Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Handbook of Disaster and Emergency Policies and Institutions

The "Handbook of Disaster and Emergency Policies and Institutions" by John Handmer of RMIT is a timely book. One limitation is that it too briefly covers the role of modern communications. There is only one mention of the web and four of the Internet. It is likely communications will receive significant attention from the Royal Commission into the Victorian Bush fires. This was an issue in the ACT Coroner's investigation into the 2003 Canberra Firestorm.


1. on Page 141:
"... for strategic policy tasks often find that appropriate training support is not readily available. Through dedicated journals, newsletters, reference libraries, web portals and training material, much research and experience are documented and made available. ..."


1. on Page 75:
"... Similarly, the choice of communication media may exclude those who do not or cannot access that media (e.g. the internet). Inadvertent exclusion by government will most likely occur at local scales or with specific programmes, whereas intentional exclusion is more ..."
2. on Page 78:
"... Certainly, the internet has made it easy to have documents and other material readily available at low cost and to have interactive discussion ..."
3. on Page 136:
"... with context and capacity. At the other end of the warning system, modern information and communication technologies such as the internet and mobile phone have been enthusiastically adopted by people almost everywhere. ..."
4. on Page 139:
"... after a disaster for response and recovery, and is required in advance for all types of planning and awareness. The internet is rapidly becoming the tool for universal access to disaster information (e.g. ..."


  • Introduction
  • Part I: Constructing the Problem
  • The Nature of Emergencies and Disasters
  • The Nature of Policy and Institutions
  • Part II: Constructing the Response
  • A Policy and Institutional Framework for Emergencies and Disasters
  • Owning the Problem: Politics, Participation and Communication
  • Framing the Problem: Identifying and Analysing Risk
  • Responding to the Problem: Policy Formulation and Implementation
  • Not Forgetting: Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
  • Institutional Settings for Emergencies and Disasters: Form, Function and Coordination
  • Part III: Constructing the Future
  • Future Prospects
  • Index

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