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Developing warning and disaster response capacity in the tourism sector in coastal Washington, USA

Citation

Johnston, D and Becker, J and Gregg, C and Houghton, B and Paton, D and Leonard, G and Garside, R, Developing warning and disaster response capacity in the tourism sector in coastal Washington, USA, Disaster Prevention and Management, 16, (2) pp. 210 - 216. ISSN 0965-3562 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1108/09653560710739531

Abstract

Purpose - There has been a considerable effort over the last decade to increase awareness of the tsunami risk in coastal Washington, USA. However, contemporary research on warning systems spawned by the recent Indian Ocean tsunami tragedy highlights the need for development of an effective tsunami warning system for both residents and transient populations, including visitors and tourists. This study sets out evaluate staff training for emergencies, emergency management exercises (including drills and evacuation), and hazard signage within motels and hotels in Ocean Shores, Washington, USA. Design/methodology/approach - Data were collected from interviews with reception staff and managers at 18 hotels, motels, and other accommodation establishments. Findings - Levels of staff training and preparedness for tsunami and other hazards were found to be generally very low, although examples of "best practice" were found at a select few establishments. Larger hotels already had orientation or general training programmes set up which had the potential to incorporate future tsunami and hazard training, while smaller "owner-operator" businesses did not. Research limitations/implications - Suggestions on how to improve preparedness are discussed, including undertaking training needs analyses and conducting workshops, simulations and employee training to empower both businesses and employees. Originality/value - This case study provides an insight into the challenges faced by emergency managers and the tourism sector in improving the effectiveness of warning systems in areas with high transient populations. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Research Group:Cognitive Sciences
Research Field:Cognitive Science not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards
Objective Field:Environmental Education and Awareness
Author:Paton, D (Professor Douglas Paton)
ID Code:44118
Year Published:2007
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2009-11-03
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