Tornado papers Enhancing Local Level Emergency Management: The Influence of Disaster Experience and the Role of Households and Neighbourhoods Brenda Murphy (principal investigator), Wilfrid Laurier University Leanna Falkiner, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction
Gordon McBean, Departments of Geography and Political Science, The University of Western Ontario Holly Doland, Department of Geography, University of Victoria Paul Kovacs, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction July 2005 ICLR Research Paper Series – No. 43
This report summarizes the research findings of a two-year project funded by the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR). In July 2000 the Pine Lake, Alberta area was severely affected by an F3 tornado – 12 people were killed and over 140 seriously injured. Following an extensive review of the available literature, the study compares emergency preparedness levels and perceptions between two communities: Pine Lake and North Dumfries, Ontario, of which only the former has experienced a serious natural disaster. It also assesses the role that gender plays in risk perception and preparedness. Emergency preparedness and attitudes were measured using a variety of indicators including household safety activities, economic and insurance factors, views and knowledge of the tornado warning system, levels of community social capital, community knowledge of local vulnerability and perceptions of government emergency management activity. The study also summarizes information about tornadoes, forecasting and early warning systems and assesses the impact of the tornado on the residents of Pine Lake. Methodologically, the two communities were matched across several characteristics to isolate the effect of the disaster experience. Both qualitative interview and document information as well as quantitative survey data was collected and assessed.