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The Use of crisis management by extension in hurricane preparedness

University of Florida Institutional Repository

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THE USE OF CRISIS MANA GEMENT BY EXTENSION IN HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS By ABBE R. DEGROAT A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2006

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Copyright 2006 by Abbe R. DeGroat

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To my parents, Robert and Carole, and my siblings, Kira, Kalen, and Ben, for their continued support in all my efforts.

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iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The process of pursuing my graduate de gree and writing my thesis has been an incredible journey. There are no words to express my gratitude and appreciation to my committee chair and advisor, Dr. Howard La dewig. Without his help, guidance, and encouragement, this project would not have b een a success. I would also like to extend my thanks to Dr. Nick Place, Dr. Tracy Irani and Dr. Rose Barnett. Their support and input throughout the course of my gr aduate career has been invaluable. I would also like to thank my parents for their con tinued support and patience throughout my life and educational career. My parents and siblings have been my sanity through this process, as well as a source of st rength, as they celebrate all my successes. Lastly, I would like to thank my fellow student s. I have learned so much about myself through their friendship.

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v TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES...........................................................................................................viii ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... xi CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Hurricanes..................................................................................................................... 2 Damage Sustained by Florida from Hurricanes............................................................3 Personal Difficulties Resulting from Hurricanes..................................................5 Agricultural Loss from Hurricanes........................................................................6 Government Role in Natural Disasters.........................................................................8 Government Aid to Hurricane Victims...............................................................10 Response of Cooperative Extens ion in Natural Disasters...................................10 Statement of Problem.................................................................................................12 Purpose of Study.........................................................................................................13 Limitations..................................................................................................................14 Operational Definitions..............................................................................................15 2 LITERATURE REVIEW...........................................................................................18 Introduction.................................................................................................................18 Definition of Crisis.....................................................................................................19 Crisis Management.....................................................................................................20 Phases of Crisis Management.....................................................................................20 Crisis Management Models........................................................................................22 Four-Stage Model................................................................................................22 Five-Stage Model................................................................................................23 Crisis Classification Matrix.................................................................................24 Three-Stage Model..............................................................................................24 Pre-Crisis Stage of Crisis Management......................................................................25 Signal Detection..................................................................................................25 Crisis Prevention.................................................................................................28 Crisis Preparation........................................................................................................30 Diagnosing Crisis Vulnerabilities........................................................................31

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vi Crisis Types.........................................................................................................31 Crisis Management Teams..................................................................................33 The Crisis Management Plan...............................................................................35 Crisis Preparation and The Disaster Handbook ..................................................39 Crisis Stage of Crisis Management.............................................................................40 Crisis Recognition...............................................................................................40 Crisis Containment and Recovery.......................................................................41 Initial crisis response....................................................................................42 Reputational concerns and crisis communication........................................43 Crisis Event and The Disaster Handbook ...........................................................44 Post-Crisis Stage of Crisis Management....................................................................44 Post-Crisis Stage and The Disaster Handbook ...........................................................45 Risk Perception...........................................................................................................46 Socio-Technical Systems Approach...........................................................................47 Summary.....................................................................................................................48 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................50 Extension Faculty Survey...........................................................................................51 Questionnaire Design and Variable Definitions.........................................................51 Objective 1..................................................................................................................52 Objective 1a.........................................................................................................52 Objective 1b.........................................................................................................61 Objective 1c.........................................................................................................62 Objective 2..................................................................................................................63 Objective 3..................................................................................................................64 Population Study.........................................................................................................66 Survey Implementation...............................................................................................68 Data Analysis Procedures...........................................................................................69 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................71 Objective 1..................................................................................................................71 Objective 1a.........................................................................................................71 Preparation of Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders..............72 Performance of Extension facu lty as front-line responders.........................76 Subsequent evaluation and learning.............................................................81 Objective 1b.........................................................................................................84 Objective 1c.........................................................................................................85 Objective 2..................................................................................................................87 Objective 3..................................................................................................................89 Population Study.........................................................................................................95 Summary.....................................................................................................................97 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND IMPLICATIONS........................................100 Summary...................................................................................................................100

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vii Procedure..................................................................................................................101 Preparation of Extension Facu lty as Front-Line Responders...................................102 Professional Challenges.....................................................................................102 Resource Awareness..........................................................................................104 Communications Planning and Challenges.......................................................104 Job Performance of Extension Faculty as Front-Line Responders...........................105 Learning and Post-crisis Evaluation.........................................................................108 Personal Hardships of Extension Front-Line Responders........................................109 Professional Hardships of Ex tension Front-Line Responders..................................110 Professional Development Needs.............................................................................111 The Disaster Handbook ............................................................................................112 Population Study.......................................................................................................113 Implications and Recommendations.........................................................................113 Conclusion................................................................................................................116 APPENDIX A SURVEY RESULTS................................................................................................117 B PRE-NOTICE LETTER TO IFAS EXTENSION FACULTY FROM EXTENSION DEAN................................................................................................138 C FOLLOW-UP LETTER FROM DEPA RTMENT OF AG RICULTURAL EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION.............................................................139 LIST OF REFERENCES.................................................................................................140 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................143

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viii LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 Questions describing communication channels used by agent for the public..........53 3-2 Questions pertaining to co mmunication channels used by agents for clientele.......54 3-3 Questions pertaining to communication channels used by Extension for the public. ................................................................................................................55 3-4 Questions pertaining to faculty perceptions of public and clie ntele awareness of Extension communication efforts dur ing the 2004 hurricane season.......................56 3-5 Questions pertaining to s ources of emotional and physical support for Extension faculty. ................................................................................................................57 3-6 Questions pertaining to f aculty readiness to respond...............................................58 3-7 Questions pertaining to The Disaster Handbook .....................................................60 3-8 Questions pertaining to s ources of personal hardship s experienced by Extension faculty. ................................................................................................................62 3-9 Questions pertaining to personal hardsh ips experienced by Extension faculty.......63 3-10 Questions pertaining to professional development and future disasters..................64 3-11 Questions pertaining to descri ptive information of respondents..............................67 4-1 Faculty awareness and use of The Disaster Handbook (N=208).............................72 4-2 Pearson’s product-moment correl ation with relationship between The Disaster Handbook use and training by faculty (N=196).......................................................73 4-3 Availability of plans to manage co mmunication efforts in a crisis (N=208)...........74 4-4 Extent to which faculty members we re prepared to address professional obligations (N=208).................................................................................................74

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ix 4-5 Pearson’s product-moment correlation w ith relationship between extent to which faculty were prepared to address the professional ch allenges faced and extent preparation to address the stress or em otional symptoms exhibited by clientele (N=188)....................................................................................................................75 4-6 Pearson’s product-moment correlation w ith relationship between extent to which faculty were prepared to address th e professional demands and years of experience within th e FCES (N=150)......................................................................75 4-7 Extent to which the personal expe rience of faculty affected their job performance (N=208)...............................................................................................76 4-8 Extension faculty use of The Disaster Handbook during the 2004 hurricane season or for any other disaster (N=208).................................................................77 4-9 Extent to which Extension made us e of mass media cha nnels during the 2004 hurricane season (N=208)........................................................................................77 4-10 Pearson’s product-moment corr elation with relationship between extent to which faculty used mass media channels and exte nt to which the extension office made use of mass media channels to comm unicate during the hurricanes (N=195).........78 4-11 Extent to which Extensio n faculty utilized personal communication methods to convey information to clientele group s and to the public during the 2004 hurricane season (N=208)........................................................................................79 4-12 Most used local, state, and federal agencies by Extension faculty during the 2004 hurricane season (N=208)...............................................................................80 4-13 Extension faculty preference of availa ble disaster-related resources (N=168)........81 4-14 Extension faculty selection of most effective media channels used by faculty members to communicate information to the public or clientele during the hurricane (N=208)....................................................................................................82 4-15 Public and clientele awareness of Extension’s efforts (N=208)..............................83 4-16 Pearson’s product-moment correlation of relationship between public awareness and clientele awareness of Extension’s efforts during the hurricanes (N=196).......83 4-17 Extent to which faculty experienced personal hardships and stress (N=208)..........84 4-18 Extent to which Extension faculty had support for their own emotional and physical needs (shelter, food, wa ter, electricity) (N=208).......................................85 4-19 Extent to which the following barriers got in the way of f aculty utilization of Extension resources followi ng the hurricanes (N=208)...........................................86

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x 4-20 Difficulty of Extension faculty to balance personal and professional needs (N=208)....................................................................................................................86 4-21 Respondents who reported experiencing pers onal stress or emotional symptoms and who said it was difficult to balance personal and professional needs to a great extent (N=190)................................................................................................87 4-22 Extension faculty need for professional development in the following areas in preparation for hurricanes and othe r emergency situations (N=208).......................88 4-23 Likelihood of faculty to attend or partic ipate in the following training formats in preparation for hurricanes or othe r emergency situations (N=208).........................88 4-24 Demographic information of respondents (N=208).................................................96

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xi Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science THE USE OF CRISIS MANAGEMENT BY EXTENSION IN HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS By Abbe R. DeGroat May 2006 Chair: Howard Ladewig Major Department: Agricultur al Education and Communication When a disaster is threatening the st ate of Florida, the Florida Cooperative Extension Service (FCES) is called upon as a support agency to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. CES serves to educate commercial and noncommercial pet and livestock owners on how to safely care for their animals during emergency situations as well as providing them with food, water, and power. In addition to providing such information, FCES aids Flor ida residents in times of disaster by being a source of research-based information concerni ng disaster preparati on, what to do during a disaster, and recovery from disasters. The purpose of this study is to determine th e readiness on the part of University of Florida Institute of Food and Ag ricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS ) Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders in the preparation and recovery from th e 2004 hurricane season. In addition, the study was conducte d to determine how well agents were prepared to deal with professional demands, job expectations and clientele demands, while coping with

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xii personal hardships as a result of the hurrica nes. A third purpose was to discern the availability of a crisis management plan to guide Extension faculty on internal, communications, roles, and responsibilities. This study was based upon crisis manageme nt, which is a means to prevent or lessen the negative outcomes of a crisis so that the organization, stakeholders, and/or industry are protected from dama ge. Crisis management is comprised of four phases including prevention, preparation, performance, and learning. An important aspect of the preparation phase is the crisis management plan, which allows an organization to respond efficiently and effectively in the event that a crisis occurs. The survey was sent to all county and dist rict Extension faculty with viable email addresses as of October 2004. The overall re sponse rate consisted of 208 out of 328 (63.41% response rate). A prenotice letter was sent to a ll county Extension faculty and District Extension Directors on Novemb er 30, 2004 by email to inform potential respondents of the forthcoming questionnaire and to encourage their participation. Several days after, a second email was sent to all Extension faculty from the researchers in the Department of Agricultural Educati on and Communication. Th is email consisted of an overview of the study, as well as a link to the web-based questionnaire. Two waves of follow-up were sent to encourage non-res pondents to complete the questionnaire. The link to the survey was closed on January 5, 2005, which prevented any new responses. Results from this study concluded that most Florida Cooperative Extension faculty were not fully prepared to act as front-line responders during the 2004 hurricane season. In addition, a comprehensive, state-wide crisis management is needed to identify clear professional roles and job expectations for faculty.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1 and ends on November 30. For people living on or near the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean a nd the Gulf of Mexico, this is a very critical time of year. This is particularly true for Florida residents, whose peninsula is between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Because of the widespread damage across the state of Florida as a result of the 2004 hurricane season, it is evident that the hurri canes created a crisis situation. A crisis is defined as “an event that is an unpredictable, major thre at that can have a negative effect on the organization, i ndustry, or stakeholders if handled improperly” (Coombs, 1999, p.2). Crises can be sorted into mo re specific families, including economic, informational, human resource, reputational, psychopathic acts, and natural disasters (Mitroff, 2001, p. 34). The purpose of this study was to determine the readiness on the part of University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultura l Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders in the prep aration and recovery from the 2004 hurricane season. In addition, the study was conducte d to determine how well agents were prepared to deal with professional demands job expectations and clientele demands, while coping with personal hardships as a result of the hurricanes. A third purpose was to discern the availability of a crisis ma nagement plan to guide Extension faculty on internal communications, roles, and responsibilities.

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2 Hurricanes According to the National Oceanic a nd Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a hurricane is defined as a tropical cyclone with winds that have reached a constant speed of 74 miles per hour or more and is found in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast Pacific Ocean east of the dateline, or the South Pacific Ocean east of 160 E (Landsea, no date). The winds of a hurricane form a la rge spiral around a cente r, termed the “eye,” which is approximately twenty to thirty mile s wide. If a hurricane strikes land, it has the ability to cause torrential rains, high winds, a nd storm surges. The strength of a hurricane is assessed according to the potential wi nd and storm surge damage it may cause, and then it is assigned a category from the Sa ffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale, ranging from Category 1 to 5. For example Category 1: Winds of 74 to 95 mph. Damage primarily to shrub and tree foliage, and to unanchored mobile homes. No majo r damage to other structures. Some damage to poorly constructed signs. Lowlying coastal roads inundated, minor pier damage, some small craft in exposed anchorage torn from moorings. Category 2: Winds of 96 to 110 mph. Consid erable damage to shrub and tree foliage; some trees blown down. Major damage to exposed mobile homes. Extensive damage to poorly constructed si gns. Some damage to roofing materials of buildings. Coastal roads and low-lyi ng inland escape routes ct by rising water two to four hours before arrival of the hu rricane center. Consid erable damage to piers. Marinas flooded. Small craft in unpr otected anchorages torn from moorings. Category 3: Winds of 110 to 130 mph. Foliage to rn from trees; large trees blown down. Practically all poor ly constructed signs blown down. Some damage to roofing materials of buildings; some wi ndow and door damage. Some structural damage to small buildings. Mobile home s destroyed. Serious flooding at coast and many smaller structures near coast destroye d; large structures near coast damaged by battering waves and floating debris. Low-lying inland escape routes cut by rising water 3 to 5 hour before hurricane center arrives. Category 4: Winds of 131 to 155 mph. Shrubs and trees blown down; all signs down. Extensive damage to roofing materials, windows and doors. Complete failure of roofs on many sma ll residences. Complete dest ruction of mobile homes. Major damage to lower floors of structur es near shore due to flooding and battering

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3 by waves and floating debris. Low-lying inland escape routs cut by rising water 3 to 5 hours before hurricane ar rives. Major beach erosion. Category 5: winds greater than 155 mph. Shrubs and trees blown down; considerable damage to roofs of buildings ; all signs down. Very severe damage to windows and doors. Complete failure of roofs on many residence and industrial buildings. Extensive shattering of glass in windows and doors. Some complete building failures. Small buildings ov erturned or blown away. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Storm surge greater than 18 feet about normal tide. Low-lying inland escape routes cut by risi ng water 3 to 5 hours before hurricane center arrives (NOAA, 2005). According to the National Oceanic and At mospheric Administration (2004), in the past 25 years the United States has sustaine d 62 weather-related disasters in which the overall damage and costs exceeded $1 billion. The total cost of such natural disasters exceeded $390 billion (NOAA, 2004). Of t hose weather-related disasters, 18 were hurricanes that caused a total of over $120 bil lion in damage. In the past 25 years, Florida alone has been struck by nine hurri canes that each caused over $1 billion each in damage, with a collective cost of $98 billion. Damage Sustained by Florida from Hurricanes In 2004, the Atlantic hurricane season pr oved to be one of the deadliest and costliest hurricane seasons on record. Nearly 3,000 deaths occurred, with the majority in Haiti, and $42 billion worth of damage in the United States. There were ten storms that made landfall in North America, with nine storms hitting the United States and one hitting Canada. Of these storms, six were hurricanes upon landfall and three were major hurricanes at a category three or higher at landfall (Wikipedia contributors, 2005). Of the six hurricanes making landfall in the United Stat es in 2004, four of them ravaged the state of Florida within a six week period. Acco rding to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FIC), there was in excess of $22 billion of insured losses from hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne (2005). At the close of the 2004 hurricane season,

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4 every one of Florida’s 67 counties was greatly affected as indicated by the damage or destruction sustained by one of ev ery five homes (Dickey, 2004). Hurricane Charley, the first major hurricane to strike Florida, made landfall on August 13, 2004 at 3:45 pm EDT at Cayo Costa, approximately 20 miles north of Fort Myers, as a Category 4 storm. It later ex ited Florida at approx imately midnight near Daytona Beach (Wikipedia contributors, 2005). As a result of Hurricane Charley, there was an estimated gross insured loss of over $8 billion in Florida (FIC, 2005) and there were two million people reporte d in Florida without power immediately after landfall (Wikipedia contributors, 2005). In add ition, according to NOAA (2004), 24 people died in Florida as a result of Hurricane Charley, with 792 injuries, and 1.42 million people evacuated from their homes. Hurricane Frances struck the State of Fl orida only three weeks after Hurricane Charley, when it made landfall on September 5, 2004 at 1:00 am EDT as a Category 4 hurricane on the east coast of Florida betw een Fort Pierce and West Palm Beach in Stuart. Although Hurricane Frances proceeded to exit Florida near Tampa as a tropical storm, it then gained strength as it crossed the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall for a second time at St. Marks, located in the Florida panhandle. As a result of Hurricane Frances, there were 32 reported deaths in Florida, over six million people were without power following the storm (Wikipedia contributors, 2005), and there was in excess of $5.5 billion in insured losses (FIC, 2005). Hurricane Ivan was the fifth hurricane of the 2004 Atlantic season, but was the first to be classified as a Category 5 storm. It made landfall on September 16, 2004 at Gulf Shores, Alabama at 2:15 am EDT, thus great ly affecting counties in the panhandle of

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5 Florida. As a result of Hurricane Ivan, 23 people died in Florida and there was over $4.3 billion in insured losses (FIC, 2005). Damage in Florida was also sustained from the occurrence of two devastating tornadoes that struck Blountst own and Panama City Beach (Wikipedia contributors, 2005). Hurricane Jeanne was the fourth hurricane to strike Florida during the 2004 season, as it made landfall on September 25 at 11:50 pm EDT at Hutchinson Island, just east of Stuart, Florida, as a Category 3 storm. On ly three weeks prior, Hurricane Frances had struck Florida two miles from where Jeanne had made landfall. Jeanne continued to closely follow the path of Frances until it exit ed Florida from Pasco County. In the wake of Hurricane Jeanne, there were eight reported deaths, millions of Florida residents were without electricity for the third time in a month, and 23 counties affected (Wikipedia contributors, 2005). In addition, there was an estimated $4.3 billion in insured losses (FIC, 2005). Personal Difficulties Resulting from Hurricanes In addition to economic losses hurricanes may cause, many people suffer from emotional stress during such disasters. Fo r example, a lack of knowledge concerning how to prepare for a hurricane, what to do when one strikes, as well as how to recover, may leave people feeling distraught, depresse d, or anxious. Even though some families and individuals may have had a disaster plan, the onslaught of hurricanes this past season eventually did take an emotional toll on many victims. Many without electricity for weeks, Florida residents found themselves without the everyday necessities, such as the ability to have clean water, meals, and a means to bathe. In addition, many residents lacked a working telephone line, resulting in isolation. As one woman’s story is described, “This week, after Hurricane Jea nne took a swipe at he r apartment over the

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6 weekend, she found herself waiting again at a re lief station under a relentless sun. She managed to get a bag of ice, but wondered where she might find water or a meal for her three children. Relief workers had no answ ers…she has tried calling the American Red Cross hot line to find a counselor, but cl ogged phone lines kept her from reaching anyone” (Associated Press, 2004). At some me ntal health centers in the southwestern area of Florida, the number of calls incr eased 150% in August and September as compared to last year. In addition, Florid a saw the number of su icides increase by 13% since Hurricane Charley struck, as well as a rise in the number of domestic abuse cases (Associated Press, 2004). For some the recent hurricane season simply caused a disruption in routine; for many others it re presents a time of fear and uncertainty. Agricultural Loss from Hurricanes The agricultural and allied industries in Florida sustained extensive damage during the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season, specifica lly from hurricanes Charley, Frances, Jeanne, and Ivan. It has been estimated that the agriculture and allied industries of Florida sustained damages of $2.156 billi on, including crop losses and program funding needs (UF/IFAS, 2005, page 1). According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the commodities that were impacted the greatest, as estimated by damage surveys conducted immediately after the hurricanes, were nurse ries (including ferns) with $700 million in damage, citrus with $500 million, and beef cat tle with $213 million. As a result of the hurricanes that occurred in 2004, many of th e largest nursery crop production areas in Florida suffered damage ranging from “imme diate damage/death to plants, loss of production for weeks to months, to damage and/or loss of greenhouses, slathouses, production areas, support structur es and irrigation systems” (UF/IFAS, 2005, page 5). In

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7 addition, ornamental plant production includi ng landscape plants, flowering, foliage and bedding plants, cut flowers, caladium corm production, cut foliage, and sod, suffered extensive damage. However, the extent to which damage incurred depended on the crops produced, the area where they were produced, and the types of facilities that were used to produce the nursery crop. For example, trees and ornamental plants as part of field production suffered severe damage to leaves, st ems, and trunks as a result of high winds. Flooding and standing water also affected ca ladium corm and cut foliage production in terms of damage to root systems (UF/IFAS, 2005, page 5). The Florida citrus industry suffered extensiv e devastation and destruction to fruit, trees, and infrastructure, incl uding citrus nurseries, buildin gs, and equipment as a result of hurricane-force winds and significant fl ooding. Flooding has the potential to cause many long-term problems as standing water has increased the chance of soil borne illness and insect infestation, as we ll as causing water damage to irrigation and drainage structures and equipment. In addition, many citrus operations suffered damage from three of the four hurricanes. Some citrus grove s that were located closest to the paths of the hurricanes lost their entire crop, especially those produci ng grapefruit. Overall, the United States Department of Agriculture has estimated a 27% decrease in orange production during the 2004-2005 season, as co mpared to the previous season’s production total. Furthermore, the grapefruit crop is expected to decrease 63% from last season. In addition to actual citrus fruit lo sses, tree damage also occurred. There was significant damage to limbs and trunks, as we ll as trees that were in the paths of the hurricanes being uprooted (UF/IFAS, 2005).

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8 The third industry most affected by the 2004 hurricane season was beef (UF/IFAS, 2005, page 22). When fencing was damaged, ca ttle often roamed, wh ich can result in a loss of cattle. Flooding caused cattle and calves to drown as well as severely decreasing the quality and quantity of av ailable forages, resulting in an increased need to buy supplemental feeds and a loss in reproductive capabilities in herd s. As an indirect result of hurricane damage, livestock markets had to close on a temporary basis because of facility damage, shortages in labor, floodi ng, and transportation issues (UF/IFAS, 2005, page 11). Government Role in Natural Disasters Because of the destruction and chaos cau sed by hurricanes to the environment of Florida and its residents, the state gover nment established the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM). At the fore front of disaster and emergency response in the state of Florida, the mission of FDEM is to “ensure that Florida is prepared to respond to emergencies, recover from them, and mitigate against their impacts” (FDEM, 2005b). In the event that such a situation or a threat of one occurs the State Emergency Operations Center is activated according to th e level of the existing threat. The response effort is conducted via the State Emergenc y Response Team (SERT), which consists of the Governor-appointed Emergency Coordinati on Officers (ECO) from state agencies and volunteer organizations. In association w ith the FDEM, other organizations that play a role in emergency response and support in Florida as well as nationally are Florida’s County Emergency Management agencies, Fl orida Emergency Preparedness Association, State agencies, Federal Emergency Manage ment Agency (FEMA), National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), the Council of State Governments, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, the American Red Cross, and the Salvation Army (FDEM, 2005b).

