Some Preliminary Observation On The Responses Of Community Organizations Involved In The Emergency Period Of The Alaskan Earthquake
Haas, J. Eugene
Dynes, Russell R.
Quarantelli, E. L.
Disaster Research Center
Since its inception, the Disaster Research Center (DRC) has undertaken seven field trips. The events covered have been: the dam burst in Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles, a chemical plant explosion in Attleboro, Massachusetts, Hurricane Cindy in Texas, the Nursing Home fire in Fitchville, Ohio, the Vaiont Dam flood in northern Italy, the Indianapolis Coliseum explosion, and floods in the Cincinnati area. However, these initial field operations according to plan were used primarily for training purposes and pilot studies. More systematic studies based in part on the experiences in and findings from these preliminary research efforts were visualized as commencing sometime in the spring of this year. The Alaskan earthquake of Friday, March 27, 1964, therefore, occurred just as DRC was in the process of moving to more systematic and quantitative kinds of field and analytical procedures. The magnitude of the disaster however, precluded waiting upon the development of a more advanced research design. The earthquake ranked very high on all the standard criteria used by the DRC to evaluate whether it should or should not study a given community disaster. The immediate research opportunities offered by this event could not be sacrificed, even though a pre-planned and systematic design that would result in qualitatively better findings was not yet ready. We say this to indicate our awareness of certain limits to the initial DRC operations in Alaska.
Alaskan Earthquake , Community Organizations , Responses