The Functioning of the Local Emergency Services Offices in Disasters.
Final rept. 1 Sep 83-31 Dec 84,
OHIO STATE UNIV RESEARCH FOUNDATION COLUMBUS
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The current study was partly viewed as an examination of what changes, if any, have occurred in local emergency management agencies LEMAs since the Disaster Research Center DRC systematically studied such groups about 15 years ago. Current data was drawn from field studies of how sixteen LEMAs acted in emergency almost all disaster-like situations. When compared with what was observed in an earlier study the present-day research found that 1 there is still considerable variation in the overall structure and functioning of LEMAs in American communities 2 the organizational changes which have occurred are most noticeable in preparedness and planning activities and, 3 there has been relatively little change in the response patterns of LEMAs in actual threats or disasters--most of the same issues and problems appear at the present time as existed in the past. The continuity in variety of LEMAs seems partly accounted for by the localism of American institutions. The clearly obvious changes in the planning and preparedness stance of LEMAs perhaps stimulated by national efforts in that direction, have nonetheless not produced corresponding qualitative improvements. The frequent failure of the preparedness to translate into better response can also be attributed to a variety of historical, experiential, contingent, situational, structural and other factors which create a problem plagued disaster setting for LEMAs. Some implications of these observations and impressions are noted, and recommendations are made as to a series of questions which ought to be specifically addressed in any future work on LEMAs.
- Administration and Management