"Disaster planning is only as good as the assumptions on which it is based. However, some of these assumptions are derived from a conventional wisdom that is at variance with empirical field disaster research studies. Knowledge of disaster research findings might help planners avoid common disaster management pitfalls, thereby improving disaster response planning. To illustrate the point, this article examines several common assumptions about disasters, compares them with research findings, and discusses the implications for planning...Numerous responders and planners who have been involved in disaster events have written articles reporting lessons learned in these events. A review of this literature, however, shows that many of the problems experienced in planning and responding to disasters seem to be 'learned' over and over again in disaster after disaster. Although the reasons for this are complex, a significant contributing factor is that disaster planning is only as good as the assumptions on which it is based. Knowledge based on systematically collected data from field disaster research studies might help planners avoid common disaster management pitfalls, thereby improving disaster response planning. The focus of this article is on research dealing with operational and organizational emergency medical response issues in domestic, peacetime disasters."
Suburban Emergency Management Project: http://www.semp.us/
Annals of Emergency Medicine