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Organizations and emergency management: Information, trust, and preparedness

Sheila M. Huss, MA, Abdul-Akeem Sadiq, PhD, Christopher M. Weible, PhD


In what ways do information and trust relate to the level of organizational preparedness for disasters? Interview and survey data on 227 organizations in Memphis/Shelby County, TN, were analyzed to assess the extent to which organizations use disaster-related information for decision making, and report the information as adequate and relevant. Organizations were also asked to identify their sources for disaster-related information, whom they trust for helping them prepare for disasters, and their level of preparedness for disasters. The results show that more than half of the organizations in Memphis/Shelby County relied on information for disaster management, and of these organizations, the overwhelming majority agreed that the information was both adequate and relevant. The police and fire departments, Memphis/Shelby County Emergency Management Agency, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention were identified by responding organizations as major sources of information and as organizations that they trusted the most to help them prepare for disasters. Organizations that relied on the Memphis City Government for information were more likely than other organizations to report that they were prepared for disasters.Finally, organizations that relied on the media as one of their top three information sources were less likely than other organizations to report that they were prepared for disasters.


emergency management, organizations, trust, information, Memphis

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