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9 The state agencies and volunteer groups are then organized into 17 Emergency Support Functions (ESF), in order to coordi nate and carry out re sponse and recovery missions, which are common to all disasters. Emergency Support Functions provide a means in which to combine similar-functioning organizations to allow for more efficient management. Each ESF is made of at leas t one primary agency that then directs the efforts of supporting organizati ons and agencies. The primary agency is named as such due to its authorities, res ources, and expertise in the particular area, such as transportation, communication, or energy. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (1999), a primary agency of a particular ESF has “operational responsibility for orchestrating the Federal agency support w ithin the functional area for an affected state; providing an appropriate leve l of staffing for operations at FEMA Headquarters, the ROC, DFO, and DRC; activating and subtaski ng support agencies; managing mission assignments and coordina ting tasks with support agencies, as well as appropriate state agencies; supporting and keeping other ESFs and orga nizational elements informed of ESF operational priorities and activities; executing contracts and procuring goods and services as needed; ensuring financial and property accountability for ESF activities; supporting planning for shortand long-term disast er operations.” If designated as a support agency for an E SF that is activated dur ing a disaster, that organization “has operational responsibility for supporting the ESF primary agency when requested by conducting operations using its authorities, cognizan t expertise, capabilities, or resources;

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10 supporting the primary agency mission assignments; providing status and resource information to the primary agency; following established financial and property accountability procedures; and supporting planning for shortand long-te rm disaster operations” (FEMA, 1999). Government Aid to Hurricane Victims During and in the aftermath of the hurri canes of 2004, both th e federal and state governments were quick to respond to needs of citizens. In addition, many agencies worked prior to the arrival of the hurricanes to prepare residents. According to Cole, Corbett, and McCullough (2005), the Federa l Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began to provide personnel and supplies, incl uding water, ice, medical assistance, and emergency housing, even before the first hurri cane made landfall, which would provide immediate support to disaster victims. After repeated hurricanes, FEMA also assisted in clean-up efforts, as more than 25 million cubic yards of debris were removed (Dickey, 2004). By the end of October, 2004, Pres ident Bush had secured $12.2 billion from Congress in storm appropriations, most of whic h was used to simply cover FEMA’s costs for the four hurricanes (Dickey, 2004). Response of Cooperative Extension in Natural Disasters One organization that has been called upon to help during times of natural disasters is the Cooperative Extension Service (CES). Extension represents a partnership between the US Department of Agriculture, the Univer sity of Florida, and county governments. As an educational organization, Extensi on provides science-based knowledge to the public on a variety of topics including agriculture, reso urce conservation, food and nutrition, child and family development, and fi nancial literacy (IFAS, 2003). At the core of Extension are county agents. Dedicated to education and their communities, agents

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11 strive to inform and teach local resident s through seminars, workshops, media, and technology. The grass-roots nature of Cooperative Extension represen ts a unique ability to aid community and state residents in times of disaster. Specificall y related to natural disasters, in Florida, Cooperative Extensi on is designated as a support agency to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services under ESF 17, Animal Protection. ESF 17 coordinate s the response of state agencies in aiding local and volunteer organizations to provide emer gency medical care, evacuation, rescue, confinement, shelter, food and water, and identification to all animals affected by a natural disaster. In addition, ESF 17 is invol ved in the diagnosis, prevention, and control of diseases that may pose a threat to public health (FDEM, 2000). Specifically, Cooperative Extension would serve to educat e commercial and noncommercial pet and livestock owners on how to safely care for their animals during emergency situations as well as providing them with food, water, and power. As a fusion of science and education, Coope rative Extension enables people to not only obtain such knowledge, but al so to determine their own ne eds. As a result, county residents aid in the development of releva nt educational program s. In addition, all educational information is also research-b ased. The mission of Extension today is comprised of diagnostics, such that people ar e aided in determining the problems they face, education for the future, and education for problem solving. Extension agents typically work within a particular subject area, including agriculture, family and consumer science, 4-H and youth development, and nutrition (Texas Cooperative Extension, 2003). Ag ents are able to communicate unbiased,

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12 community-related information to the public through partnerships and coalitions (Dresbach & Longo, 2001). In addition to fost ering collaboration and empowering others to act, agents orchestrate change through the educational programs they establish. According to the University of Florida In stitute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, “federal and state disaster preparedness agen cies view the land grant program in each state and its personnel as important links to local communities” (UF/IFAS, 1998). As a result of the grass-roots natu re of programming, Extension has an innate advantage at the rapid dissemination of emergency information to individuals and co mmunities (UF/IFAS, 1998). In addition to providing aid to pet and liv estock owners, Extension also provides Florida residents with research-based info rmation pertaining to disaster preparation, during a disaster, and disaster recovery. Extension provi des information relating to specific types disasters, such as hurricanes and fires. In terms of disaster preparation, information is available on creating a disaster supplies kit, protection of valuable records, and handling stress. During a disaster, Extens ion can be a valuable information source regarding safety during emergency travel and evacuation. After a natural disaster, Extension can provide information regard ing emotional recovery, obtaining safe emergency food and water, and wildlife and pest issues, such as insect control (UF/IFAS, 1998). Statement of Problem During the 2004 hurricane season, the entire state of Florida was ravaged by four consecutive hurricanes, including Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne, beginning on September 2, 2004 and continuing for six weeks. During disaster situations, according to UF/IFAS, the faculty of the Cooperative Exte nsion Service has a re sponsibility first to

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13 their families and then to th eir communities as a communica tion link to assist state and federal recovery programs. Conversely, the Florida Coopera tive Extension Service has a designated role as a support agency, as de scribed by the Federal Disaster Management Agency. Unfortunately, there is a lack of research pertaining to the exact role of Extension during disaster situations, as oppos ed to serving a reactive function. As a result, there is limited information on factors a ffecting the role Extens ion plays as a frontline responder. In addition, there is lim ited understanding concerning the organizational and professional role of faculty during disasters, while stil l maintaining the ability to meet personal and familial needs. Purpose of Study Hurricanes can cause major havoc to the environment, people and the communities in which they live. In additi on, because of the growing number of pets, attention must be given to the care and shelte r of small animals, horses, and other livestock during emergencies. In regard to natural disasters, response time can be critical. As such, each agency involved in hurricane support mu st understand their assignments and the resources available to them. However, thos e who are front-line responders also may be personally affected by the hurricanes. Extens ion county professionals may face the need to aid Extension in its role as a front-line responder, while de aling with the effects of the hurricanes at their own homes and with thei r families. During a hurricane, Extension faculty may have to report to work in a pr ofessional setting in or der to be a source of information regarding disaster recovery while they themselves do not have electricity at their homes in order to bathe or keep food. The purpose of this study was to determin e the readiness on the part of UF/IFAS Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders in the pr eparation and recovery from

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14 the 2004 hurricane season. In addition, the study was conducted to determine how well agents were prepared to deal with profe ssional demands, job expectations and clientele demands, while coping with personal hardship s as a result of the hurricanes. A third purpose was to discern the availability of a crisis management plan to guide Extension faculty on internal communications, roles, a nd responsibilities. The objectives of the study were as follows: 1. Determine how well Cooperative Extension Se rvice carried out its responsibilities as a front-line responder, as indicated by the fo llowing three subobjectives: a. Determine the readiness of Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders during the 2004 hurricane season, in terms of preparation, performance, and subsequent evaluation or learning b. Determine the personal hardships of Extension faculty during the 2004 hurricane season and the role that Extension played to reduce these hardships c. Determine the professional hardships of Extension faculty during the 2004 hurricane season and the role that Extension played to reduce these hardships 2. Determine whether or not needs exist for professional development, training, curriculum, and resources in term s of future natural disasters 3. Determine the availability of a crisis ma nagement plan to guide Extension faculty on internal communications, roles, and responsibilities Limitations The methodology presents limitations to this study. For example, the data instrument was a web-based survey sent via email to county Extension faculty and District Extension Directors with viable ema il addresses as of October 2004. As a result of damage sustained by Florida during this time, some people did not have access to computers and were without electricity. As a result, response may be limited.

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15 In addition, because of the traumatic natu re of the 2004 hurricane season, faculty may have had a particularly difficult time dealing with the personal and professional repercussions of the event. Also, faculty may have been continuing to deal with the aftermath of the hurricanes at the time they were surveyed. As a result, those surveyed may not have been willing to fully describe their experiences in the survey. There may have been delayed effects, as well, as faculty were not aware of the full extent of damage from the hurricanes. Operational Definitions The following terms were operationally defined as follows: County Division of Emergency Management: local government organization created to discharge emergency management responsibilities and functions of the county (UF/IFAS, 1998). County Emergency Operations Center (EOC): the county facility that serves as a central location for the coordination a nd control of all emergency preparedness and response activities (UF/IFAS, 1998). Crisis: an event that is an unpredictable, major threat that can have a negative effect on the organization, industry, or stakeholders if handled improperly (Coombs, 1999, p.2). Crisis management : a set of factors designed to combat crises and lessen the actual damage inflicted by a crisis. Crisis management seeks to prevent or lessen the negative outcomes of a crisis and ther eby protect the organization, stakeholders, and/or industry from da mage (Coombs, 1999, p. 4). Crisis Management Plan (CMP): a communication document for an organization to help reduce response time by precolle cting needed background information, preidentifying responsib ilities, and assigning certain ac tions to specific individuals that must be taken when a cr isis hits (Coombs, 1999, p. 79). Crisis Management Team (CMT): a cross-functional group of people in the organization who have been designed to handle any crises. Typically, the CMT is responsible for (a) creating the CMP, enact ing the CMP, and (c) dealing with any problems not covered in the CMP (Coombs, 1999, p. 63). The Disaster Handbook : a publication by UF/IFAS to help Extension personnel assist their communities in times of di saster (UF/IFAS, 1998). It provides

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16 materials related to disaster preparedne ss, surviving disast er situations, and recovering from them. Emergency Support Function (ESF): Emergency Support Functions provide a means in which to combine similar-functioning organizations to allow for more efficient management. Each ESF is made of at least one primary agency that then directs the efforts of supporting organi zations and agencies. (FDEM, 2005a). Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): following the declaration of a disaster area, FEMA reacts by providing im mediate aid and relief to the affected by a disaster, natural or man-made (UF/IFAS, 1998). Florida Cooperative Extension Service (FCES) : Established by the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, it is the third arm of the land grant system, in conjunction with teaching and research. It is a partne rship between UF/IFAS, United States Department of Agriculture, and county govern ments in Florida to provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public through nonresident educational programs (UF/IFAS, 2003). Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM): a state agency, in coordination with various state and federal agencies, that works to ensure that the Florida population is prepared to respond to emergencies, recover from then, and lessen their effects (Florida Divisi on of Emergency Management, 2005b). Front-Line Responder: local responders, governme nt agencies, and private organizations who respond as soon as a disast er is detected and begins to threaten an area. Response involves mobilizing and positioning emergency equipment; getting people out of danger; providing needed food, water, shelter and medical service; and bringing damaged services and systems back on line (UF/IFAS, 1998). Personal needs : basic physical and emotional needs of front-line responders, including shelter, food, cl othing, and emotional support, during times of crises. Professional needs: needs of Extension faculty so th ey are able to meet their job expectations. Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale: the system used by the National Weather Service to give public safety officials a means to evaluate the strength of a hurricane based upon potential wind and st orm surge damage. Hurricanes are categorized from a Category 1, with maxi mum sustained winds of at least 74 mph, to a Category 5 hurricane, with maximu m sustained winds of 155 mph or greater (UF/IFAS, 1998). University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS): The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricu ltural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is a federal, state, and local governme nt partnership dedicated to develop knowledge in agriculture, huma n and natural resources, and the life sciences and to

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17 make that knowledge accessible to sustai n and enhance the quality of human life (UF/IFAS, 2004).

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18 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW The purpose of this study was to determin e the readiness on the part of UF/IFAS Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders in the pr eparation and recovery from the 2004 hurricane season. In addition, the study was conducted to determine how well agents were prepared to deal with profe ssional demands, job expectations and clientele demands, while coping with personal hardship s as a result of the hurricanes. A third purpose was to examine discern the availability of a crisis management plan to guide Extension faculty on internal, communicat ions, roles, and responsibilities. Introduction Although the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) exist to act as front -line responders, the Florida Cooperative Extension Service (FCES) occupies a unique niche as hurricanes and other crises threaten the residents of Florid a. As a result of its grass-roots origin, Extension has the ability to quickly and efficiently distribute reliable emergency information to the public (UF/IFAS, 1998). Ther efore, it is vital that Florida Cooperative Extension reflect upon its response efforts to th e recent hurricane crisis so as to improve its ability to prepare, respond, and assist in recovery for future natural disasters. In addition to its efforts focusing on its work w ith the public and client ele, this study will provide more information that will help futu re Extension response to the professional and personal needs of its faculty as they serve as front-line responders.

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19 Definition of Crisis Although many definitions of the term “crisis” exist, a widely accepted definition was created by the Institute for Crisis Mana gement, which states that a crisis is “a significant business disruption which results in extensive news media coverage and public scrutiny” (as cited in Irvine & Mill ar, 1996). In addition, according to FearnBanks, a crisis is a “major occurrence with a potentially negative outcome affecting an organization, company, or industry, as well as its publics, products, services, or good name” (as cited in Coombs, 1999, p.2). Althoug h there is no one single definition of crisis, Coombs (1999) provides a working defini tion of a crisis “as an event that is an unpredictable, major threat that can have a negative effect on the organization, industry, or stakeholders if handled improperly” (p. 2). Despite differently worded definitions, several similarities emerge that describe a cr isis. Irvine and Millar (1996) stated that these include A crisis occurs very suddenly. A quick reaction is required when a crisis does arise. A crisis interferes or interrupts the pe rformance and routine of an organization. A crisis causes stress and uncertainty. A crisis causes the reputation and assets of the organization to become threatened. A crisis increases in intensity. A crisis causes people outside to become critical of the organization. A crisis leaves the organization permanently altered. In addition, simply because a crisis is unpredictable does not mean that it is unexpected. An organization can prepare for a crisis in advance, but they may not know when it will occur. The term major, when used to describe a crisis, refers to the fact that a crisis has the ability to di srupt an entire organization, wher eas a minor incident simply affects one small part of the routine in an organization (Coombs, 1999, p.3). A crisis is characterized as a threat becau se it has the potential to result in negative outcomes. Thus,

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20 the damage created by a crisis can include financial loss, injuries or deaths to stakeholders, property damage, tarnished reput ations, and environmental harm (Coombs, 1999). Because a single crisis has the ability to cause negative outcomes for entire organizations, its stakeholders, or the indus try, crisis management was introduced as a means to reduce the threats posed by crises th rough guidelines for the proper handling of crises (Coombs, 1999). Crisis Management Although organizational crisis can not be eradicated, it can be dealt with effectively when it does occur. This is accomplished through crisis management. Coombs (1999) concluded that crisis management: represents a set of factors designed to combat crises a nd lessen the actual damage inflicted by a crisis. Put another way, cris is management seeks to prevent or lessen the negative outcomes of a crisis and ther eby protect the organization, stakeholders, and/or industry from damage. (p. 4) In addition, regardless of how it is defined, cr isis management necessitates that strategic action be taken in order to decrease negativ e outcomes and create solu tions to problems. As a result, crisis management is a c ontinuous and ongoing process (Burnett, 1998, p. 476). According to Rosenthal and Kouzmin (1996): Crisis management was the scholarly epithet for a full spectrum of contingencies in the public and private sectors: natural disasters and new scarcities, the old and new epidemics, nuclear and post-nuclear accident s, wars, revolts, riots, socio-political turmoil, terrorism, and gunman’s craze; as well as dramatic market shifts, conspicuous product failures, and product sabotage, information and communication breakdowns, boycotts and embargoes. (p. 119) Phases of Crisis Management Crisis management is made of up of four different components, including prevention, preparation, performance, and le arning (Coombs, 1999, p.4). These crisis management phases represent a cycle. As a re sult, they must be used in conjunction with

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21 one another in order to deal w ith a crisis effectively. For example, “if prevention fails, preparation is required for optimal performan ce. Learning is derived from performance and informs both the prevention of and prep aration for a crisis. In turn, improving preparation should improve performance. Cris is management is a process of preventing, preparing for, performing, and learning from crises” (Coombs, 1999, p. 5). Prevention includes activities that can avoi d the crisis all together. As a result, these actions are rarely seen by those beyond the organization. Preparation involves the crisis management plan (CMP), forecasting when and where a crisis may occur due to vulnerabilities, selecting and training a cr isis management team and spokesperson to respond to crises, creating a crisis portfo lio, and improving the crisis communication system (Coombs, 1999, p. 4). As a result of the preparation phase of crisis management, performance can be tested through the use of a simulated or real crisis. The performance phase is conducted in order to determine if the crisis ma nagement team, spokespersons, the crisis management plan, and communication system are adequate to deal with the rise of an actual crisis. It is important that the co mponents of the performance stage are sound, as these are the steps that become publicly scru tinized through the medi a in the event of a real crisis (Coombs, 1999, p. 4). The fourth aspect of crisis management is learning. It is du ring the learning phase that an organization evaluates those actio ns taken during the performance phase in response to an actual or invent ed crisis. By evaluating the performance during the crisis management, the organization can determine st rengths and weaknesses in its plan. In addition, this phase contributes to the de velopment of an institutional memory, by

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22 allowing the organization to expand its scope of crises and arsena l of crises response strategies (Coombs, 1999, p. 4). Crisis Management Models Over the past two decades, since the occu rrence of the Tylenol tampering case of 1982, several prominent stage models and strate gies of crisis management have emerged (Seeger, Sellnow, & Ulmer, 2003). The four most influential models, as indicated by frequency of references in the research lit erature are the Fink’s (1986) four-staged model of a crisis life cycle, Mitr off’s (2001) five-stage model, Burnett’s (1998) crisis classification matrix, and Coombs’ ( 1999) basic three-staged model. Four-Stage Model Fink’s (1986, p. 20) four-stage model charact erizes a crisis through four distinct stages, including (1) prodromal crisis stage, (2) acute crisis stage, (3) chronic crisis stage, and (4) crisis resolution stage. The prodromal stage can be defined as the warning stage of a crisis, which represents a time when si gnals must be recognized before the onset of the actual crisis. As a result, this stage is ve ry important because it is easier to manage a crisis in this stage than la ter on (Fink, 1986, p. 21). Once a crisis has evolved from the prodromal crisis stage to the acute crisis stage, damage has already occurred to the organization. At the acute crisis stage, th e crisis itself cannot be controlled, but the organization does have some control over where, how and when the crisis occurs (Fink, 1986, p. 22). The third or chronic crisis st age encompasses the clean up, recovery, and organizational evaluation that occurs following a crisis. It presents an opportunity for the organization to determine positive and negativ e aspects of its crisis management plan, thus improving its crisis management pla nning (Fink, 1986, p. 24). The final stage, and

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23 goal of Fink’s crisis model, is crisis resoluti on. It is at this point that the organization returns to its regular routine (Fink, 1986, p.25). Five-Stage Model The second influential staged-approach to crisis management was developed by Mitroff (2001). Mitroff’s best practice m odel for crisis management describes five stages, including types/risks, mechanisms, sy stems, stakeholders, and scenarios, which have to be managed before, during, and af ter a major crisis (Mitroff, 2001, p. 30). The types and risks of crises describe the six cate gories that a crisis will fall into including economic, informational, human resource, re putational, psychopathic acts, and natural disasters. By categorizing types of crises, it allows the organization to prepare for each type. The second stage includes the “various CM [crisis management] mechanisms for anticipating, sensing, reacti ng to, containing, learning from and redesigning effective organizational procedures for handling majo r crises” (Mitroff, 2001, p.40). This step illustrates the fact that a systematic approach to crisis management is needed in order for it to be effective. The third stage of Mitroff’s model in cludes the systems that govern most organizations. For example, every comple x organization is co mprised of technology, organizational structure, huma n factors, culture, and t op management psychology. The fourth stage of the model are the stakeholde rs, which are those who are the internal and external parties of a organi zation, and “who have to coopera te, share crises plans, and participate in training and th e development of organizationa l capabilities in order to respond to a range of crises” (Mitroff, 2001, p. 48). Stakeholders may play a key role during a crisis to aid organizational functio ning. The fifth stage of the model includes

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24 scenarios. Scenarios allow an organization to test its crisis mana gement policy through created crisis situations (Mitroff, 2001). Crisis Classification Matrix According to Burnett (1998), every crisis can be char acterized by time pressure, control issues, threat level concerns, and response option constraints, which are all inhibiting characteristics of a crisis. Time pressure refers to the fact that a crisis occurs and then requires immediate attention. During a time of crisis, an organization has a very low degree of control on external factors. In addition, crises crea te concern over threatlevels, especially to strategy formulati on, evaluation, and implementation. Responseoption constraints refer to that fact that there are limited ways for an organization to respond to a crisis (Burnett, 1998, p. 480). Utilizing these characteristics, crisis situati ons can then be classified into a 16-cell matrix. For example, a crisis would be cl assified as a Level 4 situation if the time pressure was intense, the de gree of control low, the thr eat-level is high, and responseoptions are limited. Three-Stage Model Although it is not clear who orig inally created the three-st age model that illustrates the crisis life cycle, it is la rgely elaborated upon by Coombs (1999). It subdivides crisis management into the three stages of precrisis, crisis, and pos t-crisis (Coombs, 1999, p.13). Generally, the pre-crisis stage includes crisis prev ention and preparation, which were introduced earlier as phases of crisis ma nagement, as well as signal detection. The crisis stage includes crisis r ecognition, containment, and recovery. Lastly, the post-crisis stage includes crisis learning, which is the la st stage of crisis management, and resolution (Coombs, 1999, p. 13). This three-stage model will provide the framework for the

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25 remaining review of literature as it has the ab ility to incorporate other models of crisis management into a more condensed descri ption. The study was guide d by the theory of crisis management, as presented by Coombs (1999), through the phases of prevention, preparation, performance, and learning. Pre-Crisis Stage of Crisis Management The pre-crisis stage is very important to crisis management because it includes the proactive activities that organizations must ta ke in order to prevent the occurrence of a crisis. By paying attention to warning signs an organization can a void situations that have the potential to develop into a cris is (Coombs, 1999, p.17). Th e pre-crisis stage involves three substages or phase s, including signal detection, crisis prevention, and crisis preparation (Coombs, 1999, p.17). Signal Detection Signal detection requires crisis managers to identify warning signs that arise from a situation that has the potential to develop into a crisis. This process consists of three steps, which include identifying sources of information to scan, collecting the information to be scanned, and evaluation of th e information to determine crisis potential. In order to detect these crisis signals, crisis management must also incorporate a system to scan (the active search for information) and monitor for crisis warning signals. Scanning a variety of information sources from both the external and internal environment is conducted by crisis managers to detect warning signals from different types of potential crises. After warning si gns are detected through scanning, monitoring takes place in order to pay careful attention to those with the most potential of becoming crises (Coombs, 1999, p 17).

