The Warning Process And Evacuation Behavior: The Research Evidence

Quarantelli, E. L.
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Disaster Research Center
One of the very first research focus in the disaster area was the issuance of emergency warnings and the reactions to them (Williams, 1956; Fritz, 1961). This is understandable. If there is warning of a threat, preventive, mitigatory, precautionary, and protective measures can be taken, including evacuation. Warnings can obviously be useful if not necessary for adaptive behavior to environmental changes—natural or human created—which put life, property, group routines, and the ecological balance in peril. It is not surprising therefore that when social scientists started to do research on disasters about 35 years ago, many of the studies focused on the question of disaster warnings and how people and groups react to them. This interest has continued to the present time (see several chapters in Dynes, DeMarchi and Pelanda, 1987).
Evacuation Behavior , warning process , organizational monitoring