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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Disaster Management for Socioeconomic Status Challenged Populations in the United States
by Kendig, Marla R., D.H.A., University of Phoenix, 2012, 379; 3534890
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative, descriptive study explored disaster management practices affecting socioeconomic-challenged populations from natural disasters across the United States. The majority of disaster literature on vulnerable populations is quantitative without providing a voice to the populations who sustain the highest impact from natural disasters but who have the lowest socioeconomic status and survival rate. The purpose of the study was to explore strategies and resources that influence disaster preparedness for socioeconomic-challenged populations that could decrease casualties and resources while increasing resiliency and self-sufficiency of vulnerable populations. Questionnaires were distributed to study participants with a cross-section of U.S. disaster officials and relief agencies coupled with representatives of low socioeconomic status populations in the corresponding FEMA regions. Eighty-four participants provided demographic information and questionnaire responses. Data were analyzed using NVivo version 9 software. Analysis revealed seven major findings related to enhance disaster management strategies: (a) integrate all populations in disaster planning, (b) eliminate inequalities and discrimination, (c) enact tribal disaster management (d) mandate schoolbased disaster preparedness curriculums, (e) empower local responders, (f) increase social media, and (g) employ low technology communication options. Participatory involvement of socioeconomic-challenged populations in all phases of disaster management is suggested to increase survival and develop resilient communities. The collective knowledge of advocates for low SES populations and disaster officials uncovered in this research could be combined into robust guidance and a collaborative leadership model to be replicated and enhanced for the benefit of all Americans.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Goes, James
School: University of Phoenix
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 74/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Public policy, Native American studies
Keywords: Disaster management, Emergency preparedness, Low socioeconomic status, Minorities, NVIVO, Natural disaster planning
Publication Number: 3534890
ISBN: 978-1-267-83317-4
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