DISASTER CRISIS MANAGEMENT: A SUMMARY OF RESEARCH FINDINGS

Authors


E. L. Quarantelli, Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716, USA.

ABSTRACT

The crisis management of disasters does not follow automatically from disaster planning. Research has shown that successful disaster management results primarily from the activities of emergency organizations. In particular, there are management problems with respect to the communication process, the exercise of authority, and the development of co-ordination.

There are at least five different areas of difficulties in the communication process, namely, intra- and inter-organizational behaviours between organizations, from organizations to the public, from the public to organizations, and within systems of organizations. Exercise of authority difficulties stem from losses of higher echelon personnel because of over-work, conflict regarding authority over new disaster tasks, and clashes over organizational jurisdictional differences. Co-ordination difficulties come from lack of consensus among organizations, working on common but new disaster-related tasks, and difficulties in achieving overall co-ordination in any community disaster that is of any magnitude. Prior planning can limit these management difficulties but cannot completely eliminate all of them.

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