The Handling of the Dead in a Disaster
Hershiser, Marvin R.
Quarantelli, E. L.
Disaster Research Center
In recent years, the topic of death and dying has become the subject: of much social and behavioral science research and study. But one area which has not been as intensively studied as others is how the dead are treated by the living, especially suddden and unaticipated large numbers of the dead. In this paper we present a case study of the handling of 237 victims of a flash flood disaster. Our descriptive analysis incorporates two levels of behavior: individual modes of adjustment and the organized response of the community. An examination is also made of the factors affecting the respect accorded the "prerogatives" of the dead and the living, and the remarkably effective organized carrying out of this generally non-instrumental disaster task.
death , flood disaster