The Human Side of Disaster  book cover
2nd Edition

The Human Side of Disaster

ISBN 9781466506855
Published March 1, 2013 by CRC Press
446 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

USD $120.00

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Book Description

Since the first edition of The Human Side of Disaster was published in 2009, new catastrophes have plagued the globe, including earthquakes in Haiti and New Zealand, tornadoes in Alabama and Missouri, floods in numerous locations, Hurricane Sandy, and the infamous BP oil spill. Enhanced with new cases and real-world examples, The Human Side of Disaster, Second Edition presents an updated summary of the social science knowledge base of human responses to disaster. Dr. Drabek draws upon his 40-plus years of conducting research on individual, group, and organizational responses to disaster to illustrate and integrate key insights from the social sciences to teach us how to anticipate human behaviors in crisis.

The book begins with a series of original short stories rooted within actual disaster events. These stories are woven into the entire text to demonstrate essential findings from the research literature. Dr. Drabek provides an overview of the range of disasters and hazards confronting the public and an explanation of why these are increasing each year, both in number and scope of impact.

The core of the book is a summary of key findings regarding disaster warning responses, evacuation behavior, initial post-impact survival behavior, traditional and emergent roles of volunteers, and both short-term and longer-term disaster impacts. The theme of "organized-disorganization" is used to illustrate multiorganizational response networks that form the key managerial task for local emergency managers. The final chapter provides a new vision for the emergency management profession—one that reflects a more strategic approach wherein disasters are viewed as non-routine social problems.

This book will continue to be an invaluable reference for professionals and students in emergency management and public policy and aid organizations who need to understand human behavior and how best to communicate and work with the public in disaster situations.

Table of Contents

The Taxi
The Setting
The Story
The Earring
The Setting
The Story
The Honeymoon
The Setting
The Story
The Ceiling
The Setting
The Story
The Regulation
The Setting
The Story
The Exercise
The Setting
The Story
The Insights
The Problem and Approach
The Danger around You Is Increasing
Population Movement
Climate Change
Potentials for Catastrophe
The Many Faces of Disaster
Natural Disasters
Technological Disasters
Conflict Disasters
The Approach
The Insights
Hear That Siren?
Who Panics and Why
Neutralizing Threat Information
Doing It Right
But Not Everyone Responds the Same
Ethnic Minorities
Message Characteristics
Group Context
The Insights
It Can’t Be Done
That Lady Named Carla
A Disaster Subculture?
The Mythology of Car Wrecks
"Resisters? We Will Arrest Them!"
Confirmation: A Likely Action
Appeal to Authority
Appeal to Peer
Observational Confirmation
Latent Confirmation
Families Are the Units
The Insights
Shall We Leave?
Pathways to Evacuation
Evacuation by Default
Evacuation by Invitation
Evacuation by Compromise
Evacuation by Decision
Where Do They Go?
"We Wanna Go Home"
Evacuation Facilitators
Encourage Family Planning for an Evacuation
Media Consistency
Forceful, but Not Mandatory
Allay Looting Fears
Facilitate Transportation
Establish Family Message Centers
An Aside: Crisis Relocation Planning and Homeland
Security Advisory System
Crisis Relocation Planning
Homeland Security Advisory System
The Insights
Why Me?
Victim Responses
The Disaster Syndrome: Another Myth Exploded
Heroes: They Are for Real
Helpers: How Many Are There?
"Where Is My Daughter?"
But There Are Constraints
The Age of Litigation
Expanding Poverty
Bureaucratic Mindsets
The Insights
Volunteers? You Bet!
The Flood Breakers
Are Volunteers Like Yachts?
The Utopian Mood
Unveiling the Many Forms of Volunteerism
The Insights
Organized Disorganization
Raining in Indianapolis
"But We Deal with Emergencies Daily"
Indianapolis Coliseum Explosion, October 31, 1963
Wichita Falls, Texas, Tornado, April 10, 1979
Mount St. Helens Eruption, May 18, 1980
Sorting Out Organizational Responders
Is Communication the Problem?
Lake Pomona SAR Response, June 17, 1978
Social Map: Lake Pomona Communication Structure
Cooperation Is Not Enough
Issue: Focused Public Information Plan
The Insights
Life in a Fishbowl
The Bitch Phase
Looting Fears
Bad Dreams
Seeking Closure
Short-Term Oscillations
Windows of Opportunity
"When Can We Go Home?"
The Insights
What about My Psyche?
An Atypical Example
Modal Patterns
Patterned Variations
Kinfolk and Friends
"This Is My Mother"
The Insights
What Must Be Done?
Variable Perceptions of Risk
Reducing Vulnerabilities
Spread the Risk
Creating a Culture of Preparedness
Disasters Are Nonroutine Social Problems
The Insights
Community Change Agents
Empirical Studies
Professionalism in Emergency Management
An Expanded Vision
Strategies for Maintaining Organizational Integrity
Mitigation Strategies
Preparedness Strategies
Disaster Response Coordination Strategies
Core Strategies
Consequence Strategies
Customer Strategies
Control Strategies
Cultural Strategies
Concluding Principles
Suggested Readings

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Thomas E. Drabek is an emeritus professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Denver and continues his research on a part-time basis. His research has examined group and organizational responses to large-scale disasters. Professor Drabek has authored or coauthored over 100 book chapters and journal articles and 28 books. He served as the co-editor of the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters and was elected president of the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on Disasters. He prepared four instructor guides for the Emergency Management Institute. In August 2007, Dr. Drabek was the third recipient of the E. L. Quarantelli Award for contributions to social science disaster theory by the International Research Committee on Disasters, and in June 2008, he received the first Dr. B. Wayne Blanchard Award for Academic Excellence in Emergency Management Higher Education. He frequently lectures at academic and emergency management workshops and conventions throughout the United States and around the world.