The purpose of this paper is to explore the societal impacts and consequences of the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
One month after the tsunami, a group of social science researchers from the Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware, and the Emergency Administration and Planning Program, University of North Texas, participated in an Earthquake Engineering Research Institute reconnaissance team, which traveled to some of the most affected areas in India and Sri Lanka. Data were obtained through informal interviews, participant observation, and systematic document gathering.
This research yielded important data and information on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. A number of issues are identified that emerged from the field observations, including: tsunami education and awareness; the devastation and the loss; economic impact; mental health issues; irregularities and inequities in community based response and recovery efforts and in the distribution of disaster relief aid; gender and inequality; and relocation and housing issues.
The paper highlights the role and importance of generating integrated early warning systems and strategies aimed at fostering sustainable recovery and building disaster resilient communities.
An extensive amount of perishable data were collected thus providing a better understanding of the societal impacts of disasters on impoverished communities. A number of emerging issues are identified that should be of primary concern in efforts to protect populations residing in coastal regions throughout the world from similar catastrophes.
The purpose of this paper is to determine whether it is useful to tease apart the intimately related propositions of social production and social construction to guide…
The purpose of this paper is to determine whether it is useful to tease apart the intimately related propositions of social production and social construction to guide thinking in the multidisciplinary study of disasters.
The authors address our question by reviewing literature on disasters in the social sciences to disambiguate the concepts of social production and social construction.
The authors have found that entertaining the distinction between social production and social construct can inform both thinking and action on disasters by facilitating critical exercises in reframing that facilitate dialog across difference. The authors present a series of arguments on the social production and construction of disaster and advocate putting these constructs in dialog with vulnerability frameworks of the social production of disasters.
This commentary contributes to disambiguating important theoretical and practical concepts in disaster studies. The reframing approach can inform both research and more inclusive disaster management and risk reduction efforts.
This paper utilizes the generic source of “community” to define a disaster community emphasizing disaster areas’ perceived boundaries and the social networks that fall…
This paper utilizes the generic source of “community” to define a disaster community emphasizing disaster areas’ perceived boundaries and the social networks that fall within these boundaries. Three such “disaster communities” are proposed based on family‐kin, micro‐neighborhood, and macro‐neighborhood social networks. Utilizing an Israel national representative sample of (814) urban households residing in 150 municipalities, a set of hypotheses were tested regarding the impact of disaster communities on individual disaster preparedness behaviors. In general, more socially robust communities brought about greater levels of individual preparedness but with significant exceptions by type of preparedness. In addition, the predictive ability of such disaster communities on each preparedness component varied. Ethnic and educational composition of the networks had a negligible impact on disaster preparedness behaviors. Overall, the use of social network based disaster communities provides a sound theoretical and empirical foundation to study disaster behaviors.
The objective of the present study is to examine the history, activities, and relationships of a neighbourhood service cooperative, which evolved into a neighbourhood…
The objective of the present study is to examine the history, activities, and relationships of a neighbourhood service cooperative, which evolved into a neighbourhood disaster management project that has been adopted by more than 100 neighbourhoods in the north western part of Turkey. In order to understand the core reasons for participation lethargy of the public in community based organizations (CBOs) for disaster preparedness, both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were employed. An active CBO, at the local level, is shown to have a positive influence on the trustworthiness and perception of responsibility of such organizations by the public. The respondents in this study seem to prefer autonomous and expert actors that formally belong to the centralized state system, such as universities, search and rescue teams, and the military, although they also attribute responsibility to CBOs for disaster related activities and expect some level of leadership from these organizations. The findings point to the direction of a cultural phenomenon, which results in high power distance and low future orientation, coupled with low levels of trust towards institutions and lack of public legitimacy of such organizations. This results in the public avoiding active engagement in preparedness initiatives and suggests the need for an initial leading group to mobilize the community in this area. A set of policy recommendations are provided that will contribute to increasing the effectiveness of CBOs and will allow them become stronger actors in the network of interactions regarding disaster related activities, especially in centralized state systems.