The Disaster Research Center (DRC) undertook a nationwide study of private citizens who organize themselves in groups to prepare for or to recover from disasters. Part of that research looked for citizen groups preparing for earthquakes. We found that there are, relatively and absolutely, few earthquake preparedness citizen groups. To explain this finding, we detail an explanatory model which specifies the conditions necessary for the general emergence of citizen groups, and apply it to the likelihood of the appearance, development, and survival of earthquake preparedness groups. Some of the atypical characteristics, careers, and consequences of the few such groups found by our study, are also noted. Given the atypical nature and the scarcity of earthquake oriented citizen groups when it comes to community emergency response, we note the implications fur earthquake planning in general.
A Little History
The social turmoil of the 1960s left many legacies in American society. One of the more important has been the tendency of private citizens to organize themselves, to come together in formal or informal groups, to deal with perceived social problems. There is little need to document the presence of many such groups which have emerged at both the local and national level to address a variety of problematical issues, ranging from what to do with drunken drivers, to insuring the safety of consumer goods, to providing equality of access to legal services, to improving the qualitr of television programming.
What to Expect
In this paper we describe what we found in a study of citizen groups preparing for earthquakes. In particular, we attempt to explain the conditions which account for the relative and absoluce scarcity of such groups. In addition, we note that earthquake preparedness citizen groups have some atypical characteristics, careers, and consequences when they are compared with other citizen groups. We conclude the paper by indicating what these findings imply about earthquake planning in general.
- The General Study
- Specific research objectives
- Earthquake oriented ECG's
- An Explanatory Model
- Implications for Earthquake Planning