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Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Preparedness Planning at American Coastal University: Seeking the Disaster- Resistant University Toby Osburn, Ed.D. University.

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Presentation on theme: "Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Preparedness Planning at American Coastal University: Seeking the Disaster- Resistant University Toby Osburn, Ed.D. University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Preparedness Planning at American Coastal University: Seeking the Disaster- Resistant University Toby Osburn, Ed.D. University of North Texas Program in Higher Education Dr. Ron Newsom, Dissertation Committee Chairperson Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

2 Background Hurricane Katrina’s impact at McNeese State University Hurricane Katrina’s impact at McNeese State University –200+ displaced students from multiple public, private, two-year and four-year campuses New Orleans evacuees housed throughout community, including campus facilities (general shelter and medical needs shelter) Hurricane Rita’s impact Hurricane Rita’s impact –$30 million in damage to McNeese –Near six week closure –Loss of student population –Lingering recovery issues yet unresolved 2005 Hurricane Season (Katrina, Rita, Wilma) resulted in: 2005 Hurricane Season (Katrina, Rita, Wilma) resulted in: –Direct impact on over 200,000 students, faculty and staff across the Gulf Coast –$1.5 billion in damages on college and university campuses from Beaumont, Texas to Miami, Florida –Inestimable losses of tuition and auxiliary revenues and wages Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

3 Rationale Disaster incidents on college and university campuses not a matter of if, but when Disaster incidents on college and university campuses not a matter of if, but when Countless campuses possess, within the annals of their oral and written traditions, tales of natural and man-made disaster incidents whose legacies persist over time as critical moments and significant turning points in institutional histories Countless campuses possess, within the annals of their oral and written traditions, tales of natural and man-made disaster incidents whose legacies persist over time as critical moments and significant turning points in institutional histories Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

4 Statement of the Problem Whether or not the institution under consideration has implemented hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness processes Whether or not the institution under consideration has implemented hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness processes Extent to which such processes are congruent with FEMA’s Building a Disaster-Resistant University and Quarantelli’s principles of disaster and preparedness planning Extent to which such processes are congruent with FEMA’s Building a Disaster-Resistant University and Quarantelli’s principles of disaster and preparedness planning Efficacy of the FEMA and Quarantelli models for developing new or revising existing hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness processes and plans Efficacy of the FEMA and Quarantelli models for developing new or revising existing hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness processes and plans Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

5 Research Questions What internal and external resources and personnel have been identified and organized? What internal and external resources and personnel have been identified and organized? What comprehensive risk assessment activities have been conducted to identify potential hazards and assess vulnerabilities? What comprehensive risk assessment activities have been conducted to identify potential hazards and assess vulnerabilities? What hazard mitigation actions have been formalized and what written plans created? What hazard mitigation actions have been formalized and what written plans created? Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

6 Research Questions (continued) What formal hazard mitigation plans have been adopted and implemented? What formal hazard mitigation plans have been adopted and implemented? To what extent are hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness planning frameworks and principles efficacious for developing new or revising existing hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness processes? To what extent are hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness planning frameworks and principles efficacious for developing new or revising existing hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness processes? Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

7 Assumptions Institutions will experience disasters Institutions will experience disasters Public and private accountability for hazard mitigation will grow Public and private accountability for hazard mitigation will grow Respondents have undertaken some form of hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness planning effort Respondents have undertaken some form of hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness planning effort Building a Disaster-Resistant University represents one of the most comprehensive, audience-specific resources available to campus emergency managers and disaster planners, but neither it or Quarantelli’s principles constitute a framework that is adequate for every potential catastrophe Building a Disaster-Resistant University represents one of the most comprehensive, audience-specific resources available to campus emergency managers and disaster planners, but neither it or Quarantelli’s principles constitute a framework that is adequate for every potential catastrophe Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

8 Assumptions (continued) Institution may have utilized models other than those used in the study or portions of the models used in the study Institution may have utilized models other than those used in the study or portions of the models used in the study Participants had at least an introductory knowledge of and general familiarity with concepts such as those advocated by Quarantelli and Building a Disaster-Resistant University. Participants had at least an introductory knowledge of and general familiarity with concepts such as those advocated by Quarantelli and Building a Disaster-Resistant University. Participants were acquainted with hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness plans and process adopted and implemented on the campus Participants were acquainted with hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness plans and process adopted and implemented on the campus Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

