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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Henry W. Fischer

With the emergence of biological weapons of mass destruction as potential tools of terrorism, Presidential Decision Directive 39 initiated US plans to enhance mitigation…

Abstract

With the emergence of biological weapons of mass destruction as potential tools of terrorism, Presidential Decision Directive 39 initiated US plans to enhance mitigation and response activity. Anecdotal information suggests many of the likely behavioral and organizational response challenges are not being addressed. The current paper applies the disaster research literature to identify the likely behavioral and organizational response challenges a community or nation would encounter in a bio‐terrorist attack on a metropolitan area. Mitigation and response planning, it is argued, would be enhanced if these likely challenges were actually taken into account.

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 2002

Henry W. Fischer

A recent question from the research literature is addressed: to what extent does the behavioral response to the natural and technological disaster model apply to terrorist…

Abstract

A recent question from the research literature is addressed: to what extent does the behavioral response to the natural and technological disaster model apply to terrorist events involving a weapon of mass destruction (WMD)? Earlier work argued that the literature is applicable. Anecdotal evidence and preliminary content analysis findings from the aftermath of the terrorist attack of 11 September 2001 demonstrate the salience of the model to terrorism.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Henry W. Fischer

The purpose of this paper is to extend the earlier application of the behavioral response model which analyzed the behavioral response to September 11, 2001, to analyzing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend the earlier application of the behavioral response model which analyzed the behavioral response to September 11, 2001, to analyzing the organizational response of the US Federal Government during the ensuing years.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative methodology is used in which the organizational response is assessed to determine if that which has been observed parallels organizational chaos typical in natural disasters.

Findings

Findings suggest the literature applicable to behavioral and organizational response to natural disasters is quite appropriate to describing the post “September 11” actions of the USA.

Research limitations/implications

The argument presented suggests that the organizational response was typically chaotic and is counter‐productive in defeating the long‐term goals of the terrorists. While the author extends the application of the behavioral and organizational response model to the policy decisions of the US Government, some may debate his conclusion.

Practical implications

Government decision makers should consider the implications of the observations shared in the paper to avoid taking the same, perhaps failed, road in the future.

Originality/value

The new territory offered herein, is the application of the behavioral and organizational response model to public policy making by high government officials in the USA – analysis of organizational response issues at the highest level of government organization.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1993

Henry W. Fischer and Eric M. Drain

The local emergency management directors (n=54) from amidwestern state (USA) were surveyed to determine how accurately theyunderstood behavioural response to disaster…

Abstract

The local emergency management directors (n=54) from a midwestern state (USA) were surveyed to determine how accurately they understood behavioural response to disaster, which disaster myths they most often believed, and if education, disaster experience, and EMS work experiences were associated with a more accurate understanding of the behavioural response problems commonly encountered during a disaster. The respondents performed better on a disaster knowledge scale than did their predecessors a decade and a half earlier, which suggests that education and training have had an encouraging impact. However, they averaged only a 65 per cent (the equivalent of a “D”) on the disaster knowledge scale. They continued to believe that citizens will panic and behave irrationally in other ways, that survivors will not prepare or know what to do, and that the initial damage, injury and death estimates are very accurate. On the other hand, they understood that survivors, EMS workers, and others usually behave altruistically in numerous ways. Education, training and experience were found to be associated with a more accurate perception of the behavioural response to disaster. A response rate of 61 per cent was attained after two mailings.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1998

Henry W. Fischer

Multimedia, CD‐ROM, DVD, Internet, Web Sites and e‐mail are all part of a constantly changing, emerging array of the new information technologies which are being utilized…

Abstract

Multimedia, CD‐ROM, DVD, Internet, Web Sites and e‐mail are all part of a constantly changing, emerging array of the new information technologies which are being utilized in public education and are increasingly being applied to emergency planning and training activities to enhance emergency preparedness. Illustrations are presented which demonstrate the utility of multimedia, CD‐ROM, and Internet applications to this process. These technologies will be applied to demonstrate how emergency planners may more effectively accomplish their mission to educate the larger community on a variety of issues such as the need to adopt proposed mitigation strategies, to respond to disaster warnings and evacuation suggestions. These technologies will also be applied to demonstrate how response and recovery information can be readily disseminated to an impacted area. Applications will also be provided which demonstrate the utility of these technologies in enhancing training activities for emergency personnel as well as extending the opportunity for such training beyond the time and place of the original trainer.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1999

Henry W. Fischer

The emergence of biological weapons of mass destruction as likely terrorist means of reigning terror on domestic urban populations is outlined. The dimensions of such a…

Abstract

The emergence of biological weapons of mass destruction as likely terrorist means of reigning terror on domestic urban populations is outlined. The dimensions of such a possible future catastrophe are described. The lack of preparedness to mitigate and respond to such an event is noted and it is argued that the disaster research literature should be consulted as a guide to help develop effective mitigation and response plans.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1995

Henry W. Fischer, George F. Stine, Brenda L. Stoker, Marna L. Trowbridge and Eric M. Drain

Evacuation is commonly used to mitigate the ill effects of avariety of disaster agents. It is important that authorities gain anaccurate understanding of the circumstances…

Abstract

Evacuation is commonly used to mitigate the ill effects of a variety of disaster agents. It is important that authorities gain an accurate understanding of the circumstances under which citizens will evacuate. Tests the efficacy of evacuation message clarity and frequency, authority type, the accuracy of past warnings, and the impact of the presence of children in the home as viable variables in effecting an evacuation response. Finds the evacuation response was more likely to occur if the potential victim was ordered to do so, if the potential victim was contacted frequently (more than once) by the proper authority (as perceived by the potential victim), if past warnings were perceived as being accurate, and dependent children were in the home. Interviews respondents from 83 households in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, USA, after a major fire emergency threatened residents of three neighbourhoods contiguous to the site.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1996

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
Publication date: 1 September 1994

Henry W. Fischer and Valerie J. Harr

A three‐person field team devoted four days to gathering data inAndover, Kansas, USA, after a tornado devastated the Golden Spur MobileHome Park on 26 April 1991. They…

Abstract

A three‐person field team devoted four days to gathering data in Andover, Kansas, USA, after a tornado devastated the Golden Spur Mobile Home Park on 26 April 1991. They sought to assess the extent to which the media′s reporting of the local emergency management team′s response to the disaster influenced the team′s subsequent decisions. The researchers functioned as participant observers in the emergency operating centre (EOC), informally interviewed principal EOC members and media personnel, and obtained copies of media news stories (television and newspaper) which reported on the organizational response to the disaster. Assesses the observation and interview data as well as the content analysis of the news stories and suggests that the EOC team devoted a considerable portion of their time to responding to the negative press they received centring around two issues: pre‐impact warning and post‐impact debris clearance. Some of the media′s news stories sought to engage in blame assignation. The EOC members devoted time to developing strategies to control the media damage and changed some decisions they had made in response to the media′s criticism. The relevant disaster research literature is utilized to explain the response of the EOC personnel and the media. Reliance on normal time roles explains the EOC response to blame assignation.

Details

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

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

Abstract

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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