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Filling the gap between disaster preparedness and response networks of urban emergency management: Following the 2013 Seoul Floods

Minsun Song, PhD candidate, Kyujin Jung, PhD


Objective: To examine the gap between disaster preparedness and response networks following the 2013 Seoul Floods in which the rapid transmission of disaster information and resources was impeded by severe changes of interorganizational collaboration networks.

Design/setting/methodology/approach: This research uses the 2013 Seoul Emergency Management Survey data that were collected before and after the floods, and total 94 organizations involving in coping with the floods were analyzed in bootstrap independent- sample t-test and social network analysis through UCINET 6 and STATA 12.

Results: The findings show that despite the primary network form that is more hierarchical, horizontal collaboration has been relatively invigorated in actual response. Also, interorganizational collaboration networks for response operations seem to be more flexible grounded on improvisation to coping with unexpected victims and damages.

Conclusions: Local organizations under urban emergency management are recommended to tightly build a strong commitment for joint response operations through full-size exercises at the metropolitan level before a catastrophic event. Also, interorganizational emergency management networks need to be restructured by reflecting the actual response networks to reduce collaboration risk during a disaster.

Originality/innovations: This research presents a critical insight into inverse thinking of the view designing urban emergency management networks and provides original evidences for filling the gap between previously coordinated networks for disaster preparedness and practical response operations after a disaster.


urban emergency management, interorganizational collaboration, Seoul floods

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