9 Assumptions (continued) Results of this study will provide insight into practical challenges confronting campus officials Results of this study will provide insight into practical challenges confronting campus officials Participants completed and submitted surveys to the best of their awareness and ability with accuracy Participants completed and submitted surveys to the best of their awareness and ability with accuracy Participants were honest in responses to questions and genuinely communicated their understanding Participants were honest in responses to questions and genuinely communicated their understanding Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

10 Research Design Qualitative design Qualitative design Case study methodology Case study methodology Triangulation techniques Triangulation techniques –Questionnaire –Field interviews –Review and analysis of physical documents Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

11 Methodology Developed and employed an original ninety-two item questionnaire modeled after concepts presented in FEMA’s Building a Disaster-Resistant University Developed and employed an original ninety-two item questionnaire modeled after concepts presented in FEMA’s Building a Disaster-Resistant University Conducted field interviews among ten key personnel using twelve questions linked to the four major hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness planning concepts outlined in Building a Disaster-Resistant University Conducted field interviews among ten key personnel using twelve questions linked to the four major hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness planning concepts outlined in Building a Disaster-Resistant University Studied policy and planning documents provided by the institution in view of select principles of disaster and preparedness advocated by E.L. Quarantelli that appear to relate to hazard mitigation strategies referenced in Building a Disaster Resistant University Studied policy and planning documents provided by the institution in view of select principles of disaster and preparedness advocated by E.L. Quarantelli that appear to relate to hazard mitigation strategies referenced in Building a Disaster Resistant University Utilized descriptive statistics and pattern-matching techniques to analyze and synthesize data Utilized descriptive statistics and pattern-matching techniques to analyze and synthesize data Offered a report of findings and conclusions Offered a report of findings and conclusions Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

12 American Coastal University Fictitious name Fictitious name Regional public university near coastal continental United States Regional public university near coastal continental United States 10,000+ enrollment in baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs 10,000+ enrollment in baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs Located in a geographic area prone to natural disasters Located in a geographic area prone to natural disasters Experience with multiple natural disaster events in ten year period prior to study Experience with multiple natural disaster events in ten year period prior to study Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

13 Findings Resources and personnel formally identified and organized for the purposes of disaster preparedness planning, not for hazard mitigation Resources and personnel formally identified and organized for the purposes of disaster preparedness planning, not for hazard mitigation Planning addressed resistances by emphasizing intra- and inter-organizational integration Planning addressed resistances by emphasizing intra- and inter-organizational integration Preparedness planning is different from actual disaster management by focusing on resource coordination rather than command and control Preparedness planning is different from actual disaster management by focusing on resource coordination rather than command and control Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

14 Findings (continued) Comprehensive risk assessments have been conducted but not in a manner congruent with Building a Disaster-Resistant University Comprehensive risk assessments have been conducted but not in a manner congruent with Building a Disaster-Resistant University Planning attempts to reduce unknowns in problematical situations Planning attempts to reduce unknowns in problematical situations Planning views disasters as quantitatively and qualitatively different from accidents and minor emergencies Planning views disasters as quantitatively and qualitatively different from accidents and minor emergencies Adopts a multi-hazard rather than single- hazard focus and is generic rather than agent-specific Adopts a multi-hazard rather than single- hazard focus and is generic rather than agent-specific Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

15 Findings (continued) Hazard mitigation actions formalized but not in the form of plans Hazard mitigation actions formalized but not in the form of plans Planning is not demonstrated to be based on knowledge via valid research findings from systematic data rather than personal “war stories” Planning is not demonstrated to be based on knowledge via valid research findings from systematic data rather than personal “war stories” Disaster preparedness planning is a continuous process rather than production of an end-product such as a written plan Disaster preparedness planning is a continuous process rather than production of an end-product such as a written plan Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

16 Findings (continued) Institution demonstrates planning aims at evoking appropriate actions by anticipating likely problems and possible solutions or options Institution demonstrates planning aims at evoking appropriate actions by anticipating likely problems and possible solutions or options Numerous institutional personnel had difficulty distinguishing between hazard mitigation and disaster planning Numerous institutional personnel had difficulty distinguishing between hazard mitigation and disaster planning Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