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26 The scanning system that an organization employs as part of the signal detection process consists of three re sources including issues manage ment, risk assessment, and stakeholder relations. According to Coombs ( 1999), an “issue is a t ype of problem whose resolution can affect the organization.” As a result, issues management is a means in which to mitigate the negative effects that an issue may have on an organization by influencing how the issue develops and its subsequent resolu tion (Coombs, 1999, p.18). As part of scanning, risk assessment identifies risk factors or weaknesses. By doing so, it can be determined whether or not an intern al weakness could develop into a crisis. Stakeholder relations refer to the rela tionship between the organization and its stakeholders, which are “any person or group th at has an interest, right, claim, or ownership in an organization” (Coombs, 1999, p. 20). When scanning for potential crises, there are sources that need to be scanned that are specific to issues management, risk a ssessment, and stakeholder relationships. In issues management, for example, environmenta l scanning is very important to identify changes, trends, events, and issues pertaini ng to social, political, and health issues. Examples of traditional sources that would be scanned in issues management are news media, trade journals, or public opinion po lls. Online sources include web pages and online newspapers, magazines, and trade publications. Risk assessment sources have the abili ty to provide information about the weaknesses of the organization that coul d develop into crises. These include environmental crisis exposure and natural disaster exposure, which identifies what a natural disaster may do to an organizati on. In terms of Extension, they are an organization that responds to the effects of natural disaster s. For instance, a natural

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27 disaster would affect not only the communitie s in which Extension serves, but also the organization’s ability to res pond and provide assistance. St akeholder relationship sources include stakeholder complain ts or inquiries and stake holder resolutions, which are representative of the values and attitudes of those who have a vested interest in the organization as a result of social or financial concerns (Coombs, 1999, p. 28). Once sources have been identified, the in formation must be collected. Generally, this is conducted by content analysis, inte rviews, surveys, focus groups, and informal contacts. However, the information collect ed lacks meaning and applicability without analysis, which allows crisis managers to determine if the information does actually suggest that the possibility for a crisis to exist. In terms of issue evaluation, criteria used are likelihood and impact, where likelihood is “the probability of an issue gaining momentum,” and impact is “how strongly the i ssue can affect either profits or operations” (Coombs, 1999, p. 32). In risk evaluation, im pact and likelihood are again used to determine if a risk has the potential to beco me an actual crisis, yet they are operationally defined differently. Likelihood is “the probability that the risk can or will become an event,” while impact is “how much the ev ent might affect the organization” (Coombs, 1999, p. 33). Impact includes disruption to rou tines of the organiza tion and the potential damage that can occur. Potential crises as a result of stakehol der relationships are evaluated based upon power, legitimacy, and willingness. Stakehol der power refers to the ability of the stakeholder to change the operations or r outine of the organization, including getting them to do something they normally would not. A stakeholder threat is deemed legitimate when “actions are considered desira ble, proper, or appr opriate according to

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28 some system” (Coombs, 1999, p. 34). Willi ngness is also used to evaluate a stakeholder’s threat because a problem must be important to the stakeholder (Coombs, 1999, p. 35). Crisis Prevention The crisis prevention stage is when the organization considers the warning signs evaluated in the signal detecti on stage and then tries to restrict the arrival of the crisis (Coombs, 1999, p. 39). The goal of this stage is to “defuse the cris is by attending to the warning signs and risks” (Coombs, 1999, p. 39). Although some crises can not be entirely prevented, the subse quent damages they produce can be reduced. For instance, “even with hurricanes, whose paths cannot yet be precisely predicted, warning for regions at high risk is generally available hours or even days ahead” (Johnston & Stepanovich, 2001, p. 1246). The two parts of the crisis prevention sy stem are change and monitoring. Change refers to making alterations in order to eliminate or reduce the probability that a warning sign will become a crisis. In addition, monito ring refers to assessing the changes that are made and it allows the organization to determine if the changes were effective in reducing the chances that the crisis will occu r. In regards to issues management, the organization attempts to influence how the i ssue is resolved, specifically, to have the issue end up to not be a crisis. This can also include changing the organization itself, such as by improving or correcting an asp ect of the organization (Coombs, 1999, p.41). Crisis prevention with regards to risk ma nagement, deals with attempting to reduce the risks faced by an organization. However, because not all risks can be completely avoided, risk management strategies are im plemented according to cost and technical factors. For example, the costs of the ris k, including death, injuri es, or litigation, is

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29 compared to the cost of risk reduction, such as work needed to prevent the risk. No action may be taken if the cost to reduce the risk is greater than the costs resulting from the risk. The second factor in corporates technical aspects of risk management, such as whether or not it is possible to eliminate or reduce the risk (Coombs, 1999, p. 43). “Risk management becomes crisis management when risk aversion (the avoidance or reduction of risk) is possible” (Coombs, 1999, p. 43). However, it depends on the nature of the actual risk in order to determine what act ions can be taken by the organization to implement a risk aversion strategy. Relationship building also plays a part in crisis prevention. Although the relationships between an organization and its stakeholders occur without provocation, it is the quality of those relationships that are important in crisis prevention. As a result, three common elements of favorable organi zation-stakeholder relationships emerge, including staying close, cred ibility, and meeting expectations (Coombs, 1999, p. 45). By having a close relationship betw een the organization and its st akeholders, it allows for better understanding on the part of both particip ants. It aids signal detection by allowing the organization to identify and preven t problems early on (Coombs, 1999, p. 45). Organizational credibility is defined as “the receiver’s attitude toward the communicator. For crisis management, the organization is the communicator and the stakeholders are the receivers” (Coombs, 1999, p. 46). Credibility is composed of expertise, which is the organization’s knowle dge about the subject, and trustworthiness, which refers to the organization’s concer n for the stakeholders (Coombs, 1999, p. 46). Credibility plays an important role in crisis management, as the literature suggests that an organization must establish cont rol during a crisis situation as well as show consideration

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30 for the stakeholders during this time. In this context, control refers to the organization having complete and accurate knowledge a nd information about the crisis (Coombs, 1999, p. 47). Credibility on the part of the orga nization allows the stak eholders to believe and then accept what the organization has st ated as the crisis. Favorable relationship building between the organization and stakeh olders is dependent upon the meeting of expectations. Primarily, this indicates that an organization is considered legitimate if it conforms to the stakeholder expectations (Coombs, 1999, p. 50). The combination of staying close, or ganizational credibility, and meeting stakeholder expectations resu lts in the formation of the organization’s reputation. “An organization’s reputation is the product of st akeholders’ perceptions of what it says and does” (Coombs, 1999, p. 51). For example, wh en an organization remains close to its stakeholders, mutual understanding and re spect develop, thus creating a favorable organizational reputation. In addition, when the organization fulfills the expectations of the stakeholders, this indicates to the stak eholders that the organization values their concerns and will address them. Lastly, a cr edible organization depicts an expert and trustworthy image, both of which help to strengthen the relationship between the organization and stakeholder (Coombs, 1999, p. 51). Crisis Preparation Although it is best to prevent a crisis, many ar e inevitable, such as natural disasters. Rather, an organization can only prepare for the arrival of the crisis and not fall victim to the idea that their preventative measures will protect the organization from the effects of the crisis. In order to prepare for a crisis, an organization must address certain aspects, including diagnosing vulnerabil ities, assessing crisis types, selecting and training the crisis team, selecti ng and training the spokesperson, de veloping the crisis management

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31 plan, and reviewing the communication sy stem (Coombs, 1999, p. 59). Crisis preparation is the final substage of the pre-crisis stage of crisis management. Diagnosing Crisis Vulnerabilities Every organization has certain crisis vulnerabilities that arise as a result of the organization’s industry, size, location, size, operations, personnel, and risk factors (Coombs, 1999, p. 59). An organization must iden tify the crises that it is most prone to encounter. Organizational vulnerability is a ssessed according to the probability that a certain type of crisis will occur and the severity of the damage it may cause (Coombs, 1999, p. 60). Crisis Types Because organizations are often involved in many different arenas and, they are faced with differing environmental factors and many different crises, they require the use of a range of crisis strategies and crisis management plans. “Naming and classifying a crisis is important to addressing the uncer tainty and confusion regarding causes and responsibility, particularly dur ing the initial moments of th e event” (Seeger, Sellnow, & Ulmer, 2003, p. 45). In addition, by identifyi ng a crisis by type allows the proper agencies with specific expertise to become involved, such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or Federal Emergency Manage ment Agency (FEMA) (Seeger, Sellnow, & Ulmer, 2003, p. 46). Crises often possess simi lar characteristics, and as a result, are grouped according to type. An organization should organize its own potential crises according to the types provided and then select at least one crisis from each type based upon vulnerability.

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32 The crisis management plan will vary accord ing to each selected crisis (Coombs, 1999, p. 62). Coombs (1999) synthesized a collective list, which included “Natural disasters: when an organization is damage d as a result of the weather or ‘acts of God.’ Sample natural disaster s include earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and bad storms. Malevolence: when some outside actor or oppo nent employs extreme tactic to express anger toward the organization or to force the organization to change. Sample malevolence crises include pr oduct tampering, kidnapping, malicious rumors, terrorism, and espionage. Technical breakdowns: when the technology used or supplied by the organization fails or breaks down. Sample technical breakdowns include i ndustrial accidents, software failures, and product recalls th at result from technical problems. Human breakdowns: when human error causes disruptions. Sample human breakdowns include industrial accidents and product recal ls caused by human error. Challenges: when the organization is confr onted by discontented stakeholders. The stakeholders challenge the organizati on because they believ e it is operating in an inappropriate manner and does not meet their expectations. Sample confrontations incl ude boycotts, strikes, lawsui ts, government penalties, and protests. Megadamage: when an accident creates significant environmental damage. Sample megadamage includes oil spill s and radioactive contamination. Megadamage is caused by either tech nical or human breakdowns or both. Organizational misdeeds: when management takes actions it knows will harm or place stakeholders at risk for harm wit hout adequate precautions. These acts serve to discredit or disgrace the organization in some way. Sample organization misdeeds include favoring short-term econo mic gain over social values, deliberate deception of stakeholders, and amoral or illegal acts by management. Workplace violence: when an employee or former employee commits violence against other employees on organizationa l grounds. Sample workplace violence includes killing or injuring coworkers. Rumors: when false information is spread about an organization or its products. The false information hurts the or ganization’s reputation by putting the organization in an unfavorable light. Sample rumors include linking the organization to radical groups or stories that their products are contaminated” (Coombs, 1999, p. 61).

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33 When a crisis is brought about by natural disasters, although th e organization itself is not directly responsible for the crisis, th ey must be prepared and effectively manage such situations. In addition, natural disasters are a unique t ype of crisis, as the crisis situation that results can evolve into a differe nt type. For example, the crisis situation faced by a community may have initially begun as a result of a hurricane, but it can eventually become an economic crisis or cause transportation acci dents (Seeger, Sellnow, & Ulmer, 2003, p. 63). In addition, natural di sasters are unique in that “the suddenness and magnitude of the occurrence renders the ar eas affected by natural disasters unable to respond effectively to the emergency because the devastation exceeds the capacity of the area’s resources” (Galambos, 2005, p. 83). A ccording to Noji (as cited in Galambos, 2005, p. 83), the objectives in natural disaster management should be to determine the needs of the population that was affected by the disaster, provide available resources to fulfill the determin ed needs of the population, prevent additional negative health issues by executing disease control strategies, evaluate how effective the disaster relief programs were, as well as improving plans for future disasters. Crisis Management Teams The crisis management team (CMT) is a group within an organization who handle crises that affect the organization. The role of the CMT is to create the crisis management plan (CMP), carry out the CMP, and deal with issues not addressed by the CMP (Coombs, 1999, p. 63). “To develop the cr isis plan, the crisis team needs the information about different crisis types a nd all information about potential crises (scanning) and actions being taken to preven t crises (prevention)” (Coombs, 1999, p. 63). Carrying out the CMP includes putting it into action during simulated as well as actual crisis situations.

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34 Four critical tasks carr ied out by the crisis team are group decision making, functioning as a team, enacting the crisis ma nagement plan, and listening in order to collect information (Coombs, 1999, p. 64). The ab ility to make group decisions is crucial to the success of the implementation of th e crisis strategy, as all of the primary responsibilities of the CMT refer to this ta sk. In terms of enacting the CMP, it is beneficial to have appointed team member s according to their subject-matter knowledge that is important during a crisis, including medi a relations or legal issu es. As a result of the specific tasks carried out by the CMT, a profile of a successful crisis team member would be someone who was “low in comm unication apprehension in groups, high in cooperation, high in ambiguity tolerance, moderate in argumentativeness, and well equipped to handle stress” (Coombs, 1999, p. 69) An undesirable team member would have the opposite of these stated characteristics. In addition, it is important for the crisis management team to be comprised of people with “different specia lties, [which] brings together broader perspectives, enhancing the team’s information-processing capacity” (Seeger, Sellnow, & Ulmer, 2003, p. 185). In addition, it is critical that team members have specific knowledge and experience in certain areas, as well as in general crisis management (Coombs, 1999, p. 69). It is important the team represent a cros s-functional unit. For example, in terms of general crisis management sk ills, it would be important fo r each team member to be knowledgeable in working as a team, applying the crisis management plan to crises, making group decisions, and listening to othe rs (Coombs, 1999, p. 65). Knowledge in such areas then translates to a set of skills, including the ability to work in cooperation, follow directions, and speak in groups. Follo wing the possession of these skills are a set

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35 of traits, including a cooperative predisposi tion, the ability to handle stress, ambiguity tolerance, argumentativeness, and a willi ngness to speak in groups (Coombs, 1999, p. 65). As a result, it is importa nt that front-line responders po ssess certain traits, skills, and abilities, such as the ability to cope with stress, in order to deal with crisis situations. In addition, experience and expertis e in dealing with crises be come an important part of being selected to be a front-line responder. Another important member of the crisis team is the spokesperson. “The primary responsibility of the spokesperson is to ma nage the accuracy and consistency of the messages coming from the organization” (Coombs, 1999, p. 71). Whether an organization has one or several spokespersons, there are certain qualifi cations that he or she must possess. For instance, preparation on the part of the spokesperson is imperative in order to provide the public and media w ith appropriate responses. In addition, the spokesperson must be able to operate efficiently and effec tively while under stress, as crisis situations are unto themselves very st ressful. Although part of the crisis team, the spokesperson must also have training in work ing with the media, such as having practice in dealing with media questions and presenting information in a fashi on that is attractive for target audiences (Coombs, 1999, p. 76). Crisis Management Plan Although the crisis situations that organi zations may face can vary greatly, it is possible for an organization to create a crisis plan, including a crisis communication plan. This will allow the organization to lessen poten tially negative consequences and reduce uncertainties in the event of a crisis (Wh iting, Tucker, & Whaley, 2004, p. 10). This idea also applies to communities, such that communities that create disaster plans before the onset of a disaster will be better able to d eal with the disaster as it develops (Galambos,

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36 2005, p. 84). In addition, “communities that de velop a strong disaster plan, conduct rapid assessments, procure resources, and provide as sistance in coping with the aftermath will have a more effective approach to deal w ith disasters” (Galambos, 2005, p. 84). Because crisis situations require a quick response time, the crisis management plan (CMP) is crucial, as it contains previously collected background information, responsibilities of crisis team members, and a blueprint for ac tions that must be taken by certain members once the crisis does occur (Coombs, 1999, p. 79). Overall, the CMP provides the organization with a means in which to respond efficiently and effective to the crisis at hand, as well as saving lives and decreasing risk (Coombs, 1999, p.79) Essentially, it is a crisis communication plan for the organizatio n. According to Coombs (1999), the crisis management plan should consist of the following sections Cover page Introduction Acknowledgments Rehearsal dates: These are dates in which the crisis management plan was practiced. Crisis management team: This section identifies who is in charge of the team, as well as how to contact them, how to begi n putting the plan in to action, and when the plan should be activated, su ch as what denotes a crisis. CMT contact sheet: This section lists all the me mbers of the crisis management team, their complete contact information, their areas of knowle dge, and any outside people that may be needed, such thos e involved in emergency or insurance response. Crisis risk assessment: This section identifies all the possible crises that an organization may encounter, determines the probability that each will occur, and identifies damage that will ensue. Incident report: In this section, the actions ta ken during a crisis by the CMT are recorded, which is to be us ed during the evaluation phase.

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37 Proprietary information: Although it is important for crisis managers to fully disclose all information to the organizatio nal stakeholders, some information must be kept confidential until it is reviewed by the head of the organization or legal council. CMT strategy worksheet: This section relates to cr isis communication, such that the crisis manager must record what me ssage was sent, what audience it was sent to, and the goal of the communication or message. Secondary contact sheet: This section identifies a dditional stakeholders who may need to be contacted in the event of a crisis, as they will be able to provide information that the organization needs. Stakeholder contact worksheet: Because different stakeholders, including the media, will contact the organization during a crisis, this section deals with the procedures to be taken when a call is received. For example, it dictated who contacted the organization, the informa tion requested, and the organizational response. Business resumption plan: Because an organization may suffer damage to facilities or equipment during a crisis, this section details procedures to follow if this does occur, so that the organization can resume operation. Crisis control center: This section deals with wher e team members must meet in the event of a crisis. Postcrisis evaluation: After a crisis is over, this section provides the team with a means in which to evaluate their effort during the crisis, prim arily focusing on the communication efforts. In addition, it provides an opportunity to correct weaknesses of the plan as well as maintain its strengths. Although the crisis management plan is an important part of the organization’s overall response effort, it does not mean that the organization is s ecure during a time of crisis. Rather, it represents a general guideli ne and must be able to be adapted to the individual circumstances that the team will en counter. In addition, the crisis management plan must be adaptive to other factors, such as personnel changes, and, as a result, must be able to be updated on a regular basis. B ecause the CMP is action-oriented, it is not a document meant to go unused. Rather, it must be acted out in simulated crisis situations, so as to enable the team to detect weaknesse s that have to be addressed before an actual

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38 crisis occurs and to give the team ample time to practice procedures (Coombs, 1999, p. 83). Furthermore, a crisis management plan will not fulfill the role to mitigate the effects of a crisis if it does not represent the philo sophies, values, attitudes, assumptions, and norms of the organization. As a result, ope n communication within the organization is critical for the crisis management pl an to succeed (Penrose, 2000, p 161). Incidentally, in a study conducted to dete rmine the crisis co mmunication readiness at land-grant universities, it was found that “more than one third (36.4%) of the respondents indicated a crisis plan was in pl ace for extension, while less than one fourth said that a plan was in place for either their experiment station (22.7%) or academic or teaching programs (18.2%)” (Whiting, Tucker, & Whaley, 2003, p. 14). As a result, there is a lack of planning on the part of Ex tension organizations for future crises. In addition, less than half said that the plan had been implemented once. As indicated by Coombs (1999) there is a need in organizati ons for practice in implementing the plan in real and simulated crisis situ ations. Furthermore, the study showed a “significant number of respondents perceive they are not respons ible for communicati on policy formation or administrative decision-making, or they ar e uncertain about their roles” (Whiting, Tucker, and Whaley, 2003, p. 16). When de veloping a crisis management plan, a significant part is determining who the memb ers are and the roles of each person in the crisis team (Coombs, 1999). Lastly, ther e exists a need in general for a crisis communication plan at each land-grant universit y, as evident by the fact that nine percent of the respondents were unaware of exte nsion plans (Whiting, Tucker, & Whaley, 2003, p. 16).

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39 Crisis Preparation and The Disaster Handbook A main resource for UF/IFAS Extension facu lty during times of crises, especially natural disasters, is The Disaster Handbook (UF/IFAS, 1998). This publication is part of the Prevention and Preparedness Design Team State Major Program (SMP) 124 of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service (UF/IF AS, no date). SMP 124 is responsible for delivering information and training to the popul ation of Florida on agricultural safety and disaster preparedness and rec overy. The primary purpose of The Disaster Handbook “is to help Extension personnel assist their communities in times of disaster” (UF/IFAS, 1998). A significant portion of this document is dedi cated to crisis prep aration. The crisis preparation section includes definitions of severe weather terms, finding information in an emergency, disaster supplies kit, detecting hazards in the home, protecting valuable records, handling stress, disaster planning for th e elderly and disabled, emergency plans for small animals, state animal disaster plan, electrical outages on farms, electric generators, auxiliary units for greenhouses, emergency management guide for business and industry (UF/IFAS, 1998). The last section, emergency management for business and industry, created by FEMA, does correlate to crisis management This section focuses upon steps in the planning process, emergency management c onsiderations, hazard-specific information, and information sources. Steps in the planni ng process, including establishing a planning team, analyzing capabilities and hazards, de veloping a plan, and implementing the plan,

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40 which includes evaluation, do correspond to several aspects of Coombs’ crisis management model. Crisis Stage of Crisis Management The actual crisis event represents the sec ond stage in Coombs’ three-stage approach to crisis management, which follows the pre-cris is stage. The crisis stage actually begins when it is initiated by an event and ends when the crisis is resolved. The three substages of a crisis are crisis reco gnition, crisis containment, and business resumption (Coombs, 1999, p. 16). Important to the crisis stage is the crisis trigger event. This event immediately precludes the recognition of the situation as a crisis. “A crisis trigger event is usually dramatic in occurrence, such as a consumer being harmed by a product failure…In other instances, the trigger event is a dramatic di sruption of operations…” (Seeger, Sellnow, & Ulmer, 2003, p. 111). The trigger event is ve ry important as it often dictates the magnitude and type of crisis it will become. In addition, it also brings internal and external attention to the crisis, thus creating public res ponses such as fear and confusion (Seeger, Sellnow, & Ulmer, 2003, p. 112). Crisis Recognition A situation does not become a crisis un til key stakeholders and members of the organization agree that it indeed is a crisis However, these two parties may not agree upon a situation that is presented as a cris is. In addition, management within the organization may not take actions to recognize crisis warning signs and take preventative actions. As a result, the crisis management team may have to persuade management into believing that a crisis situation is upon th em. For example, it was found by Penrose (2000) that if an organization perceives a cris is as a threat, the or ganization will be more

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41 willing to create a crisis plan (p. 166). It is important that an event that is a crisis be labeled as such, because this changes the wa y in which the organization responds to its onset. For example, “when a problem beco mes defined as a cris is, the organization expends more resources on the problem and wo rks harder to discover an explanation for it” (Coombs, 1999, p. 90). This includes activatin g the crisis management plan (CMP). In order to understand a cris is once it has arisen, it is important for the crisis management team to first collect data, proce ss it into information that can be used, store the information, and then give the informati on to external stakehol ders (Coombs, 1999, p. 90). The information is necessary so that the team can make decisions concerning the situation and what messages to pass onto the stakeholders (Coombs, 1999, p. 99). It is the role of the crisis managers to pr esent the crisis in such a way as to provide a desirable response from the organization itsel f. Although defining cer tain situations as crises may be ambiguous, natural disasters of ten go uncontested by stakeholders as being defined as a crisis (Coombs, 1999, p. 95). Overa ll, in order to label a situation a crisis, the crisis manager needs information indicating that a crisis is important, such that there will be a probable loss, it is immediate, and uncertain, such that there is vagueness surrounding it (Coombs, 1999, p. 97). Crisis Containment and Recovery The main goal of crisis containment is to prevent the effects of the crisis from spreading to other parts of the organization as well as limiting the duration of the crisis (Coombs, 1999, p.113). In addition, it is imperative that the crisis team convey that they are in control of the situation, as well as show concern and compassion for those affected by the crisis. The four topics addressed duri ng the crisis containmen t and recovery phase are (a) the initial response, (b) reputational management concerns, (c) enactment of the

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42 contingency and business resumption plan, and (d) follow-up communication (Coombs, 1999, p. 113). Initial crisis response The initial crisis response is the fi rst public message addressed through mass media. As a result, this stage is very impor tant as it has the ability to modify the image and communication efforts of the organization in the eyes of the stakeholders. For example, it is important for the organiza tion to respond quickly so as to prevent inaccurate information from other sources concerning the crisis from reaching the stakeholders. A quick response also coveys th e image that the organization is in control of the situation and has the ability to deal w ith the problem. The initial crisis response must also be consistent with a unified res ponse on the part of the organization through a designated spokesperson. In addition, duri ng this time, the organization must remain open, such that they are available to th e media, possess a willingness to disclose information, and are honest (Coombs, 1999, p. 117). In the initial response of cr isis communication, it is n ecessary for the organization to give instructing information to stakehol ders by telling them what happened and how the crisis will affect them. This includes giving them basic information about the crisis, including what happened, where, why, and how the crisis occurred. In addition, instructing information includes telling the stak eholders if there is anything they need to do in order to protect themselves and wh at is being done to remedy the situation (Coombs, 1999, p.120). Although it is stressed with in the crisis mana gement literature that an organization must collect information before taking action, it is often necessary to act without sufficient information about the cris is or the effects of it” (Seeger, Sellnow, & Ulmer, 2003, p. 131).

