J14.6 CRC cards: a method to learn about emergency management decision processes

Wednesday, 26 January 2011: 11:45 AM
618-620 (Washington State Convention Center)
Burrell E. Montz, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC; and J. L. Losego and C. F. Smith

Understanding the decision making processes and flows of information that occur within the emergency management network as severe weather is impending is critical to developing appropriate and useful products. One way to extract this information is through the use of Class, Responsibility, and Collaboration (CRC) cards. CRC cards were developed for use in the computer science community for object-oriented software design. However, their application to information flow among emergency management groups holds promise. As part of a multidisciplinary collaborative pilot project with NOAA, the research team adapted the methods used with CRC cards to collect information from county emergency managers (EM) and representatives from various public, private , and non-profit emergency support functions that work with the county EM . In focus group sessions in which various storm scenarios are presented, each participant writes on an index card: 1) what their job responsibility is, and 2) everyone with whom they collaborate by receiving or giving information as the scenario plays out. The focus group approach promotes open discussion among all participants while the cards are being completed. This exchange of information allows for a thorough explanation of what is happening and why from each participant's decision perspective during an event. Social science methods including observation and mapping to collect and analyze the data will be described, as will preliminary results.
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