments in which they operate. They need to ensure that employees generate and test as many ideas as possible in order to maximize the opportunity to uncover the best new thinking. This applies to libraries as well as to any other organizations.

If library leaders understand the conditions under which employees are most motivated to let go of fear and alter the mental models they use to interpret their work world, it should be possible and desirable to re-create those conditions and improve the ability of their organizations to tap into employees’ talent, spur innovation, and generate meaningful change.

Social implications – Trust and opportunities for learning can be central to employees’ ability to embrace change as a positive state in which their creativity flourishes and contributes to the success of the organization. When leaders support experimentation, employees utilize and value their affective connections as much as their professional knowledge. Work environments that promote experimentation and trust are ones in which employees at any rank feel secure enough to propose and experiment with innovative services, products, or workflows.

Originality/value – The first of its kind to examine library organizations, this study offers direct evidence to show that organizational learning and progress flourish through a combination of positive affective experiences and experimentation. The study shows how mental models, organizational learning, and innovation may help employees create significantly effective organizational advances while under duress.

An original formula is presented in Fig. 1.

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Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-313-1

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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2019

Henry Bang, Lee Miles and Richard Gordon

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate local vulnerability and organisational resilience including coping/adaptive capacity to climate risks, specifically frequent…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate local vulnerability and organisational resilience including coping/adaptive capacity to climate risks, specifically frequent flooding in Northern Cameroon.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is exploratory/deductive and draws upon qualitative methods, secondary and empirical techniques supplemented by semi-structured qualitative interviews with senior disaster managers. Secondary information sources, which include peer review articles, government reports/plans, newspaper articles and other grey literature, enhanced the analysis.

Findings

The research findings have unveiled the physical and social vulnerability of Northern Cameroon to frequent flooding. Results also show that institutional performance for flood management in Cameroon is ineffective, and adaptive capacity is highly deficient. Cameroon’s legislative framework for flood management is weak, and this exacerbates the poor implementation of structural and non-structural flood management measures. Results also indicate issues with relief, evacuation and foreign assistance in flood management. Recommendations that focus on enhancing capacity of response to frequent flooding via reducing vulnerabilities, managing resilience and enhancing adaptive capacity are provided.

Originality/value

Using Gallopin’s (2006) model of vulnerability, this paper makes a distinct contribution by offering insights into the role of adaptive capacity in disaster management systems in developing (African) countries via an evaluation of vulnerabilities and organisational resilience to repeated flooding in Northern Cameroon.

Details

foresight, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1995

Dennis Parker, Maureen Fordham, Sylvia Tunstall and Anne‐Michelle Ketteridge

Discusses the results of evaluations of flood forecasting, warningand response systems in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.Reveals that in England and Wales…

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Abstract

Discusses the results of evaluations of flood forecasting, warning and response systems in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Reveals that in England and Wales flood warning systems often underperform. Despite technical sophistication and their elevation to high priority in central government′s flood defence strategy, arrangements for flood warnings are now under considerable stress because of lack of agreement over organizational roles and responsibilities. Legal ambiguities, funding difficulties and ideological positions lie behind these problems. Flood warning systems are developing in Scotland, and there is now a “fledgling” system in Northern Ireland, but both lag behind England and Wales. Examines implications for the future.

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Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2013

Shannon Doocy, Evan Russell, Yuri Gorokhovich and Thomas Kirsch

The purpose of this paper is to characterize and investigate relationships between disaster preparedness, impacts, and humanitarian response among Eastern Uganda…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to characterize and investigate relationships between disaster preparedness, impacts, and humanitarian response among Eastern Uganda populations affected by the 2010 landslides and floods.

Design/methodology/approach

A stratified cluster survey of the disaster-affected populations was conducted five months after the onset of the disasters. Probability proportional to size sampling was used to sample 800 households, including 400 affected by floods in Butaleja District and 400 affected by landslides in Bududa District.

Findings

Mortality was significantly higher in the landslide-affected populations as compared to flood-affected populations (deaths reported: 4.5 vs 1.6 percent, p<0.01) whereas injuries were more common in the flood-affected areas (injuries reported: 3.1 vs 1.1 percent, p<0.01). Livelihoods impacts were widespread and reported in more than 95 percent of households. Respondents indicated that the community and government were unprepared to respond in both flood (90.5 and 77.8 percent, respectively) and landslide (95.3 and 74.9 percent) affected areas.

Practical implications

The majority of households felt that both their communities and the government were unprepared to respond to disasters. Given the likelihood for recurrence of natural disasters in these communities, expansion of both community-based disaster preparedness (CBDP) programs and their evidence base should be prioritized.

