DETERMINANTS OF BUSINESS DISASTER PREPAREDNESS IN TWO U.S. METROPOLITAN AREAS James M. Dahlhamer & Melvin J. D'Souza

Topics: Emergency management, Earthquake, Business Pages: 43 (3916 words) Published: February 25, 2014
University ofDelaware
Disaster Research C n e
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PRELIMINARY PAPER
#224

DETERMINANTS OF BUSINESS DISASTER
N
PREPAREDNESS I TWO U.S.
METROPOLITAN AREAS
James M.
Dahlhamer &Melvin J. D'Souza
1995

Determinants of Business Disaster Preparedness in
Two U.S. Metropolitan Areas
James M. Dahlhamer
Melvin J. D'Souza
Disaster Research Center
Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice
University of Delaware
Newark, Delaware 19716 USA

Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the North Central
Sociological Association, Pittsburgh, PA, April 21-23, 1995

The authors wish to thank Dr. Joanne M. Nigg and Dr. Kathleen J. Tierney for suggestions and comments. This paper was undertaken with support from the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, Grant No. 926301B, Wrban Seismic Risk Assessment:

Assessing Earthquake Impacts on Business Activity in the Greater Memphis Area," Dr. Joanne M. Nigg and Dr. Kathleen J. Tierney, CoPrincipal Investigators; and the National Science Foundation, Grant No. BCS-9322386, l*EconomicConsequences Due to Lifeline Failures: Lessons from the Heartland Floods of 1993 for Earthquake Recovery Planning," Dr. Joanne M. Nigg and Dr. Kathleen J. Tierney, CoPrincipal Investigators. The ideas expressed here are those of the authors; they do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, the National Science Foundation, the Disaster Research Center, or the other researchers mentioned here.

Determinants of Business Disaster Preparedness in
Two U.S. Metropolitan Areas
James M. Dahlhamer
Melvin J. D'Souza
Disaster Research Center
Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice
University of Delaware
Newark, Delaware 19716 USA
ABSTRACT
planning guides
Although there has been a proliferation of Ifhowto1*
in recent years, there has been very little documentation of the variation in and determinants of business disaster preparedness. The few studies that have been conducted have focused on specific firms or industrial sectors, such as the chemical or tourist industry, or have been plagued by too few cases. These problems clearly limit the generalizability of the research findings. This paper attempts to fill a void in the literature by exploring the determinants and variation of planning within the private sector utilizing two stratified random samples of businesses from

Memphis/Shelby County, Tennessee (N=737), and Des Moines/Polk County, Iowa (N=1079). Findings show that business size, whether the business property is owned or leased, and prior disaster experience are all related to business disaster preparedness in both study areas. Type of business was related to preparedness among businesses in Mernphis/Shelby County. Policy implications of the findings are discussed.

INTRODUCTION
In recent years there has been a proliferation of publications providing information and advice on how to reduce disaster-related damage to businesses (Alesch et al., 1993).

One primary source of

this information is governmental agencies that produce Ithow tow1 manuals.

For example, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has

published the Disaster Mitiaation Guide for Business and Industry (1990).

(For more examples, see FEMA, 1993; Southern California

Earthquake

Preparedness

Project,

n.d.;

American

Defense

Preparedness Association, 1992.)

Private consultants and business executives are another source of information.

Often these publications are a direct result of

some disaster experience.
business

disaster

following

the

For example, Bell (1991) produced a

planning

1987

manual

Whittier

based

her

experiences

earthquake.

Narrows

on

Uti 1izing

experiences from a handful of disaster events, Barton
focuses on the

importance of planning

and

(1993)

communication for

managing organizational response to disaster.
Finally, a number of...
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