17 Summary Planning frameworks advocated by FEMA and Quarantelli are reflected in institution’s attempts to develop new or revise existing plans, particularly with respect to Quarantelli’s principles. Planning frameworks advocated by FEMA and Quarantelli are reflected in institution’s attempts to develop new or revise existing plans, particularly with respect to Quarantelli’s principles. Vestiges of the disaster-resistant university framework for hazard mitigation are present, particularly with respect to resource identification and organization, albeit apart from a formal, institution-wide effort that embraces an all-hazards approach to development, adoption, and implementation. Vestiges of the disaster-resistant university framework for hazard mitigation are present, particularly with respect to resource identification and organization, albeit apart from a formal, institution-wide effort that embraces an all-hazards approach to development, adoption, and implementation. Study was not efficacious for assessing the extent to which the models, particularly the disaster- resistant university framework, can be applied in the context of American Coastal University. Study was not efficacious for assessing the extent to which the models, particularly the disaster- resistant university framework, can be applied in the context of American Coastal University. Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

18 Discussion Extensive planning processes in place Extensive planning processes in place Research-driven knowledge largely missing from plans, except that derived from post- incident reviews Research-driven knowledge largely missing from plans, except that derived from post- incident reviews Mitigation effort appears focused on resource identification and organization for deployment during an event rather than for mitigating hazards in advance of an event Mitigation effort appears focused on resource identification and organization for deployment during an event rather than for mitigating hazards in advance of an event Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

19 Discussion (continued) Participants had difficulty distinguishing between mitigation (identifying and resolving or reducing specific risks or threats in advance) and disaster planning (identifying actions to be taken before, during, and after an event or incident) Participants had difficulty distinguishing between mitigation (identifying and resolving or reducing specific risks or threats in advance) and disaster planning (identifying actions to be taken before, during, and after an event or incident) Most mitigation efforts appear to originate from regulatory mandates, fulfillment of HMGP awards, or in response to weaknesses revealed by disaster impacts and not from an on-going identification and prioritization process Most mitigation efforts appear to originate from regulatory mandates, fulfillment of HMGP awards, or in response to weaknesses revealed by disaster impacts and not from an on-going identification and prioritization process Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

20 Discussion (continued) No formal, on-going process for adopting and implementing hazard mitigation plans exists No formal, on-going process for adopting and implementing hazard mitigation plans exists The institution does not possess “a well- defined, formal process” where plans are “routed up to the appropriate authorities,” checked “for quality” and then [wrapped] into a master list” (interviewee #08203C3) The institution does not possess “a well- defined, formal process” where plans are “routed up to the appropriate authorities,” checked “for quality” and then [wrapped] into a master list” (interviewee #08203C3) Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

21 Conclusions Institutional culture conductive to mitigation, planning and preparedness. Institutional culture conductive to mitigation, planning and preparedness. Incorporation of Building a Disaster-Resistant University and Quarantelli’s concepts into plans evident, whether deliberate or not. Incorporation of Building a Disaster-Resistant University and Quarantelli’s concepts into plans evident, whether deliberate or not. Most personnel involved in disaster preparedness planning are not participants in a clearly defined, deliberate, and on-going campus-wide hazard mitigation effort; little distinction is made between the two concepts. Most personnel involved in disaster preparedness planning are not participants in a clearly defined, deliberate, and on-going campus-wide hazard mitigation effort; little distinction is made between the two concepts. Building a Disaster-Resistant University and Quarantelli’s concepts provide conceptual and practical mechanisms for mitigation and planning. Building a Disaster-Resistant University and Quarantelli’s concepts provide conceptual and practical mechanisms for mitigation and planning. Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

22 Future Research Development of research methodologies and instrumentation to qualify and quantify planning efforts in diverse institutional settings Development of research methodologies and instrumentation to qualify and quantify planning efforts in diverse institutional settings Assessment of the efficacy of diverse models for hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness planning on campuses Assessment of the efficacy of diverse models for hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness planning on campuses Development of strategies for addressing interests and needs of persons with unique challenges and disabilities in campus communities Development of strategies for addressing interests and needs of persons with unique challenges and disabilities in campus communities Mitigation and planning relative to alternative methods by which institutions may accomplish instructional delivery, research, and service tasks Mitigation and planning relative to alternative methods by which institutions may accomplish instructional delivery, research, and service tasks Replication of this study in other institutional contexts Replication of this study in other institutional contexts Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.

23 Questions

24 Contact Information: Toby Osburn Copyright 2008 Toby Osburn, Ed.D.


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