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43 Reputational concerns and crisis communication The second part of crisis containment a nd recovery is reputational management concerns. An organization’s reputation duri ng a crisis is affected by their crisis communication strategies, which is how the organization responds th rough their actions and messages to stakeholders dur ing a crisis. As a result of the organization’s crisis communication, the perceptions th at the stakeholders have of the organization will be affected. “A company’s crisis-response st rategies, and all its accompanying postcrisis communication, should make every attempt to protect and/or repair the organization’s image” (Strother, 2004, p. 291). According to Barton (as cited in Strother, 2004), the primary goals of crisis communicat ion in an organization are to: provide accurate information, prevent the spread of the crisis, limit the duration of the crisis, show compassion, demonstrate corporate responsibility, address compensation of victims and their families, prevent further occurrences where possible. According to Coombs (1999), “crisis co mmunication should continue throughout the life cycle of the crisis” (p. 130). In addition, even though disseminating information through communication with the press is impor tant, this represents only one of the communication tasks of an organization duri ng a crisis or another major event. Specifically, it is necessary for the organizati on to communicate with all its stakeholders, beginning with its immediate employees, throug h several different information channels (Strother, 2004, p. 290). It is important to update relevant st akeholders as new developments concerning the crisis emerge.

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44 There are four pieces of information that stakeholders should be made aware of as the crisis unfolds. These include that (a ) stakeholders should know how the recovery effort is progressing, (b) identify and relay wh at the cause of the crisis was, (c) actions taken in order to prevent a similar crisis from occurring, and (d) a ny outside support that the organization is receiving (Coombs, 1999, p. 131) According to Seeger, et al., (2003), poor communication can actually escalate the crisis, making recovery nearly impossible (p. 65). If stakeholders feel as though the communication st rategy was adequate and their questions were answered, crisis resolution is able to occur. In addition, communication is then the center of bringing closure to a cr isis situation (Seeger, Sellnow, & Ulmer, 2003, p. 75). Crisis Event and The Disaster Handbook The Disaster Handbook (UF/IFAS, 1998) provides information on what actions to take during a disaster. Alt hough it discusses aspects of a di saster, it does not directly coincide with Coombs’ crisis management model, primarily because The Disaster Handbook focuses solely on natural disasters. The document includes evacuation safety tips and preparation for natural and man-made disasters, establishing a safe place if the person does not evacuate, the role of government in a disaster, working with local emergency government, Federal disaster assistance program, help after a disaster, recoveryDisaster Application Center, how the public can help disaster victims. Post-Crisis Stage of Crisis Management Although a crisis may be considered ove r by those involved, the crisis manager must then evaluate how their team performed and continue to monito r the crisis once it has passed. Such evaluation efforts during the final post-crisis stage of crisis

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45 management will help to better prepare the or ganization in the event of another crisis, leave stakeholders with a positive image of th e organization, as well as enabling the crisis manager to determine if the crisis is tr uly over (Coombs, 1999, p. 16). According to Penrose (2000), “an organization that does not evaluate its crisis management strategy after a crisis will be little be tter prepared to manage the next crisis” (p 167). Because much can be learned from the evaluation of the crisis response efforts, two areas are evaluated. These include how the organization actually dealt with the crisis, which refers to crisis management performance, and also th e impact of the crisis itself is evaluated, including damage assessments (Coombs, 1999, p. 136). In terms of crisis management performan ce evaluation, the main focus is the crisis management plan and how the crisis manage ment team carried it out. Following the identification of any weaknesses, the plan would then be revised. The crisis impact is evaluated based upon financial, reputational, human, and media factors. For example, the damage to the organization’s reputation could be determined by stakeholder feedback. In addition, the presence of deaths, injuries, a nd environmental damage would be assessed (Coombs, 1999, p. 140). Post-Crisis Stage and The Disaster Handbook After the crisis, The Disaster Handbook focuses on specific actions to take in order to recover from the crisis. This section includes safety, emotional recovery, emergency food and water, health and sanitation, wildlife and pest issues, community recovery, assistance programs and insurance concerns.

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46 Although a major source of information re garding disasters as they apply to communities, it does not elaborate upon on what actions Extension is to take if it is affected by a crisis, including natural disasters. Specifical ly, “this module is to help Extension personnel assist their communities in times of disaster. These materials refer not just to disaster preparedne ss, but to surviving disaster situations and recovering from them” (UF/IFAS, 1998). Risk Perception Since the 1970’s, studies have emerged indicating that how the public perceives risk is significantly different from how “experts,” includi ng those who make policies and are involved with scientific fi elds, view risks. While expert s often view risk in terms of its measurable attributes, the public focus on qualitative, value-laden attributes of risk (Groth, 1998). According to Slovic (1987), thes e attributes that aff ect public perception of risk, or “risk space,” are on a two dime nsion continuum. Risks are ranked from “known” to “unknown” on one continuum represen ting whether or not the risk is new or known to science. On the other continuum, th e risk is ranked from “dreaded” to “not dreaded,” which includes whether or not people are able to control th eir own risk. If a risk is found near the “dreaded” end of the continuum, then ther e is more perceived risk. In conjunction with the research of Sl ovic, Sandman (1987) determined that “outrage” describes the qualitative attributes of risk. “Outrage” is defined as “all the attributes of a risk that determine how lik ely it is to worry you or make you angry” (Sandman, 1987). “Hazard,” then, is the measurable side of risk, or how likely it is to kill you. While the public focuses on “outrage” and ignores “hazard,” experts focus on “hazard.” As a result, the more closely the ri sk affects the public, the more the emotional their reaction will be.

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47 Socio-Technical Systems Approach The socio-technical approach can be used to explain the importance of the crisis management plan and how it is carried out by the Extension organization. The integration of the plan and the workforce in or der to carry out that pl an is the essence of socio-technical research. The socio-technical systems theory is explained as Organizations consist of both a social, or human, system and a technological system, and that the fit between th e two systems determines the overall effectiveness of the organi zation. As the theory i ndicates, the sociotechnical systems (STS) approach is primarily a theory of organizational design, incorporating both industrial engineering a nd behavioral science concepts in the diagnosis of organizational problems. (S hashkin, Burke, Lawrence, & Pasmore, 1985, p. 46) At the core of STS are the creation of small groups, whic h operate independently of other aspects of the organizati on, even if this requires a re structuring of the organization itself. As a result, because each small group is autonomous, each team member must be skilled in many different areas, as well as interdependent with other members. “Intergroup operations are designed in term s of a pooled technology. Each group makes its own relatively independent contribution to the organiza tion” (Shashkin, et al., 1985, p. 46). In order to enact organization change, t echnical changes are made at the group level, in addition to the technological chan ges on the organizational level. Specifically to this study, the socio-techni cal system helps to explain the gap that exists between the creation of The Disaster Handbook and the expectations that county officials and Extension admini stration had for agents, even though persona lly hit by the hurricanes in 2004. As made evident by availabl e literature, when a crisis does occur, as a result of natural disasters or otherwise, it is essential that ev ery organization have a

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48 protocol to follow and opportuni ties to practice and evaluate actions taken. Further, the organization fit needs to be examined to dete rmine whether adjustments need to be made to either the group structure or activities and crisis protocol. Summary A crisis can be defined as “as an event th at is an unpredictable, major threat that can have a negative effect on the organiza tion, industry, or stakeholders if handled improperly” (Coombs, 1999, p. 2). As a result, a crisis can pose a se vere threat to an organization or a community as a destructive fo rce. In order to mitigate the potentially disastrous effects of and to deal with a cr isis situation effectiv ely, crisis management exists. According to Coombs’ definition, cr isis management consists of prevention, preparation, performance, and learning (C oombs, 1999, p.4). “Crisis management is a process of preventing, preparing for, perf orming, and learning from crises” (Coombs, 1999, p. 5). The prevention phase of crisis management includes actions that are taken by the organization to prevent a crisis from occurring in the first place. Crisis prevention includes change and monitoring, which refers to taking actions in order to reduce the probability that a warning sign will become a crisis. In addition, monitoring includes evaluating the changes that were made and then determining if those changes were effective in reducing the probability that the crisis will occur (Coombs, 1999). Following the prevention phase of crisis ma nagement is the preparation phase. The preparation phase includes determining wh ere and when a crisis may occur due to weaknesses in the organization. An organization first must determine which types of crises it can be affected by including natura l disasters, malevolence, technical or human breakdowns, challenges, megadamage, organiza tional misdeeds, workplace violence, or

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49 rumors (Coombs, 1999). The types of crises that an organization ma y face are reflected in the crisis management plan (CMP), wh ich allows the organization to mitigate the possible negative effectives in the event that a crisis occurs. The CMP includes background information, responsibilities of crisis team members, and a plan for actions to be taken once the crisis does occur (Coombs, 1999, p. 79). The third phase of crisis management is performance, which is also connected to the crisis management plan. In this phase, th rough simulated or real crisis situations, the crisis management team, plan, and communi cation system are tested in order to determine if they are adequate. Lastly, th e fourth phase is learning. This includes evaluating the actions taken during the performa nce phase in order to determine strengths and weaknesses in the crisis plan. Although The Disaster Handbook does provide valuable information regarding community disaster preparati on, it does not provide a means in which Extension faculty can prepare themselves. Rather, it is contradict ory as it implies the role of Extension is to be a primary source of disaster information, as well as other national and state agencies, but designates agents as responsib le to their families first. In addition, it does not serve to prepare faculty to deal with professional demands and personal hardships that can occur as a result of crisis situations.

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50 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY The purpose of this study was to determin e the readiness on the part of UF/IFAS Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders in the pr eparation and recovery from the 2004 hurricane season. In addition, the study was conducted to determine how well agents were prepared to deal with profe ssional demands, job expectations and clientele demands, while coping with personal hardship s as a result of the hurricanes. A third purpose was to discern the availability of a crisis management plan to guide Extension faculty on internal communications, roles, a nd responsibilities. The objectives of the study were as follows: 1. Determine how well Cooperative Extension Se rvice carried out its responsibilities as a front-line responder, as indicated by the fo llowing three subobjectives: a. Determine the readiness of Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders during the 2004 hurricane season, in terms of preparation, performance, and subsequent evaluation or learning b. Determine the personal hardships of Extension faculty during the 2004 hurricane season and the role that Extension played to reduce these hardships c. Determine the professional hardships of Extension faculty during the 2004 hurricane season and the role that Extension played to reduce these hardships 2. Determine whether or not needs exist for professional development, training, curriculum, and resources in term s of future natural disasters 3. Determine the availability of a crisis ma nagement plan to guide Extension faculty on internal communications, roles, and responsibilities

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51 Extension Faculty Survey As part of the disaster response network in each of the 67 coun ties in the state of Florida, the Cooperative Extension Service ha s the ability to aid a unique sect of the population affected by natural disasters, as we ll as their own specific clientele. As a result, Extension’s role was critical to the statewide di saster response during the 2004 hurricane season. In November 2004, a list of all the county and district Extension faculty with viable email addresses as of October 2004 was obtained from UF/IFAS (Irani, Kistler, Telg, & Place, 2005, p. 2). Th e original list of faculty consisted of 332 names with email addresses. Following corrections for incorrect addresses and retirements, the final list of faculty surveyed consisted of 328 viable addresses. Questionnaire Design and Variable Definitions The web-based survey consisted of 76 qualitative and quantitative items that measured Extension faculty personal and pr ofessional needs, disa ster preparedness, communication efforts, disaster resources used, Extension’s impact during hurricane relief efforts, and demographic information. The survey also contained 11 questions designed to learn more about social and dem ographic characteristics of the respondents. The survey was designed by a team of resear chers in the department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florid a and followed the Tailored Design Method (Dillman, 2000). The survey contained specific questions aimed at obtaining “a clear understanding of Extension’s role during the hurricane preparation and recovery efforts” (Irani, et al., 2005, p. 2), professional development needs, and crisis communication efforts of faculty. In addition, “experts from the departments of Family, Youth, and Community Sciences; Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Food and Resource Economics; and Clinical

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52 and Health Psychology were also asked to in clude and edit questi ons that touched on such topics as disaster preparedness, edu cational materials, agents’ personal needs (including mental health issues), and comm unity support needs” (Irani, etal., 2005, p. 2). The study utilized the online web survey site, Zoomerang. However, because this software was not available in the depa rtment of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florid a, the developers of the questionnaire cooperated with Extensi on faculty at Purdue University to develop the online instrument utilized in this study. The survey utilized a variety of ques tion types, including open-ended questions, dichotomous yes/no questions, selection from multiple choices, and Likert-scale questions. Responses to the Like rt scale included “not at al l,” “slight extent,” “moderate extent,” and “great extent.” The multiple choice responses depended upon the question being asked and were not identical for each question. Objective 1: Determine How Well the C ooperative Extension Service Carried Out Its Responsibilities as a Front-Line Responder Objective 1a: Determine the Readiness of Extension Faculty to Serve as Front-Line Responders During the 2004 Hurricane Season Measures of faculty readiness to re spond as front-line responders included preparation prior to the cr isis, performance during, and the evaluation and learning afterwards. The indicators of faculty readiness to res pond also include d communication efforts during the crisis, sources of support fo r emotional and physical needs, the ability to address the needs of clientele, and utilization of resources. An indicator of workforce performance duri ng the crisis is communication efforts. Communication efforts focuse d on communication channels used by the agent for the public, channels used by the ag ent for clientele, channels used by the Extension office for

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53 the public, public perception of the communication efforts, a nd clientele perception of the communication efforts. Increased effort as well as a variety of communication channels would indicate that the agent was attempting to provide the public population as well as their clientele with pertin ent disaster information. Communication channels dire cted at the public and used by the agent were measured by four questions (Table 3-1). The first question was aimed at determining how much the agent made use of mass me dia channels in order to communicate necessary information to the public during the recent hurricane season. This question utilized a Likert scale ranging fr om “not at all,” “not at a ll,” “slight extent,” “moderate extent,” and “great extent.” The second que stion focused on those sources or channels used for communication. Agents were asked which channel they thought was most effective in conveying such information to the public. Lastly, an open-ended question attempted to gain additional information rega rding the type of messa ge that agents were trying to disseminate to the public during the hurricanes. Table 3-1. Questions describing communicatio n channels used by agent for the public. Question Scale To what extent did you make us e of mass media channels to communicate during recent hurricanes? Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent Of the communication sources/c hannels you used, which one was most effective in conveying information to the public during the recent hurricanes? Flyers, print materials Newspaper Radio public service announcements Live radio interviews Internet/web Other Communication channels used by agents to provide information to clientele groups were measured by five questions (Table 3-2) The first question, which used a Likert

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54 scale, was aimed at determining the extent to which the agents used the personal communication methods of face to face, onsite visits, telephone, cell phone, text messaging, or e-mails in order to convey in formation to clientele groups during the 2004 hurricane season. Second, qualitative inform ation concerning this topic was obtained by an open-ended question. The third multiple -choice question asked of those personal communication methods used, which ones were most effective in conveying information to clientele groups. Lastly, a qualitative question was aimed at determining the message that the Extension agent wa s attempting to convey to cl ientele during the season. Table 3-2. Questions pertaini ng to communication channels us ed by agents for clientele. Question Scale To what extent did you use the following personal communication methods to convey information to your Extension clientele group dur ing the recent hurricanes? Face to face On-site visits Telephone Cell phone Text messaging Electronic mail Other Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent Of the personal communication methods you used, which one was most effective in conveying information to your Extension clientele group during the recent hurricanes? Face to face On-site visits Telephone Cell phone Text messaging Electronic mail Other The third measure of the communication effo rts of Extension faculty included four questions that were used to describe the communication ch annels used by the entire county Extension office for the public (Table 3-3). The first question was used to determine the extent to which the local Extension office made use of mass media channels in order to communicate to the public. The second question described the

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55 extent that the Extension office used the comm unication sources or cha nnels of flyers or print materials, newspapers, radio public service announcements, liv e radio interviews, television public service announcements, live television interviews, the internet or web, or other in order to convey information to the public during the hurricane season. The first two questions utilized a Likert scale rangi ng from “not at all” to “great extent.” Lastly, it was asked whether the Extension office had a pl an to manage communication efforts in a crisis like the hurricane s or other emergency situations. Table 3-3. Questions pertai ning to communication channels used by Extension for the public. Question Scale To what extent did your local extension office make use of mass media channels to communicate during the recent hurricanes? Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent To what extent did your Exte nsion office use the following communication sources/channels to convey information to the public during the recent hurricanes? Flyers, print materials Newspaper Radio public service announcements Live radio interviews TV public service announcements Live TV interviews Internet/web Other Likert 1 Not at All 2 Slight Extent 3 Moderate Extent 4 Great Extent Does your Extension office have a plan to manage communication efforts in a crisis like the hurricanes or other emergency situations? Internally Externally Yes/No The fourth topic, measure of performan ce, concerned faculty perceptions toward the public’s awareness of Extension communica tion efforts (Table 34). A Likert-type question asked the extent to which the Extens ion faculty member believed the public was aware of the efforts on the part of Extens ion during the hurricanes. The fifth measure

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56 concerned faculty perceptions toward clie ntele awareness of Extension communication efforts. This measure used a Likert-type question asking the faculty member’s perception of the extent to which the Extension clientel e group was aware of the efforts of Extension during the hurricanes. Table 3-4. Questions pertaining to faculty perceptions of p ublic and clientele awareness of Extension communication effort s during the 2004 hurricane season. Question Scale To what extent do you believe the general public was aware of Extension's efforts dur ing the recent hurricanes? Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent To what extent do you believe your Extension clientele group was aware of Extension’s efforts during the recent hurricanes? Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent Another factor affecting readiness to respond was s ources of support for the Extension faculty. This included identifying so urces of support that agents utilized to meet their emotional and physical needs. Thr ee questions in the survey identified sources of emotional support for Extension faculty. F aculty were asked the extent to which they had a source of support for their own emotional needs and to whom (either person or agency) did they turn to for support. Las tly, qualitative data wa s collected by an openended question asking the agents to provide any additional information regarding personal needs that they had dur ing the 2004 hurricane season. Two questions described support for the phys ical needs of Extension faculty during the hurricane season (Table 3-5). These included determining the extent to which they had a source of support for their physical n eeds, including shelte r, food, water, and

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57 electricity. In addition, they were asked to identify the person or agency that was a source of support for their physical needs. Table 3-5. Questions pertai ning to sources of emoti onal and physical support for Extension faculty. Question Scale To what extent did you have a source of support for your own emotional needs? Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent To whom (person or agency) di d you turn for support of your emotional needs? Open-ended To what extent did you have a source of support for your own physical needs (shelter, f ood, water, electricity)? Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent To whom (person or agency) di d you turn for support of your physical needs (shelter, f ood, water, electricity)? Open-ended Extension faculty readiness to respond also was measured by asking agents how well prepared they were to deal with j ob and clientele demands and needs during the 2004 hurricane season (Table 3-6). This vari able addressed whether or not they knew what to do and as a result, how well they performed their job. Two factors affecting faculty readiness to respond are (a) the abil ity of the agent to address the needs of clientele and (b) the utilization of available resources. The ability to address the needs of cl ientele is supported by three questions, including determining the extent to which agents were prepared to address the professional challenges that they were faced w ith in meeting the needs of clientele. A second question asked agents the extent to whic h they were prepared to address the stress or emotional symptoms that clientele exhibi ted after the 2004 hurricanes. Both questions were measured using a Likert scale. The Like rt scale consisted of “not at all”, “slight

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58 extent,” “moderate extent,” and “great exte nt. In addition, an ope n-ended question asked agents to elaborate upon this by obtaining in formation regarding how agents addressed the needs of clientele if they exhibi ted stress or emotional symptoms. The second factor affecting Ex tension faculty readiness to respond is the utilization of resource. Utilization of resources was supported by seve n questions. This involved the agents’ use of agencies or organizations that could have aide d their response during the 2004 hurricane season. Agents were asked to what extent they acc essed local, state, and federal agencies to conduct a more eff ective response before, during, and after the hurricanes. The Likert scale co nsisted of “not at all”, “slight extent,” “moderate extent,” and “great extent.” For each agency level, agents were asked to specify other agencies that they used, including the Ameri can Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Table 3-6. Questions pertaining to faculty readiness to respond. Question Scale To what extent were you prepar ed to address the professional challenges that you faced in meeting the needs of clientele? Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent To what extent were you prep ared to address the stress or emotional symptoms your clie ntele exhibited after the hurricanes? Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent To what extent did you access or contact the following local agencies in order to do your job more effectively before, during, and after the recent hurricanes? County Emergency Management County Fire/Rescue Local Law Enforcement County Road Department County and/or City Public Works Department County and/or City Solid Waste Department County Health Department Local/Regional Utilities (electric, gas) Telephone Company Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent

