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The General Public’s Attitudes and Beliefs Regarding Resource Management, Collaboration, and Community Assistance Centers During Disasters

  • Rachel L. Charney (a1), Terri Rebmann (a2), Amy Endrizal (a2) and Preeti Dalawari (a1)

Abstract

Background

The key to resilience after disasters is the provision of coordinated care and resource distribution to the affected community. Past research indicates that the general public lacks an understanding regarding agencies’ roles and responsibilities during disaster response.

Study Objectives

This study’s purpose was to explore the general public’s beliefs regarding agencies or organizations’ responsibilities related to resource management during disasters. In addition, the public’s attitudes towards the management and use of community disaster assistance centers were explored.

Methods

Qualitative interviews were conducted with members of the general public. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Content analysis was used to analyze the data and identify themes that describe the public’s expectations of disaster response agencies and the use of community disaster assistance centers.

Results

A total of 28 interviews were conducted. Half of the participants (n=14) were black, 57% (n=16) were female, and the mean age was 49 years. The general public has developed trust and distrust toward response organizations and governmental agencies based on past experiences during disasters. The public wishes to have local agencies to help lead disaster response, but expects a collaboration between all response organizations, including the government. The managing agency overseeing community disaster assistance centers was not perceived as important, but the proximity of these centers to community members was considered critical.

Conclusions

The general public prefers that local agencies and leaders manage disaster response, and they expect collaboration among response agencies. Community assistance centers need to be located close to those in need, and be managed by agencies trusted by the general public. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:446–449)

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to Rachel L. Charney, 1465 S. Grand Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63104 (e-mail: rcharney@slu.edu).

References

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2. Charney, RL, Rebmann, T, Esguerra, CR, Lai, CW, Dalawari, P. Public expectations for nonemergency hospital resources and services during disasters. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2013;7(2):167-174.
3. Eisenman, DP, Williams, MV, Glik, D, Long, A, Plough, AL, Ong, M. The public health disaster trust scale: validation of a brief measure. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2012;18(4):E11-E18.
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6. Braun, BI, Wineman, NV, Finn, NL, Barbera, JA, Schmaltz, SP, Loeb, JM. Integrating hospitals into community emergency preparedness planning. Ann Intern Med. 2006;144:799-811.
7. Patterson, O, Weil, F, Patel, K. The role of community in disaster response: conceptual models. Popul Res Policy Rev. 2010;29:127-141.
8. Crouse Quinn, S. Crisis and emergency risk communication in a pandemic: a model for building capacity and resilience of minority communities. Health Promot Pract. 2008;9(4 suppl):18S-25S.
9. Wells, KB, Springgate, BF, Lizaola, E, Jones, F, Plough, A. Community engagement in disaster preparedness and recovery: a tale of two cities – Los Angeles and New Orleans. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2013;36(3):451-466.

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The General Public’s Attitudes and Beliefs Regarding Resource Management, Collaboration, and Community Assistance Centers During Disasters

  • Rachel L. Charney (a1), Terri Rebmann (a2), Amy Endrizal (a2) and Preeti Dalawari (a1)

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