Post disaster studies of individual preparedness and life recovery: Two perspectives
Toshihiro Tsuganezawa1), Shigeo Tatsuki1), Chizuru Saitoh2), Kayoko Minemoto3)
1School of Sociology, Kwansei Gakuin University, Hyogo, Japan
2Kansai Fukushi Kagaku College, Osaka, Japan
3Osaka Kun-Ei Womens College, Osaka, Japan


Abstract
Questionnaire surveys on 1) post-disaster attitudinal differences in preparedness among college students in impacted and un-impacted regions and on 2) life recovery of elderly earthquake victims who moved from temporary to permanent housing were conducted. A total of 492 college students from two regions, Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe (N=261) and Shizuoka-Kanagawa (N=231), responded to a questionnaire designed to examine attitudinal differences in preparedness. In both regions, the three most valuated information were in regards to 1) supply of food and relief material, 2) safety of family members and 3) secondary disaster and aftershock. Different preference patterns emerged with regard to the remaining informational categories, suggesting that respondents in an impacted region valuated information that was necessary for the maintenance of post-disaster everyday life, and that those in an un-impacted region valuated information concerning governmental assistance programs. The life recovery study examined the current life concerns and living condition, and frequencies of contact with different types of social support providers among 61 elderly earthquake victims (22 male and 39 female) who were settled in permanent public housing units specifically designed for the elderly.


1. INTRODUCTION
Disaster causes an imbalance in interactions among society, built and natural environment (Mileti, 1999). In order to adjust to this imbalance, measures are taken to both the built and natural environment. These measures tend to be specific and short-term-based (White & Haas, 1975). Disruption of everyday life, at the same time, leads to a more general and long-term adaptation in order to cope with the new reality that has emerged in the post-disaster society (Burton et al., 1978). This societal adaptation can be identified by changes in values, worldviews, attitudes and behaviors among individuals.
This study focused on two aspects of individual post disaster adaptation on preparedness and on life recovery. It was assumed that individual preparedness is a matter of valuation and could be detected by attitudinal survey method. On the other hand, an examination of the use of various types of social support can describe the structure of differential needs and matching services in a recovery setting. One questionnaire was distributed to college students who resided in both impacted and un-impacted regions. Direct and in-direct impact from the 1995 Hansin-Awaji Great Earthquake was hypothesized to cause differences in valuation of necessary information at the time of disaster. The other questionnaire survey was conducted to evaluate the degree, strength and differential use of social support networks of and by the elderly who had been relocated to temporary housing and were finally settled in "Silver Housing", permanent public housing units specifically designed for the elderly.

2. INDIVIDUAL PREPAREDNESS STUDY
2.1. Method
A total of 492 college students from two regions, Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe (N=261), Shizuoka-Kanagawa (N= 231), responded to a questionnaire. The questionnaire asked the current level of post-traumatic stress symptoms, information that was important at the time of disaster, hazards in built environment, household preparedness activities, coping responses at the time of disaster in an underground shopping mall as well as in a high-rise building, volunteer experiences after the Hanshin-Awaji Great Earthquake, prediction of the next earthquake disaster, and disaster drill participation experiences.

===================================================
Figure 1:Important Information at the Time of Disaster by Region.
====================================================

2.2 Results
Figure 1 shows a selected list of informational contents that were considered important at the time of disaster. Darker bars represent responses from impacted respondents while white bars indicate those from un-impacted respondents. Figure 1 shows that information about 1) supply of food and relief material, about 2) safety of family members and about 3) secondary disaster and aftershocks were the three most valuated types of information in both regions. Impacted and un-impacted respondents, however, exhibited different patterns of informational valuation with regard to the next four categories of information. Respondents in impacted regions were characterized by valuating information about recovery of 4) lifeline as well as 5) road and transportation. In comparison, those in un-impacted areas typically valuated information with regard to publicly offered help such as 6) police, fire department, and JSDF activities and 7) evacuation shelters. These results suggest that respondents in an un-impacted region valuated governmental emergency responses at the time of disaster, while those in an impacted region typically valuated life line and transportation information that were known to have affected the quality of post-disaster reconstruction of everyday life.

======================================================
Figure 2: Correspondence Analysis Results of Valuated Information,
Impacted/Un-impacted, and Disaster Drill Experiences.