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59 Table 3-6. Continued. Question Scale To what extent did you access or contact the following state agencies in order to do your job more effectively before, during, and after the recent hurricanes? Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Division of Consumer Services Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Division of Animal Industry Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Division of Forestry Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Office of Bio & Food Security Preparedness Florida Department of Children and Families Florida Department of Comm unity Affairs, Division of Emergency Management Florida Department of Comm unity Affairs, Division of Housing and Community Development Water Management District Florida Department of Health Florida Department of Transportation University of Florida/IFAS University of Florida Health Science Center Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent To what extent did you access or contact the following federal agencies in order to do your job more effectively before, during, and after the recent hurricanes? USDA: Farm Service Agency (FSA) USDA: Natural Resources C onservation Service (NRCS) USDA: Rural Development (RD) USDA: Animal & Plant Inspection U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Centers for Disease Control (CDC) U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Oceanic & Atmos pheric Association (NOAA): National Weather Service National Oceanic & Atmos pheric Association (NOAA): National Hurricane Center U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent

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60 Table 3-6. Continued. Question Scale To what extent did you access or contact the following other organizations/resources in order to do your job more effectively before, during, and after the recent hurricanes? American Red Cross Salvation Army Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent It was also investigated as to whether the use of The Disaster Handbook by Extension front-line responders helped them to perform better in their job than those who did not use it (Table 3-7). Table 3-7. Questions pertaining to The Disaster Handbook Question Scale Does your office have the UF/IFAS publication, The Disaster Handbook ? Yes/No Do you know where The Disaster Handbook is located within your office? Yes/No Have you ever been trained on how to use The Disaster Handbook ? Yes/No Did you refer to The Disaster Handbook during the hurricane season or for any other disaster in 2004? Yes/No Prior to the 2004 hurricane season, when was the last time you reviewed or used The Disaster Handbook ? Within the month prior to the start of the 2004 hurricane season Within 2-6 months before the 2004 hurricane season began Within 7-12 months before the 2004 hurricane season began More than a year ago Never Which format of The Disaster Handbook would you most likely use? The notebook (print) format The web-based format Would use both formats

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61 This section utilized an array of question formats, including dichotomous yes/no, open-ended, and selection from provided choices that measured the respondents preparations before the crisis. Nineteen questions were includ ed in this section, beginning with asking if their office even has The Disaster Handbook if they knew where it was located in the office, and if they received training on how to use it. Knowledge of its presence and location within their work office would help to increase its use during such times of disaster. In addition, training would help agents to use The Disaster Handbook effectively amongst its clientele. The remaining questions focused on use of the handbook, in terms of the print and web-based versions. For example, the survey asked if the faculty member familiarized themselves with the print and web versions of the handbook or reviewed them prior to the beginning of the 2004 hurricane season. In addi tion, faculty were asked what section was most helpful and if they had suggestions to improve the print and web versions. Objective 1b: Determine the Personal Ha rdships of Extension Faculty during the 2004 Hurricane Season and the Role that Extension Could Play to Reduce These Hardships Sources of personal hardships, were used to determine the causes of personal stress faculty felt during the 2004 hurricane season. For example, a factor affecting personal hardship would be whether or not that f aculty member experienced damage to their home, as this personal experien ce has the ability to affect their job performance. In addition, sources of hardship also helped to explain if the Extension faculty member had difficulty in balancing work and family life dur ing this time. The first three questions of the survey focused on the personal hardships of faculty during this time. For instance, they were asked to what extent they e xperienced damage to their home, experience

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62 personal stress, and how these factors aff ected their performance on the job during hurricane preparation and recovery efforts. Questions pertaining to sources of personal hardships experienced by Extension faculty can be found in Table 3-8. Table 3-8. Questions pertai ning to sources of persona l hardships experienced by Extension faculty. Question Scale To what extent did you experience damage to your home or experience other personal hardships? Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent To what extent did you expe rience personal stress or emotional symptoms while involved in hurricane preparation and relief efforts? Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent To what extent did your pe rsonal experience affect your job performance such as having trouble concentrating or missing work? Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent Objective 1c: Determine the Professional Hardships of Extension Faculty during the 2004 Hurricane Season and the Role that Extension Could Play to Reduce These Hardships The professional hardships felt by agents we re determined by two questions. Using a qualitative question, each faculty member was asked to give the three greatest professional challenges they faced during th e hurricane season. Secondly, they were asked if barriers existed to pr event them from using certain Extension resources, such as The Disaster Handbook or the “Triumph Over Tragedy” curriculum during the hurricane season. Such barriers would include location of the materials, knowledge that they were available, or time to allow their use. Sources of hardships included the ability of Extension faculty to balance their work and family life. Two questions supported this measure. First, faculty were asked how di fficult it was to meet the needs of both their

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63 professional and personal lives. Second, they were asked what was most difficult about balancing professional and pers onal lives. Overall, the sour ces of hardship, both personal and professional, would influence how ready faculty were to respond to the needs of Florida residents during the 2004 hurricane seas on by affecting their job performance. Questions pertaining to personal hardships experienced by Extension faculty can be found in Table 3-9. Table 3-9. Questions pertaini ng to personal hardships expe rienced by Extension faculty. Question Scale List the three (3 ) greatest professi onal challenges you faced as a result of the 2004 hurricanes. Open-ended To what extent did the follo wing barriers get in the way of you utilizing resources such as the Disaster Handbook, Triumph Over Trage dy, or other Extension resources following the hurricanes. Materials were located in the main office Didn’t know that certain materials were available Didn’t have time to access the materials Didn’t know were to find materials Materials were online and we didn’t have computer access Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent To what extent was it difficult for you to balance personal and professional needs? Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent Describe what was most difficult for you about balancing personal and professional needs. Open-ended Objective 2: Determine if Needs Exist for Professional Deve lopment, Training, Curriculum, and Resources One of the primary goals of crisis manage ment is feedback and evaluation. Thus one objective of this study wa s to determine if professional development needs exist amongst Extension faculty in Florida, in regard s to future natural disasters. Specifically, the survey strived to determine if the presen ce of specially traine d volunteers would aid faculty in dealing with home and family i ssues. In addition, its goal was to determine

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64 what areas of professional development were needed and in what training formats such information should be presented. Questions pertaining to professional development and future disasters can be found in Table 3-10. Table 3-10. Questions pertai ning to professional developm ent and future disasters. Questions Scale If specially trained volunteers were available to help you with home and family issues in the immediate aftermath of a future disaster so th at you could better focus on your Extension work with disaster victims, to what extent would you make use of these supports? Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent To what extent do you need professional development in the following areas in preparation for hurricanes and other emergency situations? Working with the media Coping with personal stress Helping coworkers cope with stress Helping clientele cope with stress Personal needs (emotional and physical needs) Hurricane disaster preparedness Applying my subject matter in disaster situations Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent How likely would you be to at tend or participate in the following training formats in preparation for hurricanes or other emergency situations? Statewide conference District meeting Web-based module/CD-ROM Telephone conference Videoconference Print materials Likert 1 Not at all 2 Slight extent 3 Moderate extent 4 Great extent Objective 3: Determine the Availability of a Crisis Management Plan to Guide Extension Faculty The UF/IFAS publication The Disaster Handbook, although not a crisis management plan, provides guidance for Ex tension during disasters. It provides Extension faculty with information to pr ovide to the public and clientele groups. However, it does not offer guidance on the role s and professional expe ctations of faculty, and emergency contact information. It include s information on disast er preparation, what

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65 to do during a disaster, as well as disaster recovery, especia lly for homes and farms. For example, it describes how to make a disaster supplies kit and how to evacuate safely. It also provides information on how to deal with specific disasters, including such incidences as hurricanes, lightning, floods, tornadoes, and events of terrorism. The Disaster Handbook will be compared to Coombs’ (1999) crisis management theory to determine its effectiveness as a crisis management plan for the Florida Cooperative Extension Service. The essentia l elements of a crisis management plan include Rehearsal dates: These are dates in which the crisis management plan was practiced. Crisis management team: This section identifies who is in charge of the team, as well as how to contact them, how to begi n putting the plan in to action, and when the plan should be activated, su ch as what denotes a crisis. CMT contact sheet: This section lists all the me mbers of the crisis management team, their complete contact information, their areas of knowle dge, and any outside people that may be needed, such as t hose involved in emergency or insurance response. Crisis risk assessment: This section identifies all the possible crises that an organization may encounter, determines the probability that each will occur, and identifies damage that will ensue. Incident report: In this section, the actions ta ken during a crisis by the CMT are recorded, which is to be us ed during the evaluation phase. Proprietary information: Although it is important for crisis managers to fully disclose all information to the organizatio nal stakeholders, some information must be kept confidential until it is reviewed by the head of the organization or legal council. CMT strategy worksheet: This section relates to cr isis communication, such that the crisis manager must record what me ssage was sent, what audience it was sent to, and the goal of the communication or message. Secondary contact sheet: This section identifies a dditional stakeholders who may need to be contacted in the event of a crisis, as they will be able to provide information that the organization needs.

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66 Business resumption plan: Because an organization may suffer damage to facilities or equipment during a crisis, this section details procedures to follow if this does occur, so that the organization can resume operation. Crisis control center: This section deals with wher e team members must meet in the event of a crisis. Postcrisis evaluation: After a crisis is over, this section provides the team with a means in which to evaluate their effort during the crisis, prim arily focusing on the communication efforts. In addition, it provides an opportunity to correct weaknesses of the plan as well as maintain its strengths. Population Study The population for the study included Univ ersity of Florida/IFAS county and district Extension faculty. The unit of analys is is based upon individuals. The survey was sent to all county and district Extens ion faculty, which was obtained from UF/IFAS, with viable email addresses as of October 2004. The origin al list of Extension faculty consisted of 332 names and after making co rrections for incorrect addresses and retirements, the final list of faculty surveyed consisted of 328 participants. The overall response rate consisted of 208 out of 328, or 63.41%. To learn more about the faculty who comp leted the survey, respondents were asked to provide answers to eleven questions, which were a mixture of multiple-choice and open-ended items that measured demographic items (Table 3-11). Specifically, three questions determined level of experien ce, including Extension rank and years of experience with the Cooperati ve Extension Service. Ex tension rank was determined through a multiple choice question, with choi ces Extension agent I, II, III, or IV, Courtesy Extension agent I, II, III, or IV, Extension Program Assistant, or other. These items were important as they could possibly serve as a predictor of performance during preparatory and recovery efforts during a natural disaster. One item measured

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67 administrative responsibilities, such as whether the respondent was a County or District Extension Director. Table 3-11. Questions pert aining to descriptive info rmation of respondents. Question Scale What is your Extension rank? Extension Agent I Extension Agent II Extension Agent III Extension Agent IV Courtesy Agent I Courtesy Agent II Courtesy Agent III Courtesy Agent IV Extension Program Assistant For those with administrativ e responsibilities only, please select the appropriate option. County Extension Director District Extension Director What county or counties do you work in? Open-ended How many years of experience do you have with the Cooperative Extension Service? Open-ended Please indicate your pr imary program area. Agriculture/Natural Resources Community Development Family and Consumer Sciences (including FNP/EFNEP) 4-H/Youth Development Sea Grant/Aquaculture Ornamental/Environmental Horticulture Urban Horticulture (including Master Gardener) Commercial Horticulture (vegetables, citrus, forestry) Please indicate your age. Open-ended Please indicate your gender. Open-ended Please indicate the ethnicity with which you most closely identify. African-American Asian-American Caucasian Hispanic/Latino Native American Other Another important question asked what c ounty or counties the respondent worked with, as this would help dete rmine the readiness to respond by coastal or inland faculty. Two questions provided the primary pr ogram area of the respondent, including

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68 agriculture and natural res ources, community development, family and consumer sciences (including FNP/EF NEP), 4-H/Youth development, Sea Grant/aquaculture, ornamental/environmental horticulture, urban ho rticulture (including Master Gardener), commercial horticulture (vegetable, citrus, fore stry), or other. Lastly, four questions addressed demographic information, in cluding age, gender, and ethnicity. Survey Implementation Because web surveys offer much potential in data collection, with little cost, this method was implemented in this study (Dillman, 2000, p. 400). In addition, according to Dillman (2000, p. 354), web surveys “not only ha ve a more refined appearance to which color may be added, but also provide surv ey capabilities far beyond those available for any other type of self-adminis tered questionnaire. They can be designed so as to provide a more dynamic interaction between respondent and questionnaire than can be achieved in e-mail or paper surveys.” Through coope ration with Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) faculty at Purdue Universit y, the survey was made available on the web through Zoomerang software (Appendix A). In order to maximize response to the we b survey, multiple c ontacts were made through email (Dillman, 2000, p. 150). A prenotice letter was sent to all county Extension faculty and District Extensi on Directors on November 30, 2004 by email (Appendix B). Sent by Extension Dean Larry Arrington, the goal of the email was to inform potential respondents of the forthcom ing questionnaire and to encourage their participation. Several days after the email from Dr. Arrington was sent to all Extension faculty, a second email was sent from the rese archers in the Agricultural Education and Communication department (Appendix C). This email consisted of an overview of the study, as well as a link to the web-based quest ionnaire. Finally, two waves of follow-up

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69 were conducted to encourage nonrespondents to complete the questionnaire on December 9 and 20, 2004. The link to the survey was then closed on January 5, 2005, which prevented any new responses. Data Analysis Procedures Objectives one and two were analyzed usi ng a percentage distri bution response and means. In such cases where multiple questions measure a construct, a summated score was computed (i.e. preparation). A summate d scale is calculated by adding the scores from the items that make up each scale to give an overall score for certain scales. To determine the reliability of the new vari able created by the summated scale and to determine the internal consistency of the new scale, Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was calculated. This is used to determine if all the items that make up the scale are measuring the same underlying construct. The scale is considered reliable if the value of Cronbach’s alpha is above .7. Lastly, corre lations were conducted to describe the strength and direction of the relationship be tween certain variables. For example, the Pearson’s product-moment coefficient was cal culated to determine if there was an association between faculty preparation to address the professiona l challenges they face and the extent to which they were prepared to address the stress or emotional symptoms exhibited by clientele. The third objective to determine the availability of a crisis management plan to guide Extension faculty on internal co mmunications, roles, and responsibilities was analyzed according to content analysis. C ontent analysis is “any technique for making inferences by systematically and objectively identifying special characteristics of messages” (Holsti, 1969, p. 608). It is cons idered to be a mixture of qualitative and quantitative analysis. This is because specific fre quencies can be calculated

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70 (quantitative) pertaining to certain categories, while themes and symbols can be analyzed qualitatively (Berg, 2001, p. 242). Content analysis was used to determine if similar themes exist between a crisis management plan, as described by Coombs (1999) and The Disaster Handbook (UF/IFAS, 1998). Since this is the only reference agents had, it is important to determine how useful this docum ent was as both as an information source agents would use for the public and clientele and as a crisis management plan to guide faculty on internal communications, roles, and responsibilities.

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71 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS With the immense damage sustained by th e people and property and the crisis situation that often ensues afte r a natural disaster, it is criti cal for front-line responders to act quickly. As a result, it is important for re sponding agencies to be well versed in their roles, responsibilities, and the resources availa ble to them. Considered to be a front-line responder, the Cooperative Extension Service in Florida occupies a unique niche in the disaster preparation a nd recovery system. The purpose of this study was to determin e the readiness on the part of UF/IFAS Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders in the pr eparation and recovery from the 2004 hurricane season. In addition, the study was conducted to determine how well agents were prepared to deal with profe ssional demands, job expectations and clientele demands, while coping with personal hardship s as a result of the hurricanes. A third purpose was to discern the availability of a crisis management plan to guide Extension faculty on internal communications roles, and responsibilities. Objective 1: Determine How Well the C ooperative Extension Service Carried Out Its Responsibilities as a Front-Line Responder Objective 1a: Determine the Readiness of Extension Faculty to Serve as Front-Line Responders During the 2004 Hurricane Season The readiness of Extension f aculty to serve as front-line responders during the 2004 hurricane season, and their subsequent prep aration, performance, and evaluation, was affected by several factors. These include faculty and Extension communication efforts

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72 during the crisis, sources of support for emo tional and physical needs, the ability to address the needs of clientele, and utilization of resources. Preparation of Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders As suggested by crisis management resear ch, one aspect of crisis management includes preparation by the organization and its constituents. In terms of Extension, it is important to determine how well prepared it s faculty were to deal with both the tumultuous hurricane season of 2004 and other crisis situations that may threaten Florida’s population. The UF/IFAS publication, The Disaster Handbook serves as the major resource available to county faculty when dealing with crisis situations, specifically natural disasters. As a result, it is important to determine how aware they were of The Disaster Handbook in terms of its presence, training, and use. Table 4-1. Faculty awareness and use of The Disaster Handbook (N=208). Variable Frequency % Does your office have the UF/I FAS publication, “The Disaster Handbook?” Yes 193 92.8 No 3 1.4 No Response 12 5.8 Do you know where The Disaster Handbook is located within your office? Yes 177 85.1 No 20 9.6 No Response 11 5.3 Have you ever been trained on how to use The Disaster Handbook ? Yes 54 26.0 No 143 68.8 No Response 11 5.3 Prior to the 2004 hurricane season, when was the last time you reviewed or used “The Disaster Handbook?” Within 12 months before the 2004 hurricane season began 47 22.6 More than a year ago 66 31.7 Never 80 38.5 No Response 15 7.2

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73 As reported in Table 4-1, the majority of faculty (94.2%) knew that their office had a copy of The Disaster Handbook and where it was located within the office (85.1%). Although most were aware of the presence of the publication in their office, most Extension faculty had not become familiar or re viewed it recently, prior to the start of the 2004 hurricane season. For instance, 31.7% had not reviewed it in more than a year and 38.5% had never reviewed the publication. In addition, most (68.8%) had never been trained on its use. Using Pearson’s product-mome nt coefficient (Table 42), a relationship was found between a faculty member’s use of The Disaster Handbook during the hurricane season and their training on its use. Although statisti cally significant, the correlation coefficient of .203 suggests limited practic ality of the relationship. Table 4-2. Pearson’s product-moment co rrelation with re lationship between The Disaster Handbook use and training by faculty (N=196). Variable Have you ever been trained on how to use The Disaster Handbook ? Did you refer to The Disaster Handbook during the hurricane season or for any other disaster in 2004? .203* *Statistically significant at .05 level Another critical aspect of crisis preparat ion is the ability to manage communication efforts. This includes having internal and ex ternal plans to dissemi nate disaster-related information to those who need it. Table 4-3 indicates that although most Extension offices did have an internal plan to manage crisis comm unication efforts (76.9%), only half reported having an external plan.

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74 Table 4-3. Availability of plans to manage communication efforts in a crisis (N=208). Does your Extension office have a plan to manage communication efforts in a crisis like the hurricanes or other emergency situations? Frequency % Internally Yes 160 76.9 No 33 15.9 No Response 15 7.2 Externally Yes 104 50.0 No 80 38.5 No Response 24 11.5 Preparation on the part of Extension faculty was also determined by how able they were to address the professional challenges they faced. As reported in Table 4-4, less than one-in-ten faculty members reported be ing well-prepared. Even worse, only 7% reported being well-prepared to address stress or emotional symptoms of clientele after the hurricanes. Table 4-4. Extent to which faculty member s were prepared to address professional obligations (N=208). Variable No Response (%) Not at All (%) Slight Extent (%) Moderate Extent (%) Great Extent (%) To what extent were you prepared to address the professional challenges you faced? 7.2 10.1 27.4 46.2 9.1 To what extent were you prepared to address the stress or emotional symptoms your clientele exhibited after the hurricanes? 8.7 13.5 33.7 37.0 7.2 The relationship between the extent of prep aration on the part of faculty to address professional challenges and the extent to whic h they were prepared to address the stress or emotional symptoms exhibited by clientele after the hurricanes was further examined (Table 4-5). The Pearson’s product-mome nt coefficient of .589, indicates a strong, positive relationship between the variables. In essence, the more prepared the faculty

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75 member to address professional challenges, th e more prepared they were to address the stress of their clientele. Table 4-5. Pearson’s product-moment correla tion with relationship between extent to which faculty were prepared to addre ss the professional challenges faced and extent preparation to address the stress or emotional symptoms exhibited by clientele (N=188). Variable To what extent were you prepared to address the stress or emotional symptoms your clientele exhibited after the hurricanes? To what extent were you prepared to address the professional challenges you faced? .589* *Statistically significant at .05 level A summated score was calcul ated to create a measure of preparation by combining questions regarding the extent to which faculty were prepared to address the professional challenges they faced and the extent to which th ey were prepared to address the stress or emotional symptoms clientele exhibited after the hurricanes. Called “preparation,” this new variable had a reliability of Cronbach ’s alpha equal to .7 41. In addition, the relationship between preparation, and years of experience in the Extension Service, within the state of Florida, was analy zed using Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient (Table 4-6). There was a slight, positive correl ation between the variables. Although statistically significan t, the correlation coeffici ent of .167 suggests limited practicality of the relationship. Table 4-6. Pearson’s product-moment correla tion with relationship between extent to which faculty were prepared to addre ss the professional demands and years of experience within th e FCES (N=150). Variable Preparation Years of experience within the Florida Cooperative Extension Service .167* *Statistically significant at .05 level

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76 Overall, it was found that most faculty knew that their office had a copy of The Disaster Handbook and its location, but most had not received training on its use. Correlational analysis revealed a slight relationship between training of faculty on the publication and its use. Only a small percen tage of respondents felt greatly prepared to deal with the professional challenges they felt and to a ddress the stress or emotional symptoms exhibited by clientele. In a ddition, a strong relationship was found between faculty preparation to addre ss professional challenges and the emotional symptoms of clientele. Performance of Extension facu lty as front-line responders A second aspect of crisis management theo ry is performance during a crisis. In terms of this study, performance is related to how well Extension faculty fulfilled their professional obligations and use of available resources, such as The Disaster Handbook communication channels, and use of local, state, and federal agencies. For example, as seen in Table 4-7, job performance may be affected by the personal experience of each faculty member during the hurricane season, such as if their house was damaged. However, it was found that the job performa nce, including trouble concentrating or missed work, of approximately one in three f aculty members were not at all affected by their personal experiences during the 2004 hurricane season. Table 4-7. Extent to which the personal experience of faculty affected their job performance (N=208). Variable No Response (%) Not at All (%) Slight Extent (%) Moderate Extent (%) Great Extent (%) To what extent did your personal experience affect your job performancesuch as having trouble concentrating or missing work? 3.8 34.6 41.3 17.3 2.9

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77 In addition, faculty job performance during a crisis could also be enhanced by the use of The Disaster Handbook as this publication provides in formation regarding disaster preparedness and recovery. As shown in Table 4-8, over half (60.1%) of Extension faculty surveyed indicated that they used the publica tion during the 2004 hurricane season or for any other type of disaster. Si nce 68% reported they had not been trained on its use, this means they had to learn its contents during a crisis. Table 4-8. Extension faculty use of The Disaster Handbook during the 2004 hurricane season or for any other disaster (N=208). Did you refer to The Disaster Handbook during the hurricane season or for any othe r disaster in 2004? Frequency % Yes 125 60.1 No 73 35.1 No Response 10 4.8 Another resource available to faculty duri ng times of disaster include mass media channels which serve as a means to convey im portant crisis informa tion to the public and clientele groups (Table 4-9). Utilization of mass media channels indicate faculty are performing functions of their job by providing information that could aid the public and clientele groups well-being and safety. Table 4-9. Extent to which Extension made use of mass media ch annels during the 2004 hurricane season (N=208). Variable No Response (%) Not at All (%) Slight Extent (%) Moderate Extent (%) Great Extent (%) To what extent did you make use of mass media channels to communicate during recent hurricanes? 4.8 29.4 27.0 26.1 13.0 To what extent did your local extension office make use of mass media channels to communicate during the recent hurricanes? 6.3 19.2 31.3 32.7 10.6

