UPDATE – There is a second paper of interest which supports the findings of our previous past (permalink), from same journal issue. The paper, entitled, “Enhancing Organizational Resilience Through Emergency Planning: Learnings from Cross-Sectoral Lessons” (full text PDF), compares “lessons learned” from post-disaster learning exercises for a series of major disasters in the UK and has interesting implications for Somers’ work above.
The authors found that common themes among post-disaster feedback exercises were:
- the importance of process in emergency preparedness
- persistent underestimation of possibility and severity of accidents occurring again
- the value of creating a “safety culture” through-out the organisation
- ambiguity in the role, purpose, and efficacy of command and control structures
- the need to communicate better with the media and public
- the importance and general lack of attentiont for attending to the “long term welfare” of crisis responders and victims, and
- a general need for training disaster responders in non-technical skills (such as situation awareness, better communication, etc.)
Of these, we find the first two the most interesting and important, vis-a-vis the work of the Humanitarian Futures Programme. The need to communicate and interact better with non-traditional actors, including the media, general public, and academia is also particularly important.