"As experienced on 9/11 and learned from the Katrina Report, catastrophic disasters produce environments where situational awareness is low and high levels of uncertainty and equivocality exist. As a result, due to decision-making limitations and an environment wrought with information inadequacies, decision making can become paralyzed. Using grounded theory methodology on disaster cases, and leveraging the theories and processes of Drucker's business model, the military decision-making process (MDMP), the observe orient decide act (OODA) loop, and recognition-primed decision (RPD), making model from the fields of cognitive, social, and decision sciences, a descriptive decision process model emerged. Catastrophic disaster decision-making model (CAT D²M²) is a simple and flexible process that can assist emergency managers in mitigating decision-making paralysis so that lives, the environment, and the economy can be sustained during catastrophic disasters. It is anticipated that the findings and process model from this thesis will contribute further to the research on decision-making; specifically during catastrophic disasters."
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