Prior Knowledge and Experience of Responders to a Local Community Disaster 

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On June 13, 2006, a pot left unattended on a stove started a fire in an apartment building in Mountain View CA. Although the fire itself was quickly extinguished and there were no injuries, structural damage displaced all building residents and resulted in a extended response, involving the American Red Cross and several community organizations.

This survey study is aimed at gathering information about the individuals who participated in the response. The information collected relates to their training and experience with disaster response, their responsibilities during the response, and the technologies they used. It is aimed at illustrating the wide diversity of respondersí knowledge and experience even in local community disasters, and is expected to help dispel the commonly held misconception that most responders are experts, performing tasks for which they are trained, using familiar tools, in familiar settings. It is part of an effort to gain greater understanding of the user interface design requirements for information and communication technologies to support emergency and disaster responses. Specifically, it seeks to identify characteristics of responders and response situations that designers and researchers must consider in order to produce usable and effective response technologies.

The IRB application has been filed and data collection is scheduled to start in early May 2007.

Last edited 2007-04-24