Psychological and Behavioural Responses to CBRN Disasters
Implications for emergency response, community, and business continuity
Downloadable PDF Report by Paul Rogers PhD and Martin Lea PhD
This 82-page report summarises the results of a knowledge position study that aimed to define the state of knowledge relating to psychological issues and behavioural responses to major disaster incidents. The report identifies findings from published literature and research on the impact of incidents where chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) releases have occurred, as well as considering relevant findings and issues drawn from the wider disaster literature. The report focuses on three main areas: first responders, public and community, and business continuity.
- Section 1 of the report details the process by which the literature was gathered, defines the incidents of interest and focus, lists the major incidents referred to in the report, and discusses some important caveats that apply to the report as a whole.
- Section 2 of the report is concerned with the literature relating to the first responders to an incident (primarily the emergency services) and discusses issues such as turnout and commitment, health and stress reactions, and communication.
- Section 3 provides wide coverage of issues relating to the public response, including evacuation behaviour, mass psychogenic illness, community recovery, and warning response.
- Section 4 discusses business continuity issues in relation to disaster, including employee support, corporate culture, and communication issues.
- Section 5 draws together the main conclusions of the review and summarises the implications for CBRN incidents.
- Section 6 provides a bibliography of the literature cited in the report.
The study, carried out in 2005, covers reports of 25 disaster incidents as well as reviews of the academic and grey literature on disasters. 82 pages. 183 References.
- 1. Study Scope and Method 5
1.1 Literature Search 5
1.2 CBRN defined 7
1.3 Incidents referred to in report 9
1.4 Caveats 12
- 2. First Responders 14
2.1 Turnout and Commitment 14
2.2 Communication, Decision-Making and Organizational Issues 16
2.3 Health and Stress Reactions 19
2.4 Protective Clothing 23
2.5 The Public as First Responders 24
- 3. The Public 28
3.1 Warning Response 28
3.2 Panic 31
3.3 Evacuation 32
3.4 Quarantine 34
3.5 Decontamination 36
3.6 Mass Psychogenic Illness 38
3.7 Social Response 39
3.8 Community Recovery 42
3.9 Health and Stress Reactions 45
3.10 Communication 48
- 4. Business Continuity 52
4.1 Employee Support 53
4.2 Communication Issues 54
4.3 Corporate Culture 55
4.4 Composition of Disaster Management Teams 56
- 5. Conclusions 58
5.1 First Responders 58
5.2 The Public 63
5.3 Business Continuity 70
- 6. Bibliography 73