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78 For example, in Table 4-9, it was found that only 13% of faculty members utilized mass media channels to communicate during the 2004 hurricane season to a great extent. In addition, only one in ten (10.6%) Extension offices made use of such channels to a great extent. Further analysis using Pearson’s product-mo ment coefficient (Table 4-10), revealed a relationship between the extent to which faculty utilized mass media channels to communicate during the hurricanes and the exte nt to which the local Extension office made use of mass media channels. The correl ation value of .619 indi cates that the more an individual reported using mass media cha nnels, the more the faculty reported the office using those channels. Table 4-10. Pearson’s product-moment correla tion with relationship between extent to which faculty used mass media channels and extent to which the extension office made use of mass media ch annels to communicate during the hurricanes (N=195). Variable To what extent did you make use of mass media channels to communicate during recent hurricanes? To what extent did you r local extension office make use of mass media channels to communicate during the recent hurricanes? .619* *Statistically significant at .05 level. In addition to mass media channels, pers onal communication met hods allow faculty to convey crisis-related information to client ele groups and to the public. As evident in Table 4-11, the personal communication met hod used by Extension faculty during the hurricane season were face to face visits with members of the public1. The most widely used communication channel used by Extens ion offices to transmit information to the public included fliers and othe r print materials. According to program area, it was found 1 All means are calculated with missing responses excluded

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79 that agriculture and natural resource faculty primarily us ed the personal communication methods of face to face and on-si te visits to a great extent, more than any other program area. However, family and consumer scie nce agents used the telephone to a greater extent, while 4-H agents used electronic mail to a great extent. Horticulture faculty also utilized face to face communi cation and on-site visits to a great extent (Muegge, 2005). Table 4-11. Extent to which Extension faculty utilized personal communication methods to convey information to clientele gr oups and to the public during the 2004 hurricane season (N=208). Frequency of Use Communication Method Not at All (%) Slight Extent (%) Moderate Extent (%) Great Extent (%) MeanSD To what extent did you use the following personal communication methods to convey information to your Extension clientele group during the recent hurricanes? Face to face 7.7 20.7 29.3 34.1 3.0 .97 On-site visit 24.5 26.9 20.7 18.3 2.4 1.10 Telephone 10.6 19.2 27.4 34.1 2.9 1.00 Cell phone 30.8 22.6 19.2 17.3 2.3 1.10 Text messaging 81.3 2.4 1.4 0 1.1 .30 Electronic mail 29.8 27.4 20.7 11.1 2.2 1.00 Other 14.9 0.5 4.3 2.4 1.7 1.10 To what extent did your Extension office use the following communication sources/channels to convey information to the public during the recent hurricanes? Flyers, print materials 9.6 26.9 30.3 26.9 2.8 .97 Newspapers 16.3 30.8 26.9 17.8 2.5 .99 Radio public service announcements 46.2 20.7 17.3 5.8 1.8 .96 Live radio interviews 59.1 18.8 9.1 2.9 1.5 .80 TV public service announcements 61.5 16.8 8.2 2.4 1.5 .77 Live TV interviews 62.5 19.2 6.3 0.5 1.4 .64 Internet/Web 35.6 20.2 22.1 13.0 2.1 1.10 Other 17.8 3.4 5.8 4.8 1.9 1.20

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80 As a front-line responder to the hurricanes of 2004, the role of Extension includes providing disaster-related informa tion to those affected. As a result, a factor affecting job performance would be the ability of faculty to acce ss local, state, federal, and other nongovernmental agencies. As indicated in Ta ble 4-12, the higher the calculated mean, the more the agency was used by Extension faculty during the hurricanes. For example, the three most used local agencies included County Emergency Management, Local/Regional Utilities, and the County Health Department. In terms of state agencies, UF/IFAS was used the most, followed by the Florida De partment of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Division of Consumer Services, and, lastly, the Flor ida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Serv ices: Division of Animal Indu stry. The Federal agencies most widely used included the United Stat es Department of Agriculture: Farm Service Agency, National Hurricane Center, and FE MA. In addition, other non-governmental agencies that were used included th e Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Table 4-12. Most used local, state, and federal agencies by Extension faculty during the 2004 hurricane season (N=208). Local Agency Mean SD County Emergency Management 2.84 1.2 Local UtilitiesElectric/Gas 1.81 1.0 County Health Department 1.78 1.0 Federal Agency Mean SD Farm Service Agency 2.06 1.2 National Hurricane Center 1.83 1.2 FEMA 1.78 1.1 Other Mean SD Red Cross 1.63 0.93 Salvation Army 1.30 0.65 In this study, indicators of job performance of facu lty during the hurricane season included fulfillment of professional obligations and use of available resources. Approximately one-third of the respondents report ed that they were not at all affected by

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81 their personal experiences during the 2004 hurricane season, while two-thirds indicated that they were to some extent. Re sources available to faculty include The Disaster Handbook mass media and communication channe ls, and other relief agencies and organizations. Overall, such resources were not utilized to a great extent by faculty. Subsequent evaluation and learning Crisis management literature also stresses the importance of evaluation and learning after the execution of the crisis pla n. By conducting a postcrisis evaluation, the organization can determine the strengths a nd weaknesses of its actions, protocol, and resources. UF/IFAS Extensi on took some steps towards co mpleting this. For example, as reported in Table 4-13, it was determined th at half of the faculty surveyed preferred both formats of The Disaster Handbook In addition, faculty we re asked if they would utilize specially trained voluntee rs if they were made available to help with home and family issues during a future disaster so as to allow faculty to better focus on their Extension work with disaster victims. A pproximately half of respondents reported that they would use such a resource from a moderate to great extent. Table 4-13. Extension faculty preference of av ailable disaster-related resources (N=168). Resource Frequency % Which format of The Disaster Handbook would you most likely use? Notebook (print) format 43 20.7 Web-based format 28 13.5 Both formats 97 46.6 If specially trained volunteers we re available to help you with home and family issues in the immediate aftermath of a future disaster so that you could better focus on your Extension work with disaster victims, to what extent would you make use of these supports? Not at All 11.5 Slight Extent 30.3 Moderate Extent 32.2 Great Extent 16.8

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82 In terms of Extension, it is also import ant during the evaluation phase to determine which media channels were most effec tive when used by faculty to communicate information to the public or clientele gr oups during the hurricane season. This will enable the organization to determine the best wa y to get information to those who need it. According to Table 4-14, it was found that th e most widely used communication source or channels were flyers and other print material, followed by newspapers. In addition, the most effective personal communicati on method used to convey information to clientele groups included face to face meetings and the telephone. Table 4-14. Extension faculty selection of mo st effective media channels used by faculty members to communicate information to the public or clientele during the hurricane (N=208). Communication channels Frequency % Of the communication sources/c hannels you used, which one was most effective in conveying information to the public during the recent hurricanes? Flyers and/or print material 49 23.6 Newspapers 45 21.6 Radio public service announcements 15 7.2 Live radio interviews 6 2.9 Internet/web 4 1.9 Other 26 12.5 No Response 63 30.3 Of the personal communication methods you used, which one was most effective in conveying information to your Extension clientele group during the recent hurricanes? Face to face 60 28.8 On-site visit 16 7.7 Telephone 59 28.4 Cell phone 14 6.7 Text messaging 1 0.5 Electronic mail 8 3.8 Other 11 5.3 No Response 39 18.8 In order to reach those in need of Exte nsion’s services during the hurricane season, the public and clientele need to be aware of the organizations efforts during such

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83 disasters. According to Table 4-15, however, only a small percentage of faculty reported that the general public was moderately to greatly aware (25.9%). In addition, faculty reported that only a small percentage of th eir clientele group (13.9%) was greatly aware of Extension’s efforts. Table 4-15. Public and clientele awaren ess of Extension’s efforts (N=208). Frequency of Use Variables No Response Not at All (%) Slight Extent (%) Moderate Extent (%) Great Extent (%) To what extent do you believe the general public was aware of Extension’s efforts during the recent hurricanes? 5.3 18.850.0 22.1 3.8 To what extent do you believe your Extension clientele group was aware of Extension’s efforts during the recent hurricanes? 5.3 10.632.2 38.0 13.9 In addition, a relationship was found between the awareness of the public of Extension’s efforts during the hurricanes and the awarene ss of Extension clientele groups towards Extension’s recent efforts during the hurri canes, using Pearson’s product-moment correlation (Table 4-16). The correlation value of .522 indica tes that the mo re aware the clientele were, the more aware the genera l public was of Extension’s efforts. Table 4-16. Pearson’s product-moment corr elation of relation ship between public awareness and clientele awareness of Ex tension’s efforts during the hurricanes (N=196). Variable To what extent do you believe the general public was aware of Extension’s efforts during the recent hurricanes? To what extent do you believe your Extension clientele group was aware of Extension’s efforts during the recent hurricanes? .522* *Statistically significant at .05 level.

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84 During disasters, it is important that the public and clientele that are in need receive relevant information. However, only a sma ll percentage of facu lty reported that the general public and clientele groups were awar e of their efforts during the 2004 hurricane season. A strong relationship was found be tween the awareness of the public of Extension’s efforts and the awareness of c lientele groups towards Extension’s efforts during the hurricanes. According to responde nts, the most effective method used to communicate information to the public was flye rs and other print materials, while the most effective personal communicati on method was face to face visits. Objective 1b: Determine the Personal Ha rdships of Extension Faculty during the 2004 Hurricane Season and the Role that Extension Could Play to Reduce These Hardships It is critical as a front-lin e responding organization, that Extension faculty are able to perform their job and carry out the organiza tions goals to aid those in need. However, for some faculty that experienced personal ha rdships, such as damage to their homes, fulfilling their job expectations may have prove d difficult. As a result, it was important to determine the extent to which they experienced personal hardships and stress and if they had support for their emotional and physical needs during this time. Table 4-17. Extent to which faculty experi enced personal hardships and stress (N=208). Frequency of Use Variable No Response (%) Not at All (%) Slight Extent (%) Moderate Extent (%) Great Extent (%) To what extent did you experience damage to your home or experience other personal hardships? 3.3 23.645.7 20.7 6.7 To what extent did you experience personal stress or emotional symptoms while involved in hurricane preparation and relief efforts? 3.8 12 38.5 36.1 9.6

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85 As seen in Table 4-17, one quarter of respondents reported that they experienced damage to their home or other personal hard ships from a moderate to great extent. In addition, as a result of the hurricane, nearly one in ten faculty members reported that they experienced personal stress or emoti onal symptoms. Although many did experience such hardships, about one in three respondent s reported that they had support for their own emotional needs to a great extent. In addition, about half (48.6%) of Extension faculty reported having a source of support for their physical n eeds, such as shelter, food, water, or electricity, to a great extent, as evident in Table 4-18. Table 4-18. Extent to which Extension faculty had support for their own emotional and physical needs (shelter, food, wa ter, electricity) (N=208). Frequency of Use Variable No Response (%) Not at All (%) Slight Extent (%) Moderate Extent (%) Great Extent (%) To what extent did you have a source of support for your own emotional needs? 6.3 9.6 21.6 29.3 33.2 To what extent did you have a source of support for your own physical needs? 6.6 5.3 13.5 26.0 48.6 Overall, it was found that many respondent s did experience damage to their home or other personal hardships as a result of the hurricanes to some extent, as well as experiencing personal stress. It was also re ported that many had some sort of support for their emotional and physical needs during this time. Objective 1c: Determine the Professional Hardships of Extension Faculty during the 2004 Hurricane Season and the Role that Extension Could Play to Reduce These Hardships In addition to personal hardships, Extens ion faculty may have faced professional difficulties when trying to perform their job functions. For example, according to Table 4-19, the barrier that was reporte d to have gotten in the way of faculty utilizing certain

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86 resources, such as The Disaster Handbook and “Triumph over Tragedy,” was they did not have time to access the materials. In addition, a second barrier was that faculty did not know that certain materials were availabl e. Without electricity in many areas of Florida for weeks following the hurricanes, many did not have access to computers to be able to retrieve necessary documents and information. Table 4-19. Extent to which the following barri ers got in the way of faculty utilization of Extension resources following the hurricanes (N=208). Frequency of Use Barriers No Response (%) Not at All (%) Slight Extent (%) Moderate Extent (%) Great Extent (%) MeanSD Materials were located in the main office 18.7 57.7 12.0 5.3 6.3 1.51 0.92 Did not know that certain materials were available 15.4 35.1 22.1 15.9 11.5 2.05 1.1 Did not have time to access the materials 17.3 32.7 25.0 11.5 13.5 2.07 1.1 Did not know where to find materials 16.9 51.4 16.8 7.7 7.2 1.65 0.97 Materials were online and we did not have computer access 21.0 40.9 13.5 8.7 15.9 1.99 1.2 Table 4-20. Difficulty of Extension faculty to balance personal and professional needs (N=208). Frequency of Use No Response (%) Not at All (%) Slight Extent (%) Moderate Extent (%) Great Extent (%) To what extent was it difficult for you to balance personal and professional needs? 8.2 19.234.1 25.0 13.5 In addition to these barriers that contributed to the occurrence of professional hardships, approximately one in six (13.5%) members of Extension faculty repor ted that that it was

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87 difficult, to a great extent, to balance pe rsonal and professional needs (Table 4-20). Using a cross-tabulation (Tab le 4-21), of those respondents who reported that they experienced a high degree of personal stre ss or emotional symptoms, 16.3% reported a high level of difficulty in balancing persona l and professional needs. Of those who reported a very high degree of personal stress, 4.7% reported a high level of difficulty in balancing personal and professional needs. Table 4-21. Respondents who reported expe riencing personal stress or emotional symptoms and who said it was difficult to balance personal and professional needs to a great extent (N=190) Variable Experienced Personal Stress or Emotional Symptoms Low (%) Medium (%) High (%) Very High (%) Low (%) 14 (7.4) 2 (1.1) 2 (1.1) 2 (1.1) Medium (%) 21 (11.1) 39 (20.5) 14 (7.4) 4 (2.1) High (%) 3 (1.6) 25 (13.2) 31 (16.3) 13 (6.8) Difficulty in balancing personal and professional needs Very High (%) 2 (1.1) 4 (2.1) 5 (2.6) 9 (4.7) Objective 2: Determine if Needs Exist for Professional Deve lopment, Training, Curriculum, and Resources In order to improve Extension’s response to di sasters in the future, it is critical that the potential needs of Extensi on faculty be examined. In addition, a response must be formulated to meet these needs. A valu able learning experience can result from the tragedy of the 2004 hurricane season. For exampl e, Table 4-22 reports that faculty most need professional development in the area of hurricane disaster recovery followed by the application of their subject ma tter in disaster situations.

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88 Table 4-22. Extension faculty need for prof essional development in the following areas in preparation for hurricanes and ot her emergency situations (N=208). Frequency of Use Professional Development Need No Response (%) Not at All (%) Slight Extent (%) Moderate Extent (%) Great Extent (%) MeanSD Hurricane disaster recovery 6.7 6.7 20.2 38 28.4 2.94 0.90 Applying my subject matter in disasters situations 6.3 14.4 24.5 30.3 24.5 2.69 1.0 Helping clientele cope with stress 6.3 11.5 30.3 35.1 16.8 2.61 0.92 Hurricane disaster preparedness 6.7 13.9 33.2 32.7 13.5 2.49 0.92 Helping coworkers cope with stress 6.3 14.9 34.6 33.2 11.1 2.43 0.90 Working with the media 6.7 21.1 28.4 30.3 13.5 2.39 0.99 Coping with personal stress 5.8 22.6 48.1 17.8 5.8 2.07 0.82 Personal needs (emotional and physical) 7.2 30.8 38.5 18.3 5.3 1.98 0.87 Table 4-23. Likelihood of faculty to attend or participate in th e following training formats in preparation for hurricanes or other emergency situations (N=208). Frequency of Use Training Format No Response (%) Not at All (%) Slight Extent (%) Moderate Extent (%) Great Extent (%) MeanSD District meeting 4.8 4.811.5 25.5 53.4 3.34 0.88 Print materials 5.8 7.217.3 33.7 36.1 3.05 0.94 Web-based module/CDROM 6.7 14.423.1 27.9 27.9 2.74 1.1 Videoconference 6.7 16.831.7 25 19.7 2.51 1.1 Statewide conference 6.7 16.830.3 30.3 15.9 2.48 0.98 Telephone conference 6.7 23.1 31.3 22.1 16.8 2.35 1.0

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89 It is also important to determine which type of training format was most preferred by faculty in Florida. Table 4-23 reports that district meetings repr esented the best method to reach faculty, followed by print materials. Objective 3: Determine the Availability of a Crisis Management Plan to Guide Extension Faculty A major publication concerning natural disasters from UF/IFAS is The Disaster Handbook. For Extension faculty and staff, this is the primary source of information concerning preparation, during, and recovery from natural and man-made disasters. The Disaster Handbook begins with introduc tion and resources, which provides suggestions on how to use the publication, in cluding how to make information packets. In addition, it provides a listing of all the Cooperative Extens ion offices in the Unites States, as well as providing a list of national and state agencies and organi zations that can provide aid during a disaster. In essence, The Disaster Handbook was designed for national distribution and not localized to any particular state. The next two chapters of the handbook deal with disaster preparation and what to do during the disaster. In chap ter 2, Disaster Preparation, it focuses on planning prior to the onset of a disaster. For example, it provides background information on severe weather terms, identifying potential home h azards, and how to prepare for the elderly, disabled, and pets. In add ition, it discusses emergency management for businesses and industry. Beginning in chapter 3, disaster recovery is covered. Speci fically in chapter three, how to safely evacuate in the event of a disaster is stresse d. In addition, the role of government during a disaster is outlined, how community leaders can work with local emergency government, and what disaster assist ance programs are available. In chapter

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90 4, safety rules and recovery procedures, as well as emotional recovery, are emphasized. Concerns after a disaster also included are emergency food and water, health and sanitation issues, as well as problems dealing with wildlife and pests. Lastly, community recovery is touched upon, explaining how to rebuild communities from a physical as well as economic standpoint. Chapter 5 details recovery specifically to home clean-up and repair, including checking for building damage roof repairs, and yard clean-up. In relation to the interior of a home, it pr ovides information on cleaning and electrical systems and appliances. The next chapter deal s with recovery specifically to farms, such as salvaging crops, feed, and grain. In addi tion, it discusses livestock and poultry and the health threats that may occu r as a result of flooding. The second volume of The Disaster Handbook deals with specific disasters, such as hurricanes, lightning, floods, tornadoes, h azardous materials, radiological accidents, residential or farm fires, w ild land fires, terrorism, extreme heat and drought, extreme cold and winter storms, and earthquakes. Each of these chapters provides background information and a fact sheet on that specific ty pe of disaster. In addition, it discusses how to prepare for the disaster and safety issu es that may be of concern. Lastly, the publication provides radio spots on an array of disaster-related topics, as well as information on stress and coping. As evident, The Disaster Handbook guides Extension on what information to provide to the public and clientele groups, but it does not offer guidance on the roles and job expectation of faculty, or contact information for emergency personnel. Nor does the publicati on provide state or local information and contacts.

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91 In contrast, the essential elements of a crisis management plan are as follows Rehearsal Dates: These are dates in which the crisis management plan was practiced. It is a means in which to ensure that the document, as well as the crisis team, is accurate and current. However there was no calling for rehearsals in The Disaster Handbook Crisis Management Team (CMT): This section identifies who is in charge of the team, as well as how to contact them, how to begin putting the plan into action, and when the plan should be activated, such as what denotes a crisis. The crisis management team represents the beginning of the crisis management process. This is loosely covered in The Disaster Handbook but does not list specific names or phone numbers. Crisis Management Team Contact Sheet: This section lists all the members of the crisis management team, their complete contact information, their areas of knowledge, and any outside people that may be needed, such those involved in emergency or insurance response. The Disaster Handbook lists the Extension directors for each state Extension service and national and state agencies and organizations that are responsible for cris is information and support services, but it does not indicate other specific members of the crisis management team in each state or their responsibili ties in times of crisis. The Disaster Handbook lacks the creation of a specific group of crisis ma nagement team members for the state of Florida. Crisis Risk Assessment: This section identifies all the possible crises that an organization may encounter, determines the probability that each will occur, and identifies damage that will ensue, includi ng financial, structural, environmental, reputational, or human repercussions. This information is included in The Disaster Handbook. Incident Report: In this section, the actions ta ken during a crisis by the CMT are recorded, which is to be used during the evaluation phase. Specifically, it denotes when the situation was first discovered, where it occurred, and when people and other organizations were made aware of the crisis. The incident report is not included in The Disaster Handbook Proprietary Information: Although it is important for crisis managers to fully disclose all information to the organizatio nal stakeholders, some information must be kept confidential until it is reviewed by the head of the organization or legal council. This caution is not included in The Disaster Handbook. CMT Strategy Worksheet: This section relates to crisis communication, such that the crisis manager must record what message was sent, what audience it was sent to, and the goal of the communication or message. It serves to remind the organization that communication is strategic, such that it serves a distinct purpose, especially during a time of cris is. This is not included in The Disaster Handbook

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92 Secondary Contact Sheet: This section identifies additional stakeholders who may need to be contacted in the event of a crisis, as they will be able to provide information that the organization needs. The secondary contact sheet identifies the stakeholders who are to be contacted and who is supposed to contact them. Aspects of this section are included in The Disaster Handbook as it lists organizations and agencies that may be of aid to the Extension organization during times of disaster. Stakeholder Contact Worksheet: Because different stakeholders, including the media, will contact the organization during a crisis, this section deals with the procedures to be taken when a call is received. For example, it dictated who contacted the organization, the informa tion requested, and the organizational response. This is not included in The Disaster Handbook and may explain the low usage of media to convey efforts of Extension during the hurricanes. Business Resumption Plan: Because an organization may suffer damage to facilities or equipment during a crisis, this section details procedure to follow if this does occur, so that the organization can resume operation. Although not included in its entirety, many aspects of the bu siness resumption plan are included in The Disaster Handbook. Crisis Control Center: This section deals with wher e team members must meet in the event of a crisis. This is not included in The Disaster Handbook and proved to be a major problem during the hurricanes. Post-crisis Evaluation: After a crisis is over, this section provides the team with a means in which to evaluate their effort during the crisis, prim arily focusing on the communication efforts. In addition, it provides an opportunity to correct weaknesses of the plan as well as maintain its strengths. A post-crisis evaluation is not included in The Disaster Handbook The Disaster Handbook is loosely organized based upon the three stages of crisis management, including pre-crisis, crisis, a nd post-crisis. The pub lication discusses how to prepare for disasters, what do to during the disaster, and how to recover. In addition, it discusses these elements according to specific disasters that Florida may be subject to, such as hurricanes, floods, and wild land fi res. However, the publication does lack certain criteria that would cons titute it as a crisis manageme nt plan. It is primarily a source of information for preparing the public an d clientele in the time of a disaster, as

