The Challenges for Unconventional Response Agencies in Serving Haitian Earthquake Survivors: The Needs in ICS Training and Practices

Kelly, Joshua
Arlikatti, Sudha
Kendra, James
Nigg, Joanne
Torres, Manuel
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Disaster Research Center
The Haiti earthquake of January 12th, 2010 provided a unique opportunity to further our knowledge concerning “mass invacuation” planning processes. No systematic research assessment has been undertaken to look at how host communities manage the process of receiving evacuees, providing immediate mass care, and resettling displaced individuals. This research focuses on the initial phase of the evacuation/invacuation process of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, from the day after the earthquake (January 13, 2010) through April 2011. The data has been collected as part of an NSF-RAPID grant, a collaborative proposal between the University of Delaware and the University of North Texas, organizations are the units of analysis, and we have used qualitative interview techniques as our data collection method. Reviewing our data has highlighted the challenges faced by public sector emergency managers as they interacted with and attempted to integrate unconventional emergency response organizations into the Incident Command System. Lindell and Perry (2007) state that in order for planning and preparedness for emergencies to be effective, stakeholders at every level need to be included. Further findings may suggest how alternative emergency response organizations can plan and train for mass evacuation events or how conventional emergency responders can integrate them within the ICS modular structure. Thus, organizations that seldom play a role in disaster events may be better integrated into disaster response functions when necessary. Overall, disasters are likely to occur more often in the future, leading to more mass evacuations and increasingly complex responsibilities for organizations that, in the past, may not have played a role (Quarentelli 1990). In order to meet the needs of future invacuees/evacuees, public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders need to find new solutions towards collaboration and training while simultaneously meeting current NIMS and ICS requirements.
Caring for Survivors , Disaster Response , Interorganizaitonal Links , Emergency Management , Earthquake-Case Studies