The purpose of the study was to gain the preparedness perceptions of emergency managers in the South Atlantic region of the United States, which focused on the following topics: organizational climate, emergency response risks, hazmat training, communication, and innovation in the field. The research outlined in the study goes beyond any previous preparedness research by gleaning the self-evaluations of multiple emergency management agencies. The research questions for the study elucidated the preparedness challenges of emergency responders in being adequately informed of hazardous materials in biotechnology facilities, as well as the risks associated with response to a biotechnology release resulting from a severe weather event. The methodology for the study was qualitative, with a generic qualitative inquiry design. Open-ended oral in-depth interviews using 10 emergency managers in the South Atlantic region of the United States informed research of the perceptions of preparedness amongst responders. Data analysis for the qualitative research consisted of data organization, data groupings, group reduction, emerging themes, and relation to underpinning theories. There were three major findings to the study that supported primary and secondary research questions. The participants in the study perceived the concept of lessons learned, and reviewing of action reports an essential component of emergency management preparedness and training. The study participants perceived their organizational culture in high regard. Half of the study participants expressed concern over the transparency of hazardous materials present at biotechnology facilities. The research study addressed the gap in the literature on the perspectives of emergency management personnel regarding challenges to preparedness in responding to hazardous materials releases resulting from a natural disaster.
|Advisor:||Poulin, Thomas E.|
|Commitee:||Yeager, Bonnie, Kerwood, Scott|
|Department:||School of Public Service Leadership|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-B 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Occupational safety, Public health|
|Keywords:||Biotechnology, Disaster, Emergency management, Hazardous materials, Preparedness, Public safety|
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