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93 opposed to how to prepare the Extension organiza tion for a crisis. As a result, it includes crisis management information that is external to the Ex tension organization. Certain variations of the criteria of the crisis management plan are included in The Disaster Handbook but are often not exactly as specifi ed. For example, elements of the crisis management plan that are included in The Disaster Handbook are the crisis management team, crisis risk assessment, the business resumpti on plan, and contact information for stakeholders. The Disaster Handbook does list who the Extension directors are for each state Extension serv ice, but it does not i ndicate other specific members of the crisis management team in each state or their responsibilities in times of crisis. In addition, as The Disaster Handbook was published in 1998, it contains outdated contact information. The Disaster Handbook does include national and state agencies and organizations that are responsible for crisis in formation and support services pertaining to such topics as, recovering from a disaster, disaster preparation, farmers, FEMA, specific disasters, general assistan ce, and religious and community service organizations. Although this information can be considered to be a part of the crisis management team, the handbook lacks the cr eation of a specific group of crisis management team members for the state of Fl orida. Those agencies listed could provide assistance to the crisis management effort s by Extension in Florida, but they would primarily serve to aid the public in times of disaster. Another element that is included in The Disaster Handbook is crisis risk assessment. For example, it does provide in formation on disasters that Florida and the Extension organization may be susceptible to and the damage that will ensue, including lightning, floods, tornadoes, hazardous material s, radiological accidents, residential or

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94 farm fires, wild land fires, terrorism, and extreme heat and drought. However, this vague crisis risk assessment appears to be ina dvertently created and does not identify the probability that each crisis will occur. In addition, the information pertaining to each disaster in terms of pr eparation and recovery is external to the Extension organization as it focuses on the gene ral Florida population. In addition, parts of the ha ndbook relate to the crisis management team strategy worksheet. The worksheet relates to crisis communication, such that the crisis manager must record what message was sent, what audience it was sent to, and the goal of the communication or message. Although the publ ication lacks a specific CMT strategy worksheet, it does discuss crisis communicati on in a general sense. For example, the handbook provides information to be sent to th e public and clientele. Lastly, a major element that is included in The Disaster Handbook is a business resumption plan. Although, the information contained in this section is organized according to crisis management literature, it is aimed at ai ding small businesses in preparing for and recovering from disasters, rather th an Extension Service in Florida. There are also several elemen ts of the crisis management plan that are not included in The Disaster Handbook in any form or variation. Fo r example, there are no rehearsal dates, incident report or propr ietary information, identificatio n of a crisis control center, or post-crisis evaluation. Re hearsal dates refer to dates in which the crisis management plan was practiced. As a result, there is a lack of opportunity to evaluate the plan and make changes to improve it for future simulated or actual disasters. As of yet, no postevaluation changes have been made followi ng the 2004 hurricane season. The incident report refers to when the actions taken during a crisis by the crisis management team are

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95 recorded. Similar to having rehearsals, this section aids the organi zation in evaluating its crisis management efforts. In terms of th e proprietary informati on, it is important for crisis managers to fully disclose all info rmation to the organizational stakeholders. However, this section is not included in The Disaster Handbook Other major aspects of the CMP that are not included in The Disaster Handbook are the specification of a crisis control center and a pos t-crisis evaluation. The crisis control center is important such that it provides a central meeting point for the crisis management team. In addition, the post-cri sis evaluation provides and opportunity for the CMT to identify weaknesses in the crisis response effort. Although The Disaster Handbook is composed of disast er-related information needed by Florida residents, it does not repres ent a crisis management plan. It provides information that would affect those external to Extension, rather than providing a means in which to deal with a crisis th at affects Extension directly. Population Study The largest response came from Extension faculty having the highest rank of IV (23.9%) and the lowest came from faculty in the middle ranks of II (17.3%) and III (18.3%). The remaining respondents were Extension program assistants (1%) and County Extension Directors (19%). In regards to District Extension Directors, two of the five responded. Respondents were also asked to indicate their primary program area. It was found that the primary program areas of the respondents were as fo llows: agriculture/natural resources, 23%; community development, 1%; family and consumer sciences, 24%; 4H/youth development, 19%; Sea Grant/aquaculture, 4%; ornamental/environmental

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96 horticulture, 11%; urban horticu lture (including Master Ga rdener), 8%; commercial horticulture (including vegeta bles, citrus, and forestry), 4%; and other, 6%. Table 4-24. Demographic inform ation of respondents (N=208). Variable Frequency % Extension Rank Extension Agent I 44 21.2 Extension Agent II 33 15.9 Extension Agent III 33 15.9 Extension Agent IV 47 22.6 Courtesy Extension Agent I 8 3.8 Courtesy Extension Agent II 3 1.4 Courtesy Extension Agent III 5 2.4 Courtesy Extension Agent IV 13 6.3 Extension Program Assistant 1 0.5 Other 4 1.9 County Extension Director 39 18.8 District Extension Director 2 1.0 Primary Program Area Agriculture/Natural Resources 45 21.6 Community Development 2 1.0 Family and Consumer Sciences (including FNP/EFNEP) 46 22.1 4-H/Youth Development 37 17.8 Sea Grant/Aquaculture 8 3.8 Ornamental/Environmental Horticulture 21 10.1 Urban Horticulture (incl uding Master Gardener) 16 7.7 Commercial Horticulture (veget ables, citrus, forestry) 8 3.8 Other 11 5.3 Gender Male 70 33.7 Female 114 54.8 Ethnicity African-American 5 2.4 Asian-American 0 0 Caucasian 166 79.8 Hispanic/Latino 3 1.4 Native American 3 1.4 Other 7 3.4 In addition, it was found that 38% of the respondents were male (70) and 62% (114) were female (Table 4-24). The majo rity of survey respondents were Caucasian (90%), followed by African-American, 2.7%; Hispanic/Latino, 1.6%; Native American,

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97 1.6%; and other, 4.1%. The years of experien ce with the Cooperative Extension Service ranged from less than a year to over 35 years (Irani, Kistle r, Telg, & Place, 2005, p. 2). A response was received from 63 of Florida’s 67 counties2. Summary The goal of the study was to ascertain how ready UF/IFAS Extension faculty were to serve as front-line responders in the pr eparation and recovery from the 2004 hurricane season. In addition, the study was conducted to determine how prepared agents were to deal with professional demands, job expecta tions and clientele demands, while coping with personal hardships as a result of the hurricanes. The study was aimed at determining how well Extension carried out its responsibilities as a front-lin e responder. This was determined by the readiness of Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders during the 2004 hurricane season, as well as by the identification of personal and professiona l hardships experienced by faculty. Secondly, the study served to identify needs for professional development, training, curriculum, and resources in regards to future natural disasters on the part of Extension faculty. Lastly, the study sought to determine the availa bility of a crisis management plan to guide Extension faculty. In terms of preparation, facu lty were generally unprepared to serve as front-line responders, as indicated by several factors. It was found that as level of trainings on The Disaster Handbook increased, the use of it increased as well. However, most had not received any training on the use of The Disaster Handbook In addition, it was determined that few reported being well prep ared to address the professional challenges 2 No faculty member from Hamilton, Gilchris t, Bradford, and Marion Counties responded.

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98 they faced. Preparation did increase though, as the amount of experience within the Florida Cooperative Extension Service increased. Communication during disasters is essential, as more heavily used methods, such as email and telephones, may be unavailable. However, in general, faculty and local extension offices did not use mass media chan nels to communicate during the hurricanes to a great extent. However, it was found th at high levels of facu lty use of mass media channels are associated with high levels of that of the Extension office. In terms of personal communication channels, faculty most often used face to face visits and Extension offices used fliers and other print materials. Most respondents did experien ce some sort of personal hardships, such as damage to their home, whether to a slig ht to great extent. However, one in three did report that they had support for their emotional needs a nd about half for their physical needs. Many reported that they turned to family, friends and coworkers for support for their emotional and physical needs. Professionally, barriers that existed for faculty during this time were generally as a result of a l ack of knowledge concerning the av ailability of resources or a loss of access to certain materials, of ten due to a lack of electricity. As Florida continues to be affected by na tural disasters in particular, a continuous need exists for professional development, training, curriculum, and resources for the future. The greatest need for professional development exists in hurricane disaster recovery, followed closely by the application of subject matter in disast er situations. The best format in which to deliver such inform ation is by district meeting, followed by print materials.

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99 Those that responded the most were faculty with the ranking IV, with a primary program area of family and consumer sciences or agriculture/natural resources. Over half of the respondents were female and the majority were Caucasian.

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100 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND IMPLICATIONS Summary When a disaster is threatening the st ate of Florida, the Florida Cooperative Extension Service (FCES) is called upon as a support agency to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consum er Services. Under Emergency Support Function 17, CES serves to educate commercial and non-commer cial pet and livestock owners on how to safely care for their animals during emergency situations as well as providing them with food, water, and power. In addition to provi ding such information, FCES aids Florida residents in times of disaster by being a s ource of research-based information concerning disaster preparation, what to do during a disaster, and rec overy from disasters. For example, information is available on disast er supplies kits, handling stress, emergency evacuation, and insect control. The purpose of this study was to determin e the readiness on the part of UF/IFAS Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders in the pr eparation and recovery from the 2004 hurricane season. In addition, the study was conducted to determine how well agents were prepared to deal with profe ssional demands, job expectations and clientele demands, while coping with personal hardship s as a result of the hurricanes. A third purpose was to discern the availability of a crisis management plan to guide Extension faculty on internal, communications roles, and responsibilities.

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101 This study was based upon the crisis management model of Coombs (1999), which states that crisis management: represents a set of factors designed to combat crises a nd lessen the actual damage inflicted by a crisis. Put another way, cris is management seeks to prevent or lessen the negative outcomes of a crisis and ther eby protect the organization, stakeholders, and/or industry from damage. (p. 4) Crisis management is comprised of f our phases including pr evention, preparation, performance, and learning (Coombs, 1999, p. 4). An important aspect of the preparation phase is the crisis management plan (CMP ), which allows an organization to respond efficiently and effectively in the event th at a crisis occurs (Coombs, 1999, p. 79). Data was returned from 63.41% of the populat ion, which consisted of University of Florida/IFAS county and dist rict Extension faculty. Procedure The survey was sent to all county a nd district Extensi on faculty, which was obtained from UF/IFAS, with viable email addresses as of October 2004. The original list of Extension faculty consisted of 332 names and after making corrections for incorrect addresses and retirements, the fina l list of faculty surv eyed consisted of 328 participants. The overall response rate consisted of 208 out of 328 (63.41% response rate). Through cooperation w ith Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) faculty at Purdue University, the survey was ma de available on the web through Zoomerang software (Appendix A). A prenotice letter was sent to a ll county Extensi on faculty and District Extension Directors on Novemb er 30, 2004 by email (Appendix B). Sent by Extension Dean Larry Arrington, the goal of the email was to inform potential respondents of the forthcoming questionnaire and to encourage their participation. Several days after the email from Dr. Arringt on, a second email was sent to all Extension

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102 faculty from the researcher s in the department of Agricultural Education and Communication (Appendix C). This email cons isted of an overview of the study, as well as a link to the web-based questionnaire. Finally, two waves of follow-up were sent (December 9 and 20, 2004) to encourage non-res pondents to complete the questionnaire. The link to the survey was closed on January 5, 2005, which prevented any new responses. Preparation of Extension Faculty as Front-Line Responders One objective of the study was to determ ine how well the Cooperative Extension Service carried out its responsibil ities as front-line responders.. As part of this objective, the readiness of Extension f aculty to serve as front-line responders during the 2004 hurricane season was examined--specifically preparation, performance, and subsequent evaluation or learning. Professional Challenges Preparation was measured by how well faculty were able to address the professional challenges they faced. Interes tingly, only a very small percentage of respondents indicated that they felt very pr epared to deal with professional challenges and the emotional symptoms exhibited by clie ntele after the hurricanes. Again, this indicates that there is a lack of training be ing offered on disaster-related issues, where to find necessary information, as well as the esta blishment of a chain of command in FCES during disasters where faculty could go for advice and c ounsel. Through correlational research, it was found that preparation to address the professional challenges faced by faculty increases, preparation to address the stress and emotional symptoms exhibited by clientele increases as well. Thus, it would seem that if faculty feel prepared to meet their job expectations and perform their jobs well during disasters, they have the confidence

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103 that they will be able to d eal with added responsib ility of dealing with abnormal clientele demands. Although Extension faculty are not in the business of mental health, it is important to remember that they are on the fr ont lines of disaster response, dealing with clientele on a close basis. It is important for faculty to know basic techniques in dealing with such demands and wh ere to refer clientele. Through correlation analysis, it was found th at faculty preparation was associated with more years of experien ces within the Florida Coopera tive Extension Service. As faculty gain experience in their position, th ey acquire skills, k nowledge, and outside contacts and resources that aid them when d ealing with disaster situations. A knowledge base is built as an agent deal s with a variety of situations, which one cannot gain directly through training alone. Mentoring by more e xperienced faculty could prove beneficial for newer faculty. Faculty was asked in the survey to list the three greatest professional challenges they faced as a result of the 2004 hurricanes. Some of the major emerging themes from this question, included (a) that it was diffi cult to find needed information quickly in The Disaster Handbook, and that it could have been out of date (b) lack of a plan dictating assisting clientele and what assistance was n eeded by the public, (c) la ck of expectations in terms of what facu lty were supposed to be doing in the disaster relief effort, and (d) lack of coordination in the Extension hierar chy and those who make decisions. Many of these issues could have been more adequa tely addressed throu gh a known, established crisis management plan for the entire Exte nsion organization. Faculty would know what they were supposed to be doing during times of disaster, who to turn to for direction, and how to help their clientele groups and the general public.

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104 Resource Awareness A major part of faculty preparation wh en dealing with natural and man-made disasters is being familiar with resources that are available including The Disaster Handbook It was found that most faculty knew that their office had a copy of the publication and its location. However, a la rge percentage of re spondents had neither reviewed the publicatio n prior to the start of the 2004 hurricane season nor had received training on its use. In addition, a positive re lationship was found between faculty use of the publication and training. This indicates that the handbook may be overlooked as a source of valuable information for clientel e groups and the pub lic during disasters by Extension faculty. In addition, if faculty are trained on how to use The Disaster Handbook they will be more likely to re fer to it during disasters. Communications Planning and Challenges When a disaster does occur, it is necessa ry for faculty to manage communication efforts so as to disseminate crisis-related in formation to those who need it. Included in this is having internal and external pl ans. Approximately three-quarters of the respondents knew that their Extension offi ce had an internal plan to manage communication efforts during times of disaster. Conversely, about half reported that their office had an external plan. Overall, this indicates that faculty are aware of how to manage communication efforts internally but are less knowledgeable about external communications. This may be due to the lack of hierarchy within Extension during crises and a concrete crisis management protocol with only The Disaster Handbook as a reference. Faculty may not know who makes decisions during crises and how they are supposed to reach those the decisions affect.

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105 Overall, it is suggested from this study that FCES faculty were not well prepared to deal with their demands as front-line responde rs. Not only were most not well-prepared to deal with professional challenges they faced, they also were not trained on using resources such as The Disaster Handbook that could have helped during this time. As evident from the lack of preparation and their limited knowledge on crisis management protocol, it is evident that a gap exists between Extension faculty and those making decisions concerning disaster response at the ad ministrative level. Th is may be due to the idea of risk perception, as facu lty perceive themselves to be in more imminent danger as a result of the hurricanes. As “experts,” Ex tension administrators see the quantitative, hazard side of the crises created by the hurri canes, while faculty at the county level must deal with the emotional, and less predictable, side of the risk. Job Performance of Extension Faculty as Front-Line Responders The individual job performa nce of faculty directly a ffects the overall response effort of the Extension organization. In th is study, job performan ce was characterized by how well they fulfilled their professional obliga tions and use of available resources such as “ The Disaster Handbook ,” communication channels, a nd use of local, state, and federal agencies. It was found that the job performance (i.e. difficu lty concentrating or missing work) of faculty was not greatly affect ed by the personal expe rience, such as if their house was damaged. Nearly two-th irds of respondents reported their job performance was affected to some extent by their personal experience. Over half of respondents (60.1%) indicated they had referred to The Disaster Handbook during the hurricane season or for a nother disaster during in 2004. Although this does indicate that the publication is being used, the lack of training being offered to

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106 faculty suggests that they had to become familiar with its contents during the crisis situation and it may not be utili zed to its fullest potential. Another resource used to convey crisis in formation to the public and clientele groups is mass media. By fully using ma ss media channels, faculty can increase the chances that they are getting pertinent information to those who need it. This study found that few agents and offices are actually us ing such channels to convey information. However, it was found that as mass media cha nnels use increases by an Extension office, that use increases by individual faculty. Facu lty may not be aware of how to use such a resource until the office as a whole or another ag ent in their office uses it. Other personal communication methods were utilized by faculty to convey informati on to the public and clientele groups, with the most highly used being face to face visits. Extension offices most often used flyers or other print mate rials. The most widely used communication channel used by Extension offices to transm it information to the public included fliers and other print materials. According to program area, it was found that agriculture an d natural resource faculty primarily used the personal communi cation methods of face to face and on-site visits to a great extent, more than any other program area. However, family and consumer science agents used the telephone to a greater extent, while 4-H agents used electronic mail to a great extent. Horticultu re faculty also utilized face to face communication and on-site visits to a great extent (Muegge, 2005). In terms of communication channels, either mass media or personal, it appears th at faculty are not using the appropriate channels to get critical information to those who need it.

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107 Effectiveness of their role as a front-line responder could be enhanced by attempting to further use available channels. There also was a significant lack of res ource utilization by f aculty in terms of accessing local, state, federal, and non-govern mental agencies and organizations. The most utilized included (a) County Emergency Management (local), (b) UF/IFAS (state), (c) US Department of Agriculture: Farm Service Agency (federal), and (d) Salvation Army (non-governmental). However, few orga nizations were utilized to a great extent and many faculty members did not use some orga nizations at al, such as the UF Health Sciences Center. Listing agencies that can be used as resources, The Disaster Handbook may not be very complete, or to a lack of training on its use, faculty may not be aware that the publication provides na mes of available organizations. In addition, agencies that were not utilized a great deal may be doi ng a poor job of making their presence known as part of the disaster support system for Exte nsion, through publicati ons and advertising. However, faculty did recognize the importa nce of cooperation among organizations and agencies that are expected to conduct disa ster relief. As one respondent stated, professional needs included “working with other agencies and commodity groups in a consistent and unified way for the benefit of our mutual clientele.” Although job performance was not directly measured in terms of its affect on clientele and the public during the 2004 hurricane season, the indicator referred to in this study revealed that faculty performance was moderate. There was a general lack of utilization of resources, whether they be communication channels or available organizations. Because this was a general tr end, it indicates that there is a lack of knowledge as to how to effectivel y integrate the aid of other ag encies involved in disaster

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108 relief and how to effectively get information to everyone that needs it. Aiding the public during disasters would be a be neficial time for the Florida Cooperative Extension System to make its presence known among the population as a source of knowledge and information on an array of topics. Learning and Post-crisis Evaluation Evaluation must be conducted after a crisis occurs because it is imperative that the organization determine its strengths and weakne sses so as to improve its response in the future. Aspects of this assessment were conducted by FCES. For example, it was determined that about half of respondents woul d use either the print or web-based format of The Disaster Handbook followed by the print version only This makes sense as some respondents reported that they did not have electricity and could not access the web version. In addition, four out of five respondents indicated that they would utilize the help of specially trained volunteers if they were made available to help with home and family issues after a disasters so that they could better focus on their work with Extension and its aid to disaster victims. Communication channels were evaluated to determine which ones were deemed most effective by faculty in getting informa tion to the public or clientele groups. The most effective communication channel to get information to the public during the hurricanes was flyers and other print material In addition, the most effective personal communication method for clientele was face to face visits. However, only a small percentage of faculty reported that the general pu blic and clientele groups were greatly aware of Extension’s effort. This indicates that the most effective communication channels, as perceived by f aculty, may not be truly the be st method to get information out. If people are not receivi ng important disaster informa tion and are not aware of the

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109 efforts of Extension, then those communicat ion channels are not reaching the entire population in need. Faculty may deem these as the most effective simply because they are not familiar with the other communicati on methods. In addition, it was found that high levels of awareness of the efforts of Ex tension by the public ar e associated with high levels of clientele awareness. There is an overall lack of non-biased post-crisis ev aluation and assessment of effective mass and personal communication ch annels for the genera l public and clientele groups. The research-based information and th e services that are offered by FCES can not be made available to the public unless ther e are means in which to get it to them in times of disaster. The curre nt lines of communication betw een the local extension office and the public were not adequate to deal with crisis situations. Personal Hardships of Extension Front-Line Responders For some faculty that experienced persona l hardships such as damage to their homes, fulfilling their job expectations may have proved difficult. It was found that nearly one-fourth of the res pondents experienced moderate to great damage to their home or other personal hardships. In addition, near ly one in ten faculty members reported that they experienced personal stress or emotiona l symptoms as a result of the hurricane. However, respondents also indicated that they had significant sources of support for their emotional and physical needs, such as shelter, food, water, and electricity. As previously discussed, faculty said that their job perfor mance, such as difficulty concentrating or missing work, was not greatly affected by th eir personal experience. The fact that support systems were in place may have served to significantly reduce the effect that personal hardships played in the lives of faculty. Respondents indicated that their emotional and physical needs were supported primarily by family, friends, neighbors, and

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110 other Extension coworkers. However, the Ex tension organization does need to be aware that there may be faculty that do not have th ese supports available to them. Considering this, Extension should make supports available, such as places to stay for the duration for faculty and crisis counselors. This is especially important if local Extension offices are requiring their employees to aid in th e disaster preparation and recovery. Professional Hardships of Extension Front-Line Responders Although the personal expe rience of respondents may not ha ve directly affected their professional obligations, approximately one in six indicated that it was very difficult to balance their professional and personal needs. For example, some faculty stated that it was difficult for them to adequately prepare their home and family for the hurricanes and clean up afterward when they we re required to be at the offi ce. In additi on, many found it difficult to leave their families, including sm all children, to aid the public disaster relief efforts. As one responder said, “it is the greater good of the many.” Of those respondents who reported that they experienced a high degr ee of personal stress or emotional symptoms, 16.3% reported a high level of difficulty in balancing personal and professional needs. Similarly, of those w ho reported a very high degree of personal stress, 4.7% reported a high le vel of difficulty in balancing personal and professional needs. A lack of clear expectations of faculty during disasters made fulfilling professional obligations and aid in relief efforts more difficult. In addition, barriers existed that prevente d faculty from utilizing certain resources such as The Disaster Handbook and “Triumph over Tragedy.” Some faculty reported that the greatest barrier was that they did not have time to access materials. Others reported that they did not know that certain materials were availabl e. Although materials were online, many did not have computer a ccess, suggesting that online viewing during

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111 times of crisis may not be a viable option. This indicates poor prep aration on the part of both the agent and administrators. Not having time to access materials could be a signal that available materials are not in a readily us able format in a crisis. Lack of knowledge concerning the availability of certain materials would indi cate a need for training and update reminders prior to and during hurricane season. Living in Florida, hurricanes and other natural disasters are a cons tant threat. As a result, it is necessary for faculty to prepare prior to a disaster and have material s available on the web and in paper forms. The fact that barriers exist preventing faculty from effectively utilizing available resources is related to socio-technical system s. The socio, or workforce, aspect is not accurately fitting with the technological element, or the crisis management protocol. As a result, the Extension organiza tion is not effectively able to deal with the crises that occurred from the hurricanes. In sum, it w ould seem that many of the issues could have been remedied by everyone having a clear understanding of what was expected from faculty, supervisors, and administration. Professional Development Needs In order to improve Extension’s response to di sasters in the future, it is critical that potential needs of Extension faculty be ex amined. In addition, a response must be formulated to meet those needs. This study found that the greatest need of faculty was for professional development or training in hurricane disaster recovery, followed by applying subject matter in disast er situations, and helping clie ntele to cope with stress. Faculty favored receiving such training via di strict meetings, followed by print materials and a web-based module/CD-ROM.

