EMERGENCY ACTIONS AND DISASTER REACTIONS: AN ANALYSIS OF THE ANCHORAGE PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT IN THE 1964 ALASKAN EARTHQUAKE
OHIO STATE UNIV COLUMBUS DISASTER RESEARCH CENTER
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On March 27, 1964 Anchorage, Alaska was struck by an earthquake. Buildings and streets were damaged and essential water and sewer services disrupted. Within 27 hours of the impact a Disaster Research Center field team was dispatched to Anchorage to begin a study of the response of various community organizations to the disaster, a study which required 6 separate field trips and was concluded in the fall of 1965. A major part of this longitudinal study concerned the disaster responses of the Anchorage Public Works Department, the municipal agency most involved in meeting the emergency demands. Sixty in- depth interviews were conducted with members of this department. This monograph summarizes and analyzes this interview data. Additional written material supplements this data. The analysis employs two analytical schemes developed at DRC. One provides a framework for comparing organizational behavior during normal time Time One and emergency Time Two operations. The other scheme distinguishes among four types of organizations comparing them by their structure and tasks.
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