=======================================================

In order to explore variables that are associated with information valuation differences between impacted and un-impacted respondents, correspondence analysis was conducted. Figure 2 illustrates the results of correspondence analysis of selected variables/categories that were associated with differentiating impacted/ un-impacted respondents. In correspondence analyses, a high association is implied among those categories that are plotted in proximity. Figure 2, thus, indicates that there are four groups of categories that are highly associated.
The first grouping of categories appears at the top right quadrant, where two categories, "no disaster drill experience" and "not impacted by the earthquake although residing within an impacted region" are in proximity, suggesting a high association between these two categories.
The second grouping appears at the top left quadrant, where "impacted by the earthquake", and valuating information concerning "transportation and road condition" and "life line recovery" are closely situated. This grouping of categories typifies those whose everyday lives were impacted by the earthquake.
The third grouping of categories emerges at a lower half of Figure 2. It should be noted that various past disaster drill experiences from elementary school to recent days are in close distance with such categories as "not impacted by the earthquake and residing in un-impacted region" and valuating information with regard to "police, fire department, and Japan Self Defense Forces or JSDF" and to "evacuation shelters". Respondents in this grouping are from the Shizuoka and Kanagawa region, where local government-led initiatives in community disaster preparedness training have been renowned nation wide for the past two decades. It seems that these high government initiatives in disaster preparedness training influenced the respondents' valuation of information concerning government-led emergency response activities.
The last grouping emerges at the center of two axes and contains such categories as valuating information concerning "food and relief materials", "safety of family members", and "secondary disaster". This grouping of categories is situated at the mid-point from the previous three groupings, suggesting that these types of information are valuated equally among the three groupings of respondents.

2.3 Conclusion
In both regions, the three most valuated information were on 1) supply of food and relief material, 2) safety of family members and 3) secondary disaster and aftershock. Differential valuation patterns emerged with regard to the other four categories; respondents in an impacted region valuated information that was necessary for the maintenance of post-disaster everyday life; and those in an un-impacted Shizuoka-Kanagawa region valuated information concerning governmental emergency response programs. A high governmental initiative in disaster preparedness training in this region seems to have contributed to high association between Shizuoka- Kanagawa respondents and local government-led disaster response activities.
Hayashi and Tatsuki (1999) reported that families and neighbors rather than local government were the prime source of help immediately after the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji Great Earthquake. This finding may explain why impacted respondents in the current study did not valuate information concerning emergency disaster responses by police, fire department and JSDF in comparison to those respondents in Shizuoka-Kanagawa region.

3. LIFE RECOVERY STUDY
The provision of "Silver Housing", the special public housing units in order to meet the needs of lower income, single or married couple elderly earthquake victims is an innovation in Japan (Nigg, 2000). The purpose of "Silver Housing" was to let these older victims to live as independently as they had before the earthquake. At the same time, they had been relocated from their regular social networks and thus need some additional assistance in order to regain a sense of life reconstruction and recovery. These elderly victims were forced to relocate at least three times since the earthquake; evacuation to a neighborhood shelter, a move to temporary housing, and final settlement at a public housing unit. At each time, formal and informal help was offered to prevent social isolation from family and friends. Provision of Silver Housing was one governmental response to this concern, and was based on a model of social support network.
One unique feature of Silver Housing is the provision of Life Support Advisor (LSA). One LSA is assigned to every thirty residential units in Silver Housing. LSAs offer on-site emergency health care, assist elderly residents with other medical and health care needs, and facilitate social support network by collaborating minsei-iin or a government appointed welfare volunteer, resident association representatives, public health nurse, nursing home stuff members, district welfare office caseworkers, and friendly visit volunteers.
With regard to the effectiveness of "Silver Housing", Nigg (2000) cautioned that further empirical research was needed to determine how successful these innovations have been. Nigg (2000) listed several concerns about these innovations; not being comfortable living in a large complex since many residents had lived in separate homes before; the financial burden to pay for common utility expenses in addition to rent; not feeling that the residents have opportunities to really meet others; and being isolated from family and friends due to the lack of public transportation. Nigg (2000) thus called for evaluation to determine whether these special innovations meet their objectives, whether social support programs are enabling people to feel solidarity with a new community, and whether a sense of self-governance was recovered among the residents.

3.1 Method
A questionnaire survey was conducted to 61 elderly residents (22 male and 39 female) who resided in "Silver Housing" units. 70 % of the respondents were over the age of 70. Members of two friendly visit volunteer groups visited each elderly resident and asked the survey questions in person. The respondents lived in three high-rise public housing buildings. Silver housing and regular housing units were mixed within the housing complex, although "Silver Housing" units were assigned to those that are closely situated to an elevator entrance in the first two high rise buildings. In the third building, the first five floors out of the eight-storied building were designated as "Silver Housing".
The questionnaire items included such variables as living condition, health, concerns for daily living, contact with neighbors, frequencies of support received from residents' association, LSA, and friendly visit volunteers.

