Initial Findings from a Study of Socio-Behavioral Preparations and Planning for Acute Chemical Hazard Disasters

Quarantelli, E. L.
Lawrence, Clark
Tierney, Kathleen J.
Johnson, Ted
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Disaster Research Center
This paper generally describes research just initiated on the socio-behavioral aspects of disasters resulting from chemical agents, and reports preliminary findings from the first phase of study. These initial observations are about the community and organizational preparations and planning for acute chemical hazard disasters. The results are drawn from data gathered on disaster preparedness in 14 communities and six major threats or actual disasters involving chemical agents in American Society. A model for describing and analyzing community and organizational disaster planning is outlined. Some initial observations are stated about how communities rank the probability of different kinds of disasters including chemical ones. We then present in general terms a series of finding about community and organizational perceptions and reactions with respect to chemical threats, resources to deal with such threats and social organization of emergency related groups using such resources and social climate in which the emergency groups operate. Some implication for planning are then indicated
socio-behavioral preparations , chemical hazard , perceptions