Even More Quick Response Reports from the Hazards Center


In the summer of 2000, numerous firestorms raged across the western United States. Several areas in Montana, especially the Bitter Root Valley, were severely impacted. To better understand human response to these events, Sarah J. Halvorson, a geographer at the University of Montana, examined the effects in several communities severely affected by the fires. She collected data on the extent of damage, perceptions of fire, local strategies for coping with fire impacts, and the various roles of community-based organizations in the response and recovery process. The results indicate that, on the whole, the communities were quite resilient during and after the firestorms, but that some mountain settlements were more vulnerable to fire risks than others. At the same time, everyone living in the valley had to endure the smoke and the trauma associated with this event. Halvorson's report--The Fires of 2000: Community Response and Recovery in the Bitter Root Valley, Western Montana (Natural Hazards Center Quick Response Research Report #151, 17 pp.)-- concludes by highlighting both practical and policy-oriented lessons regarding recovery in the wildland-urban interface. The Fires of 2000 is available free from the Natural Hazards Center web site: http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/qr/qr151/qr151.html.

A Tornado

On April 21, 2001, a category F-4 tornado struck the small central Kansas town of Hoisington, leaving one person dead, dozens injured, and millions of dollars in damage. Based primarily on a survey of those that endured this disaster, Quick Response Report #154--Emergency Support Satisfaction Among 2001 Hoisington, Kansas, Tornado Victims (26 pp.)--examines respondent overall satisfaction with disaster relief as well as satisfaction with each of four major sources of support--government agencies, private insurance companies, volunteer organizations, and business communities. Despite general satisfaction, respondents indicated that they faced difficulties in obtaining support from these sources, and they offered suggestions regarding how these sources might improve future emergency assistance efforts. Emergency Support Satisfaction was prepared by Bimal Kanti Paul and Jeanenne Leven of the Geography Department at Kansas State University. It is also available from the Natural Hazards Center web site: http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/qr/qr154/qr154.html.

9/11 x 2

In their quick response study--Public/Private Collaboration in Disaster: Implications from the World Trade Center Terrorist Attacks (Quick Response Report #155, 18 pp.)--Richard Weber, David McEntire, and Robie Robinson of the University of North Texas examined the interaction of businesses and government agencies following the World Trade Center disaster. They found that the private sector clearly played vital and varied roles in emergency response--indeed, that the contributions of businesses in all aspects of emergency management were significantly underestimated. Moreover, they found that the roles of the two sectors were so entwined that the distinction between the two was not always clear. Still, coordination issues did emerge, and these are documented with recommendations for their amelioration and for needed additional research. Public/Private Collaboration in Disaster is available at: http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/qr/qr155/qr155.html.

Following September 11, hazards researcher Lori Peek went to New York to "explore the response of and reaction toward Muslim students on college and university campuses in the . . . region." She explains, "Given the unique nature and magnitude of the events of September 11, it was important to document and analyze what was happening to one of the primary groups being targeted for blame." Her report, peppered with numerous quotations from those she interviewed, clearly indicates that Muslim students feared for their own safety following September 11 and that many of them had been directly or indirectly confronted regarding the terrorist attacks, but also that most realized the people who directed anger toward them represented only a small fraction of the American population. Peek concludes that longer-term research is not only necessary to understand the consequences of these attacks for the entire Muslim population in the U.S., but that such research could inform national policy regarding the safety and well-being of all Americans. Religious and Ethnic Issues After September 11, 2001: Examining Muslim University Student Experiences (15 pp.) is available at http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/qr/qr156/qr156.html.

These reports are the result of the Natural Hazards Center's Quick Response Program, which allows researchers to examine the effects of disasters immediately after they happen. Besides being available free on the web, the reports can be purchased for $5.00, plus $4.50 shipping, from the Publications Administrator, Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado, 482 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0482; (303) 492-6819; fax: (303) 492-2151; e-mail: janet.kroeckel@colorado.edu.

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