First Symposium on Policy Research


Organizational Communication and Decision Making in Hurricane Emergencies

Walter G. Peacock, Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; and M. K. Lindell and C. S. Prater

This paper reviews research and theory on the processes by which emergency relevant organizations communicate with each other and with the population at risk from a hurricane strike. The technology for hurricane forecast, warning, and protective action has made significant advances in the past 20 years, but there is a disturbing potential for hurricane strikes that cause a large number of casualties in addition to the predictably large economic cost from property destruction. Consequently, social science research is needed to expand the existing knowledge base on the response of households, businesses, and special facilities to hurricane warnings. Available research suggests local officials need better information about evacuation time estimates, evacuation costs, and the potential loss of life in a late evacuation. They also need improved decision support systems that will facilitate the choice of appropriate protective actions when hurricanes threaten their jurisdictions. .

Session 1, Policy Research in the Earth System Sciences
Wednesday, 1 February 2006, 8:30 AM-5:30 PM, A307

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