Originality/value

There is a paucity of evidence on community perceptions of disaster preparedness and on CBDP programs. The paper highlights these issues in the context of two disasters in Uganda and calls for expansion of the evidence based to inform risk reduction strategies in low-income settings.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Book part
Publication date: 5 October 2017

Angela Connelly

In March 2015, following unseasonable heavy precipitation, the River Am burst its banks flooding the village of Ambridge and causing one death and numerous injuries. The…

Abstract

In March 2015, following unseasonable heavy precipitation, the River Am burst its banks flooding the village of Ambridge and causing one death and numerous injuries. The lines between fiction and reality became blurred when the BBC offered updates about the weather situation in Ambridge through social media. However, in fiction, as in reality, memories are short; recent village gossip in Ambridge has been dominated by other matters including a certain murder trial and the mix-up with Jill Archer’s chutney. The flood has come and gone.

In this chapter, I will examine the response to, and recovery from, the floods in Ambridge in order to ascertain what lessons have been learned, and whether enough has been done to make Ambridge more resilient to future floods events. I will show how the programme raised important issues in relation to flooding management in England today, and focus upon the increasing responsibilisation of citizens, the tension which exists between framing the flood response in terms of ‘resilience’ or ‘vulnerability’, and the need for people to find someone or something to blame for their misfortune. I conclude that The Archers could play a critical role in maintaining flood awareness in the future.

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Custard, Culverts and Cake
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-285-7

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Article
Publication date: 28 December 2020

Md. Nawrose Fatemi, Seth Asare Okyere, Stephen Kofi Diko, Matthew Abunyewah, Michihiro Kita and Tahmina Rahman

This paper aims to bring the more recent discourse on the multilayered and interconnected dimensions of flood vulnerability, damage and risk reduction at the microlevel of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to bring the more recent discourse on the multilayered and interconnected dimensions of flood vulnerability, damage and risk reduction at the microlevel of global south cities to Dhaka, by looking at multiple factors and their relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional research design was used to generate data from 315 respondents in five neighborhoods in Eastern Dhaka, located in high flood damage zones with previous flood experience, using a structural equation model to test nine hypothetical relationships.

Findings

The model confirms that low socioeconomic conditions often lead households to use social capital to traverse flood vulnerabilities in cities. It also advances this notion to show that flood impact unleashes social capital through collective activities in responding to flooding. Further, it reveals that while socioeconomic conditions influence flood impacts, these also engender the necessary mechanisms to unleash collective responses to flooding.

Practical implications

This paper suggests the need for context-specific interventions that transcend physical and infrastructural responses to integrate socioeconomic conditions as a basis of understanding and addressing flood vulnerabilities. To achieve this requires transcending generic participatory mechanisms to use frameworks that encourage genuine participation and partnerships using coproduction.

Originality/value

This paper engages both the inner city and peri-urban areas of Dhaka to extend current conversations on the various conditions underlying flood impact to offer entry points for integrated flood management interventions at the microlevel. This paper contributes to fill the research gap in Dhaka where very few studies have examined flood damages to residential buildings and its driving factors at the neighborhood level.

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

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

Roanne van Voorst

The purpose of this paper is to introduce an analytical framework to define and interpret heterogenous risk behaviour within communities facing natural hazard. By…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce an analytical framework to define and interpret heterogenous risk behaviour within communities facing natural hazard. By employing a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, the paper presents a categorization of “risk-styles” that are commonly used by Jakartan riverbank settlers facing recurrent risk. Unlike the more common concept of “flood-coping strategies”, the notion of risk-styles extends the analysis of responses directly related to floods and involves a broader set of risk and poverty practices. The proposed analytical framework is likely to be useful for future research on the topic of understanding heterogenous risk behaviour, particularly for systemic comparisons of human responses to natural hazard in other parts of the world.

Design/methodology/approach

The data underlying this paper were obtained during a year of extensive anthropological fieldwork in 2010 and 2011, in one of the most flood-prone riverbank settlements in Jakarta, Indonesia. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods were used to obtain data in the field, while the analyses of risk-styles was based on quantitative and qualitative analyses of the survey results and narratives of the respondents of the study.

Findings

This paper defines and analyses four risk-handling styles that are commonly used by inhabitants of a flood-prone riverbank settlement in Jakarta (called Bantaran Kali in this paper) to handle recurrent flood risk. These risk-styles are not completely fixed over time; in particular circumstances, people may and do change their risk-style. However, they should not be considered random or ad hoc. Instead, the study shows how these risk-styles reflect practices that gradually develop during people’s lives in a highly uncertain living environment (characterized by flood risk and poverty-related risks), and are more or less consistently used over longer periods of time and in relation to different types of risk and uncertainty. The paper argues that the four risk-styles described are influenced by factors that may seem unrelated to flood risk at first sight, such as trust in other actors and the government, networks and socializing skills, and the opportunities and limitations that are shaped by the economic and political structures in which riverbank settlers live.

Originality/value

This paper takes a bottom-up perspective and sheds light on the perceptions of a group of marginalized riverbank settlers on the risk of floods. By introducing the notion of risk-styles, it adds nuanced and empirical data that were obtained during extensive fieldwork to the debate on understanding heterogeneous risk behaviour. The originality of the paper lies in the combined use of qualitative and quantitative tools that were used to categorize common risk-styles as well as in the proposed analyses for defining and understanding heterogeneous risk behaviour.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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