3.2 Results
Three quarters of the elderly evaluated life of Silver Housing to be "Very, Fairly, or Somewhat Satisfactory". The general characteristics of the respondents indicate that only half of the respondents feel "Good" or "Somewhat Good" about their health condition (50.8%), and that the top most worrisome concerns were physical (Ill Health, 16.4%), social (Loneliness, 13.1%) and psychological matters (Future, 13.1%). In order to cope with these physical, social and psychological concerns, Silver Housing residents seem to be utilizing social support from their neighbors, resident association, Life Support Advisors (LSAs), and friendly visit volunteers


Table 1: Results

Feelings about Living Condition

 

 

 

 

Very Satisfactory

24.6%

(

15

)

Fairly Satisfactory

11.5%

(

7

)

Somewhat Good

41.0%

(

25

)

A little Unsatisfactory

9.8%

(

6

)

Unsatisfactory

9.8%

(

6

)

N.A.

3.3%

(

2

)

 

 

 

 

 

Health Condition

 

 

 

 

Very Good

11.5%

(

7

)

Somewhat Good

39.3%

(

24

)

Somewhat Poor

26.2%

(

16

)

Poor

18.0%

(

11

)

N.A. /D.K.

 3.9%

(

 3

)

 

 

 

 

 

Concerns for Daily Living

 

 

 

 

Ill Health

16.4%

(

10

)

Loneliness

13.1%

(

8

)

Future

13.1%

(

8

)

Household Chores

 8.2%

(

5

)

Visiting Doctor

 8.2%

(

5

)

Other

41.0%

(

25

)

 

 

 

 

 

Contact with Neighbors

 

 

 

 

Frequent

34.5%

(

21

)

Occasional

29.5%

(

18

)

Seldom

24.6%

(

15

)

Never

8.2%

(

5

)

N.A.

3.3%

(

2

)

 

 

 

 

 

Support from Residents' Assoc.

 

 

 

 

Frequent

4.9%

(

3

)

Occasional

18.0%

(

11

)

Seldom

44.3%

(

27

)

Never

14.8%

(

9

)

Other

9.8%

(

6

)

N.A.

8.2%

(

5

)

 

 

 

 

 

Support from LSA

 

 

 

 

Frequent

32.8%

(

20

)

Occasional

18.0%

(

11

)

Seldom

13.1%

(

8

)

Never

8.2%

(

5

)

Other

23.0%

(

14

)

N.A.

4.9%

(

3

)

 

 

 

 

 

Support from Volunteers

 

 

 

 

Frequent

27.9%

(

17

)

Occasional

41.0%

(

25

)

Seldom

18.0%

(

11

)

Never

8.2%

(

5

)

Other

3.3%

(

2

)

N.A.

1.6%

(

1

)

 

With regard to relationship with new neighbors, about two thirds of the respondents maintained daily contact with them. Frequencies of contact with three possible help or care providers, resident association, LSA and volunteers, were then asked. The most frequently used social support provider was friendly visit volunteers and LSAs; 68.9 % of the elderly residents answered that they received support and care from volunteers on a "Frequent or Occasional" basis, while 50.8 % of the respondents received "Frequent or Occasional" support from LSA. A resident association was the least utilized; only 22.9% of the residents answered that they received support from it on "Frequent or Occasional" basis.
Mode frequency category of each support provider apparently suggests characteristics of support that s/he provides. Mode frequency category for volunteers was "Occasional" (41.0%), that for LSAs was "Frequent" (32.8%), and that for resident association was "Seldom" (44.3%).

3.3 Conclusion
The current results suggest 1) that residents association that was considered to be residents mutual help organization was not functioning and thus underutilized in Silver Housing, 2) that volunteers and LSAs were fulfilling support needs of the elderly, and 3) that LSAs were the most reliable source of help with regard to health care needs, while volunteers seemed to meet social and psychological needs of the elderly.

4. REFERENCES
Mileti, D.S.(1999). Disaster by design: A reassessment of natural hazards in the United States. Washington, D.C.: Joseph Henry Press.
White, G.F., & Haas, E.(1975). Assessment of research on natural hazards. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
Burton, I., Kates, R.W., & White, G.F. (1978). The environment as hazard. NY: Oxford University Press.
Hayashi, H. & Tatsuki, S. (1999). Determinants of the changes of residence and life reconstruction among the 1995 Kobe earthquake victims. (A Research Report). Kyoto: Kyoto University, Disaster Prevention Research Institu te.
Nigg, J.M. (2000, January). "Measures to restore victims' independence following the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake." Paper presented at the Global Assessment of Earthquake Countermeasures, Kobe, Japan


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