Real and Mythological Problems in Community Disasters

Quarantelli, E. L.
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Disaster Research Center
What can you expect by way of human behavior when a major disaster occurs in an area? How will people, both as individual citizens and as members of organizations react in such a collective stress situation? Even if you assume the worst realistic scenario possible, that is, a catastrophe, what can you anticipate about sociobehavioral reactions in such an extreme event? You might think you would be faced with personal and social chaos. If you have the movie or cinema stereotypic version of disasters you will immediately think of panic and wild running around; of disorder, looting, and other antisocial behavior; of dazed and stunned victims unable to do anything for themselves; of local officials abandoning their positions to save themselves. The physical collapse and destruction in a disasters is supposedly also accompanied by much psychological disintergrating and social disorganization.
community disasters , real problems , mythological problems , human behavior