How Individuals and Groups React During Disasters: Planning and Managing Implications for EMS Delivery

Quarantelli, E. L.
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Disaster Research Center
We have been asked to summarize what social science research has generally concluded about individual and group behavior in extreme stress situations such as disasters. We will do so. But we first want to indicated why such knowledge from systematic study is important. It is important because no planning for disasters, no managing of them, can be any better than the assumptions which are made. In preparing and in responding there are necessarily assumption being made about the behavior of the human beings and groups involved in the situation. It obviously follows that if valid assumptions are made, it raises probability that the disaster planning and managing will be good; it also follows that if incorrect assumptions are made the opposite is likely to be true.
EMS , emergency medical service , disaster planning , disaster management