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Group Inflences on Disaster Response

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Group Inflences on Disaster Response

Disaster response is socially arranged in complex ways by group and organizational considerations.

In this presentation I consider:

Groups as causal factors
e.g. terrorists, negligent companies

Groups as processes
Intra-group and inter-group
e.g. mass psychogenic illness
e.g. identification between helpers and victims
e.g. inter-agency communication

Groups as moderators
e.g. influence of families, communities on responses

Groups as outcomes
victim groups – wider than primary victims
e.g. families, friends, organizations, communities, public, first responders.

Disaster response is socially arranged in complex ways by group and organizational considerations.

In this presentation I consider:

Groups as causal factors
e.g. terrorists, negligent companies

Groups as processes
Intra-group and inter-group
e.g. mass psychogenic illness
e.g. identification between helpers and victims
e.g. inter-agency communication

Groups as moderators
e.g. influence of families, communities on responses

Groups as outcomes
victim groups – wider than primary victims
e.g. families, friends, organizations, communities, public, first responders.

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Group Inflences on Disaster Response

  1. 1. 05/28/15 1 Groups Influences on Disaster ResponseGroups Influences on Disaster Response Martin LeaMartin Lea martinlea.commartinlea.com
  2. 2. 05/28/15 2 Thinking about groups in disasters • Disaster phases? • What kind of groups are involved? • What kind of group factors are involved? – First responders – The public
  3. 3. 05/28/15 3 General issues Communication • Pervasive problems – complex mix of technological and human factors • Disaster conditions create – High information uncertainty – Limited information control – Extreme time pressure – High responsibility – High surveillance
  4. 4. 05/28/15 4 General issues Group communication • Group influences – Information sharing – Interagency communication • Public health disaster or crime scene? – professional norms – organizational routines – Organizational culture
  5. 5. 05/28/15 5 General issues Group Decision-Making & Creativity • Normally: decision trees • Disaster: Template matching • Creativity – "figuring out how to use what you already know in order to go beyond what you currently think" – Organizational barriers
  6. 6. 05/28/15 6 First Responders Turnout and Commitment • Important for successful response
  7. 7. 05/28/15 7 First Responders Turnout and Commitment • Surat earthquake and plague 1994
  8. 8. 05/28/15 8 First Responders Turnout and Commitment • Chernobyl nuclear disaster
  9. 9. 05/28/15 9 First Responders Turnout and Commitment • Group influences: – Role conflict? • Professional vs domestic • Increased or reduced during disaster? – Beliefs about low turn out • Emergency response managers • Public fear
  10. 10. 05/28/15 10 First Responders Health and Stress Reactions • First responders as psychological victims • Group influences – Age & experience – Identification with victims – Terrorist groups – Organizational complexity of inter- agency response
  11. 11. 05/28/15 11 First Responders Protective Clothing and equipment • Required to shield against harmful agents – Interferes with individual and group performance: • Verbal communication • Paralinguistic cues • Personal and organizational identifiability • Gas mask phobia • Group influences: – Organizational identity markers – Training and experience
  12. 12. 05/28/15 12 First Responders The Public as First Responders • Large proportion of First Responders are public • Group influences on public as first responders 1. Victims 2. Convergence by neighbourhood & community groups – Volunteering in pre-disaster roles: gender, work 1. Mobilization by volunteer and disaster agencies
  13. 13. 05/28/15 13 First Responders The Public as First Responders • Who volunteers? – Identification with victims – cultural constraints • Communities value volunteering – shared norms – therapeutic for the community "Victim" community  "Competent" community
  14. 14. 05/28/15 14 The Public Warning Response • Public rarely respond immediately – Message confirmation Search for information & social cues • Group influences – Friends and family – Credibility of sources – Belief systems – Social and ethnic groups
  15. 15. 05/28/15 15 The Public Evacuation • Evacuation zones and evacuation shadows – Personal risk assessment – Confusing communications and conflicting information increase shadows (intergroup dimension)
  16. 16. 05/28/15 16 The Public Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident • Recipient group influences: – Geographical proximity – Similarity to target group – Relation to target group – Where do people evacuate to? • Friends and family • Public care facilities
  17. 17. 05/28/15 17 The Public Quarantine and Shielding • Quarantine or Isolation – restriction of movement of large populations – separation and confinement of infected individuals • Dispersal – Big problem • Shielding – self-imposed isolation – Families, friends, work groups • Group influences – Violation of quarantine – Fragmentation vs. coherence of social groups
  18. 18. 05/28/15 18 The Public Mass Psychogenic Illness & Panic • Mass psychogenic (sociogenic) illness – Rapid spread of illness signs and symptoms affecting members of a cohesive group – Physical complaints: • have no corresponding organic aetiology and • are attributed to the environment • Implications for reliability of “Triage” – sorting of patients and allocation of treatments • Panic – Problem of definition
  19. 19. 05/28/15 19 The Public Immediate social Response • “Individual” acts of altruism or social norm? • Social response: – Ties binding community groups strengthen – Group boundaries overcome (e.g. ethnic, religion) – Emergence of new groups • Convergence phenomenon – Altruistic response by communities not affected – Deteriorates over time (overwhelmed by scale) – Bounded by identities, and roles
  20. 20. 05/28/15 20 The Public Community Recovery (long term) 1. Initial impact phase • traditional relationships replaced by emergency behaviour: • debonding (personal survival) • situationally specific temporary re- definition of social bonds 1. Massive drive to reassert community bonds • accompanying search, rescue and clean-up activities • intense camaraderie and shared experiences • may only last a few hours or days.
  21. 21. 05/28/15 21 The Public Community Recovery (long term) 3. Recovery phase • Previous complex community system of networks, groups and boundaries reasserts itself • turmoil, conflict and social differentiation
  22. 22. 05/28/15 22 Group influences on disaster response 1. Groups as causal factors • e.g. terrorists, negligent companies 1. Groups as processes • Intra-group and inter-group • e.g. mass psychogenic illness • e.g. identification between helpers and victims • e.g. inter-agency communication 1. Groups as moderators • e.g. influence of families, communities on responses 1. Groups as outcomes • victim groups – wider than primary victims • e.g. families, friends, organizations, communities, public, first responders. • Disaster response is socially arranged in complex ways by group and organizational considerations

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