USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development

Contents of Recent Issues

Volume 14, No. 1 (March 1996)

Articles by:

    Betty Hearn Morrow and Elaine Enarson, "Hurricane Andrew Through Women’s Eyes: Issues and Recommendations," pp. 5-22.

      While gender is a central organizing principle in social systems, limited attention has been paid to differences in the disaster-related experiences of women and men. To address some gender-related issues we conducted a qualitative sociological analysis of women's experiences in the most heavily impacted areas of Dade County, Florida, after Hurricane Andrew. Through interviews, focus groups, surveys, secondary data analysis, and fieldwork we document ways in which the private and public caregiving responsibilities of women expanded, often under very difficult and stressful circumstances. Being particularly interested in the intersection of gender with race/ethnicity and class, much of our work focused on minority groups having particular problems with recovery, including migrant workers, recent immigrants, single mothers, and battered women. The effects of household and community losses tended to be different for women and in many respects more profound. Being female was an important dimension which appeared to increase the negative effects of being a victim and to retard personal and family recovery, especially when compounded with poverty and minority status. Based on issues which emerged from the experiences of women victims and careproviders, we offer a series of recommendations to disaster planners to increase the involvement of women at every level of disaster response. (AA)

    Margaret Gibbs, Juliana R. Lachenmeyer, Arlene Broska, and Richard Deicher, "Effects of the Avianca Aircrash on Disaster Workers," pp. 23-32.

      Seventy-eight emergency workers at the AVIANCA aircrash a Cove Neck, NewYork, filled out questionnaires dealing with their reactions to the disaster. The number of fatalities witnessed was strongly predictive of number of symptoms, while the proportion of injured dealt with who survived was negatively correlated with number of symptoms. Cognitive variables were related to the distress measures. Contrary to hypothesis, disaster training was unrelated to the distress measures, even when training was rated as effective. (AA)

    Alice Fothergill, "Gender, Risk, and Disaster," pp. 33-56.

      Focusing on gender differences, this article synthesizes the literature on gender, risk, and disasters and presents a comprehensive view of what is known in this area. Data are limited, yet by using a nine-stage typology to delineate disaster preparedness, impact, and recovery, noteworthy findings are documented and discussed. The literature reveals a pattern of gender differentiation throughout the disaster process. The differences are largely attributed to childcare responsibilities, poverty, social networks, traditional roles, discrimination, and other issues of gender stratification. The emergent patterns have important implications, and recommendations for future directions are offered. (AA)

    John J. Beggs, Valerie Haines, and Jeanne S. Hurlbert, "The Effects of Personal Network and Local Community Contexts on the Receipt of Formal Aid During Disaster Recovery," pp. 57-78.

      Studies of the response of individuals to disasters have relied primarily on individual factors for explanation. Using data collected in telephone interviews with 594 residents of southwestern Louisiana, we examine the effects of local community and personal network contexts, as well as individual factors on individuals’ use of aid from formal organizations. We find our measures of personal network context affect five of our seven measures of the utilization of formal aid, and that network form effects these outcomes more consistently than network composition does. These effects are generally consistent with our predictions. We also find significant effects of our measure of community context, the level of owner-occupancy in an area. Living in areas with higher rates of owner-occupancy has a positive effect on three of our measures of formal aid. Based upon these findings we conclude that contextual factors exert important effects on individuals’ use of formal aid. We suggest that studies of the provision of aid to individuals by organizations should be supplemented with more detailed studies of the effects of personal network and local community contexts on individuals’ receipt of specific sources of aid from formal organizations. (AA)

    Alan Kirschenbaum, "Residential Ambiguity and Relocation Decisions: Population and Areas at Risk," pp. 79-96.

      Residential relocation is one means of coping with living in a perceived high-risk area. An analysis of a sample of household members who live in such an area showed the extent to which fear of a recurring emergency event affects attitudes toward seeking an alternative safer area in which to reside. Intent to relocate is linked to specific sub-groups of families on the basis of how they comprehend the risks of remaining (educational level) and extent of possible economic damage (level of assets). A series of independent variables reflected affective-emotive behavior during the disaster. Postcrisis trauma related attitudes, and pre/post disaster neighborhood bonds were likewise linked with an intention to move to a safer neighborhood. A regression model focused the analysis on the degree to which concern of psychological damage to children played a decisive role in determining a relocation decision. (AA)

    Dennis S. Mileti and Eve Passerini, "A Social Explanation of Urban Relocation After Earthquakes," pp. 97-110.

      This paper synthesizes the research record regarding urban relocation after earthquakes. Three alternative relocation responses after earthquakes are identified, the range of factors that have been documented to influence them are presented, and identified human impacts of relocation after earthquakes are discussed. The conclusion is drawn that pre-disaster planning for rebuilding cities after earthquakes is central to enhancing risk reduction effectiveness. (AA)

Book reviews by:

    Juan Murria on Patrick Lagadec, Aprende a Gerer les Crises, pp. 111-113.

    Susan L. Cutter on David Alexander, Natural Disasters, pp. 115-116.

    Ralph H. Turner on Robert Stallings, Promoting Risk, pp. 117-119.

    Robert A. Stallings on five working papers from the Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, pp. 121-124.

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