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112 The Disaster Handbook For Extension faculty and staff, The Disaster Handbook is the primary source of information concerning preparation, during, a nd recovery from natural and man-made disasters. However, its focus is on prepar ing the public and clientele in the time of a disaster, as opposed to preparing the Extension organization for a crisis. As a result, it includes crisis management information that is external to the Exte nsion organization and does not address internal issues such as stress management for Extension faculty, balancing work, and family, and hurri cane impact on job responsibilities. By comparing the publication to the elements of Coombs’ (1999) crisis management plan, it was found that some ar eas are included in the handbook, but are not in the recommended format, while other areas are not included in the handbook at all. For example, the following elements of the crisis management plan are included in “ The Disaster Handbook ,” in some aspect: (a) crisis ma nagement team, (b) crisis risk assessment, (c) business resumption plan, and (d) contact information for stakeholders. Although these elements of the crisis management plan ar e included in the publication, they are often included only in part. In addition, even though these elements are included, they do not serve to help the Exte nsion organization itself in dealing with crises. Rather, the goal of the informati on contained in the publication is to aid the general public and clientele groups in dealing with disaster prepara tion and recovery. Elements of crisis management that ar e not included in the handbook include (a) rehearsal dates, (b) incident report or proprie tary information, (c) iden tification of a crisis control center, or (d) post-crisis evaluation. Without oppor tunities to practice the crisis management plan, there is no way to evaluate the plan and make changes to improve it

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113 for future disasters. Nor are faculty as wellprepared for a crisis as they could be had they practiced. As a result, there is limited use of The Disaster Handbook in terms of implementation as a crisis management plan. Although a source of solid, disaster-related information for the public, it does little in term s of directing faculty serving as front-line responders. It does not provide faculty, specifically those working in county offices, with any guidance in regard to their role and job expectations. Population Study The largest response was from faculty categorized as Extension Agent IV. In addition, the most highly repr esented primary program area was family and consumer sciences. The majority of respondents were also female and Caucasian. Faculty from every county responded except four-Ham ilton, Gilchrist, Bradford, and Marion. Implications and Recommendations The following is a list of implications and recommendations for the Extension organization, Extension administrators, and coun ty faculty, who particip ated in this study. Create a Detailed, Comprehensive St atewide Crisis Management Plan Although this survey focused on severa l different areas concerning crisis management, one main issue that continuously emerged from both quantitative and qualitative analysis was a lack of a detaile d, comprehensive statewid e crisis management plan for Florida. The main source of crisis related information for faculty came from “ The Disaster Handbook ,” which was found to be both outdated and provided limited information for faculty on dealing with orga nizational issues created by the hurricanes. Because little information was available on th e chain of command during crises or their job expectations, there was not an organized plan of response. By creating a crisis

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114 management plan, Extension could produce a coordinated, effective response, without overlapping or omitting duties. In addition, th is would aid Extension at the county level to produce a plan that works in concord with the statewide plan, adap ted for their specific county needs (i.e. are they a coastal or inland county?). Having a crisis management plan in place prior to the onset of a disaster would enable front-line responders in Extension to recover more quickly. In 2004, Florida was struck by consecutive hurricanes, without mu ch time to recover and regroup before the next storm was threatening the state. As a result, Extensi on, as well as th e rest of the population, was struck again and again when th ey were weakest. Disaster response and recovery would be more effective if a plan was in place. Train Faculty as Front-Line Responders In conjunction with a lack of a comprehens ive crisis management plan, faculty lack knowledge as to what their specific roles are as front-line responders. In addition, they do not know what their job expectations ar e during crises, as planned programs are cancelled and their attention is often shifted to aiding the larger population of disaster victims. Faculty often did not know who to tu rn to, as there is no established chain of command in disaster situations in Florida. As a result, the public suffe rs as faculty do not know how to coordinate a response, such as preparing hard copies of necessary publications in the event of loss of electricity. Create Awareness and Conduct Training Sessions Although not due to a lack of effort, ma ny Extension faculty were not acting as front-line responders. This was due primarily to a lack of awareness as to what disasterrelated resources were availa ble to support their efforts. For example, many were not very familiar with nor received training on The Disaster Handbook which is their

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115 primary source of information during the hurri cane crisis. In addition, faculty made limited use of communications channels to di sseminate needed information to clientele groups and to the general public. It is im perative that faculty know what governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizatio ns are available to provide information and support to the public. For example, al though not trained to do so as front-line responders, faculty are often d ealing directly with the public and clientele who may be suffering from stress and emotional symptoms following the onset of the disaster. Faculty need to know what organizations they should refer such people to. By creating awareness of and specific trainings on extern al resource use, a coordinated response can be created through the collabo ration of various disaster response organizations. One of the objectives of this study was to identify professional development needs that Extension faculty had during the hurrican es. The greatest need of faculty was for professional development or training in hur ricane disaster recove ry, followed by applying subject matter in disaster situa tions, and helping clientele to c ope with stress. Other areas that were identified as important are (a) hurricane disaster prep aredness, (b) helping coworkers deal with stress, (c) working w ith the media, and (d) coping with personal stress. It is imperative that the Extensi on organization address these needs of faculty through trainings formats that were requested, su ch as through district meetings or print materials. Provide Organizational Support for Pers onal and Professional Hardships Many respondents reported that they we re able to rely upon family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers during the stressful tim e of a disaster to aid their emotional and physical needs. However, some faculty may not have this advantag e. In addition, many faculty were expected to report to their offi ce in the immediate aftermath of each of the

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116 hurricanes. If the Extension organization is going to require this from its faculty, they should provide reasonable support for the ba sic personal and professional needs that faculty have. For example, mental health c ounselors may need to be provided for those faculty having trouble coping and facilities for those without electricity to bathe and cook. Conclusion Generally, there is a serious lack of unde rstanding and knowledge as to what the role of Extension is during disaster relief. As one respondent stated, “Extension can not and should not be expected to be all things to all people. Our responsib ility is to train the trainers who are already employed to provi de direct service. This will require administrative leadership, vision, and relations hip building at the county, state and federal levels to identify and fill th e specialized gaps in what is currently being done. This should only be undertaken with additional resources, deletion of lower priority activities and the reasonable assumption that appropriate credit and therefore stabilization of base funding can be attained. Otherwise, we risk the bird in the hand.”

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117 APPENDIX A SURVEY RESULTS

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138 APPENDIX B PRE-NOTICE LETTER TO IFAS EXTEN SION FACULTY FROM EXTENSION DEAN November 30, 2004 TO: County Extension Faculty FROM: Dr. Larry Arrington, UF/IFAS Extension Dean RE: Extension Hurricane Response Survey Within the next few days you will be receivi ng a web-based questionnaire entitled: FrontLine Disaster Responders: The Needs of Florid a’s County Extension Professionals. It is focused on UF/IFAS Extension’s Res ponse with the 2004 hurricane season. We realize that many of you have been dealing w ith the reality of the direct hits that we had this past fall. We know that Extensi on has gone above and be yond the call of duty to help clientele in many different ways. We al so know that this has been a real personal and professional challenge in de aling with all the needs and i ssues that have arisen from these devastating storms that have affected our state. It is because of these reasons, that I ask you to complete this very important questionnaire in a timely fashion upon receiving it. This questionnaire is designed to help us capture what we did as an Extension organization to help local clientele and communities. Moreover, it will provide critical data relate d to personal and professional needs that you have. This information will help us deve lop much needed organizational communication, training, curriculum and resources in preparation for futu re hurricanes and other types of disasters. If you have any questions about this ques tionnaire, you can contact: Nick Place, Ricky Telg, Tracy Irani or Mark Ki stler in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. Thank you in advan ce for your candid participation. Larry R. Arrington Dean for Extension and Director, Florida Cooperative Extension

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139 APPENDIX C FOLLOW-UP LETTER FROM DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTUR AL EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION TO: All County and Distri ct Extension Faculty RE: Extension Hurricane Response Survey Dear UF/IFAS Extension Faculty, Within the past few days, you should have re ceived an email letter from Dr. Larry Arrington, Extension Dean, requesting your input on a statewide study related to Extension’s response during the 2004 hurricane season. The web-based questionnaire is entitled: Front-Line Disaster Responders: The Needs of Florida’s County Extension Professionals The 2004 hurricane season officially ended on Tuesday, November 30, and with that we are asking for your input on this questionnaire. This questionnaire is designed to help us capture what we did as an Extension organization to help local clientele and comm unities. Moreover, it will provide critical data related to personal and pr ofessional needs that you have. This information will help us develop much needed organizational communication, training, curriculum and resources in preparation for future hu rricanes and other types of disasters. Thank you very much for your involvement a nd input for this study. If you have any questions about this questionna ire, you can contact: Nick Pl ace (nplace@ufl.edu), Ricky Telg (RTelg@mail.ifas.ufl.edu), Tracy Irani (T AIrani@mail.ifas.ufl.edu) or Mark Kistler (MJKistler@ifas.ufl.edu) in the Depart ment of Agricultural Education and Communication. To link to this questionnaire, please click on the link below.

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140 LIST OF REFERENCES Associated Press. (2004). Stress from hurricanes builds in Florida Retrieved May 3, 2005, from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6125179/print/1/displaymode/1098 Berg, B. (2001). Qualitative re search methods for the social sciences. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Burnett, J.J. (1998). A Strategi c Approach to Managing Crises. Public Relations Review 24, 475-488. Cole, C.R., Corbett, R.B., & McCullough, K. A. (2005). 2004 Hurricanes Losses: Testing the Lessons Learned from Hurricane Andrew. CPCU eJournal 1-9. Coombs, W.T. (1999). Ongoing crisis communication Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Dickey, B. (2004). Mean season [Electronic version]. Government Executive Retrieved December 15, 2004 from http://governmentexecutive.com/story_pa ge.cfm?articleid=2 9875&printerfriendlyV ers=1& Dillman, D. (2000). Mail and internet surveys: The tailored design (2nd ed). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Federal Emergency Management Agency (1999). Emergency Support Functions Retrieved December 15, 2004 from http://www.fema.gov Fink, Steven (1986). Crisis management: Planning for the inevitable. New York, NY: American Management Association. Florida Division of Emergency Management. (2000). Appendix V: Emergency Support Function 17Animal Protection Retrieved March 30, 2005, from http://floridadisaster.org/inte rnaltraining/Documents/esf17.pdf Florida Division of Emergency Management. (2005a). Emergency Support Functions: ESFs Retrieved March 30, 2005, from http://floridadisaster.org/ internaltraining/ESFs.htm Florida Division of Emergency Management. (2005b). DEM: Organization Retrieved March 30, 2005 from http://www.floridadisaster.org

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141 Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FIC). (2005). Hurricane Season 2004: Hurricane Reporting Summaries Retrieved March 17, 2005 from http://www.flains.org/public /021005HurricaneBriefingUpdate.pdf Galambos, Colleen M. (2005). Natural Di sasters: Health an d Mental Health Considerations. Health & Social Work 30, 83-86. Groth, Edward. (1998). Risk Communication in the Context of Consumer Perceptions of Risks Retrieved February 3, 2005, from http://www.consumersunion.org/food/riskcomny598.htm Holsti, O.R. (1968). Content analysis for the social sciences and humanities. Reading, MA: Sage Publications. Irani, T., Telg, R., Place, N., & Kistler, M. (2005, March). Front-line Disaster Responders: The Needs of Florida’ s County Extension Professionals Gainesville, FL: University of Florida Institute of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Irvine, R.B., & Millar, D.P. (1996). Debunking the Stereotypes of Crisis Management: The Nature of Business Crises in the 1990’s Retrieved June 16, 2005 from http://www.crisisexperts.com/debunking_main.htm Johnston, W.P. & Stepanovich, P.L. (2001). Managing in Crisis: Planning, acting, and learning. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacists 58, 1245-1249. Landsea, Chris. (n.d.). What is a hurricane, typ hoon, or tropical cyclone? Retrieved December 2, 2005, from http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/A1.html Longo, M.F. and Dresbach, S.H. (2001). Ideas to Assist Extension Field Professionals in Building Linkages and Alliances. Journal of Extension 39. Mitroff, I. (2001). Managing crises before they happen New York, NY: American Management Association. Muegge, M. Communication Efforts of Florida Extension Faculty during the 2004 Hurricane Season [thesis]. Gainesville (FL): University of Florida; 2005. National Oceanic and Atmos pheric Association (2004). Billion Dollar US Weather Disasters Retrieved December 2, 2005, from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/reports/billionz.html#narrative National Oceanic and Atmos pheric Association (2005). The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale Retrieved December 2, 2005, from http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshs.shtml Penrose, J.M. (2000). The Role of Perception in Crisis Planning. Public Relations Review 26, 155-171.

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142 Rosenthal, U. & Kouzmin, A. (1996). Crisis Management and Institutional Resilience: An Editorial Statement. Journal of Contingenc ies and Crisis Management 4, 119124. Sandman, P. (1987). Ri sk Communication: Facing Public Outrage. EPA Journal 13, 21-22. Sashkin, M., Burke, R.J., Lawrence, P.R ., & Pasmore, W. (1985). OD Approaches: Analysis and Application. Training and Development Journal 44-50. Seeger, M.W., Sellnow, T.L., & Ulmer, R.R. (2003). Communication and organizational crisis Westport, CT: Praeger. Slovic, P. (1987). Perception of Risk. Science 236, 280-285. Strother, J.B. (2004). Crisis Communication Put to the Test: The Case of Two Airlines on 9/11. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication 47, 290-300. Texas Cooperative Extension. Reaching, Teaching, and Building a Better Texas: A Career as a County Extension Agent Retrieved February 5, 2004 from http://taexhr.tamu.edu/forms/career.htm University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service. (1998). The Disaster Handbook1998 National Edition (No. SP241). Gainesville, FL: Author. University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (1996). FL124 Prevention and Preparedness: Agricultural Safety and Disaster Management Retrieved March 28, 2005 from http://extensionsmp.i fas.ufl.edu/fl124.htm University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (2003). Land-Grant and Sea Grant Retrieved October 24, 2005 from http://ifas.ufl.edu University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (2005, January). Hurricane recovery task force report. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida Institute of Agricultural and Life Sciences Whiting, L.R., Tucker, M., & Whaley, S.R. ( 2004). Level of Preparedness for Managing Crisis Communication on Land-Grant Campuses. Journal of Applied Communications 88, 7-20. Wikipedia contributors (2005). 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia Retrieved 13:48, March 17, 2005 from http://en.wikipedia.org /w/index.php?title=2004_Atlantic _hurricane_season&oldid= 33770822

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143 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Abbe Rebecca DeGroat was born March 19, 198 1 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Robert and Carole DeGroat. She lived in St ratford, New Jersey, until the age of three, when she moved to Clifton Park, New York w ith her parents and siblings, Kira, Kalen, and Benjamin. She attended Shenendehowa High School, where she graduated in 1999. She developed a love of horses, especially Appaloosas, and animals in general at an early age. Because of this interest, she d ecided to pursue a career in the animal or livestock field. Having moved to Gainesville, Florida immediately after her high school graduation, she pursued a degree in animal sc ience with an emphasis in animal biology and a minor in business administration at the University of Florida, graduating in 2003. Departing from the field of animal science, she enrolled in gra duate school in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, focusing on Extension Education, with a minor in youth developm ent in August 2003. During her graduate studies, she was actively involved in the Agricultural Education and Communication Graduate Student Association and University of Florida Collegiate 4H. In addition, she served as a graduate research assistant for the Program Development and Evaluation Center and in the state 4-H office.


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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0013419/00001

Material Information

Title: The Use of crisis management by extension in hurricane preparedness
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Language: English
Creator: DeGroat, Abbe R. ( Dissertant )
Ladewig, Howard W. ( Thesis advisor )
Place, Nick ( Reviewer )
Irani, Tracy ( Reviewer )
Barnett, Rose ( Reviewer )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2006
Copyright Date: 2006

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Agricultural Education and Communication
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States--Florida

Notes

Abstract: When a disaster is threatening the state of Florida, the Florida Cooperative Extension Service (FCES) is called upon as a support agency to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. CES serves to educate commercial and non-commercial pet and livestock owners on how to safely care for their animals during emergency situations as well as providing them with food, water, and power. In addition to providing such information, FCES aids Florida residents in times of disaster by being a source of research-based information concerning disaster preparation, what to do during a disaster, and recovery from disasters. The purpose of this study is to determine the readiness on the part of University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders in the preparation and recovery from the 2004 hurricane season. In addition, the study was conducted to determine how well agents were prepared to deal with professional demands, job expectations and clientele demands, while coping with personal hardships as a result of the hurricanes. A third purpose is to discern the availability of a crisis management plan to guide Extension faculty on internal, communications, roles, and responsibilities. This study was based upon crisis management, which is a means to prevent or lessen the negative outcomes of a crisis so that the organization, stakeholders, and/or industry are protected from damage. Crisis management is comprised of four phases including prevention, preparation, performance, and learning. An important aspect of the preparation phase is the crisis management plan, which allows an organization to respond efficiently and effectively in the event that a crisis occurs. The survey was sent to all county and district Extension faculty with viable email addresses as of October 2004. The overall response rate consisted of 208 out of 328 (63.41% response rate). A pre-notice letter was sent to all county Extension faculty and District Extension Directors on November 30, 2004 by email to inform potential respondents of the forthcoming questionnaire and to encourage their participation. Several days after, a second email was sent to all Extension faculty from the researchers in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. This email consisted of an overview of the study, as well as a link to the web-based questionnaire. Two waves of follow-up were sent to encourage non-respondents to complete the questionnaire. The link to the survey was closed on January 5, 2005, which prevented any new responses. Results from this study concluded that most Florida Cooperative Extension faculty were not fully prepared to act as front-line responders during the 2004 hurricane season. In addition, a comprehensive, state-wide crisis management is needed to identify clear professional roles and job expectations for faculty.
Subject: crisis, extension, hurricanes, management
General Note: Title from title page of source document.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; contains 155 pages.
General Note: Includes vita.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2006.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 003589315
System ID: UFE0013419:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0013419/00001

Material Information

Title: The Use of crisis management by extension in hurricane preparedness
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Language: English
Creator: DeGroat, Abbe R. ( Dissertant )
Ladewig, Howard W. ( Thesis advisor )
Place, Nick ( Reviewer )
Irani, Tracy ( Reviewer )
Barnett, Rose ( Reviewer )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2006
Copyright Date: 2006

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Agricultural Education and Communication
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States--Florida

Notes

Abstract: When a disaster is threatening the state of Florida, the Florida Cooperative Extension Service (FCES) is called upon as a support agency to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. CES serves to educate commercial and non-commercial pet and livestock owners on how to safely care for their animals during emergency situations as well as providing them with food, water, and power. In addition to providing such information, FCES aids Florida residents in times of disaster by being a source of research-based information concerning disaster preparation, what to do during a disaster, and recovery from disasters. The purpose of this study is to determine the readiness on the part of University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders in the preparation and recovery from the 2004 hurricane season. In addition, the study was conducted to determine how well agents were prepared to deal with professional demands, job expectations and clientele demands, while coping with personal hardships as a result of the hurricanes. A third purpose is to discern the availability of a crisis management plan to guide Extension faculty on internal, communications, roles, and responsibilities. This study was based upon crisis management, which is a means to prevent or lessen the negative outcomes of a crisis so that the organization, stakeholders, and/or industry are protected from damage. Crisis management is comprised of four phases including prevention, preparation, performance, and learning. An important aspect of the preparation phase is the crisis management plan, which allows an organization to respond efficiently and effectively in the event that a crisis occurs. The survey was sent to all county and district Extension faculty with viable email addresses as of October 2004. The overall response rate consisted of 208 out of 328 (63.41% response rate). A pre-notice letter was sent to all county Extension faculty and District Extension Directors on November 30, 2004 by email to inform potential respondents of the forthcoming questionnaire and to encourage their participation. Several days after, a second email was sent to all Extension faculty from the researchers in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. This email consisted of an overview of the study, as well as a link to the web-based questionnaire. Two waves of follow-up were sent to encourage non-respondents to complete the questionnaire. The link to the survey was closed on January 5, 2005, which prevented any new responses. Results from this study concluded that most Florida Cooperative Extension faculty were not fully prepared to act as front-line responders during the 2004 hurricane season. In addition, a comprehensive, state-wide crisis management is needed to identify clear professional roles and job expectations for faculty.
Subject: crisis, extension, hurricanes, management
General Note: Title from title page of source document.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; contains 155 pages.
General Note: Includes vita.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2006.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 003589315
System ID: UFE0013419:00001


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THE USE OF CRISIS MANAGEMENT BY EXTENSION
IN HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS















By

ABBE R. DEGROAT


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2006

































Copyright 2006

by

Abbe R. DeGroat

































To my parents, Robert and Carole, and my siblings, Kira, Kalen, and Ben, for their
continued support in all my efforts.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The process of pursuing my graduate degree and writing my thesis has been an

incredible journey. There are no words to express my gratitude and appreciation to my

committee chair and advisor, Dr. Howard Ladewig. Without his help, guidance, and

encouragement, this project would not have been a success. I would also like to extend

my thanks to Dr. Nick Place, Dr. Tracy Irani, and Dr. Rose Barnett. Their support and

input throughout the course of my graduate career has been invaluable.

I would also like to thank my parents for their continued support and patience

throughout my life and educational career. My parents and siblings have been my sanity

through this process, as well as a source of strength, as they celebrate all my successes.

Lastly, I would like to thank my fellow students. I have learned so much about myself

through their friendship.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS



A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

LIST OF TABLES ............................ .............. ........ ............ viii

ABSTRACT .............. ................. .......... .............. xi

CHAPTER

1 IN TR OD U CTION ............................................... .. ......................... ..

H hurricanes ............................................................................................ 2
Dam age Sustained by Florida from Hurricanes................................. .....................3
Personal Difficulties Resulting from Hurricanes ...............................................5
Agricultural Loss from Hurricanes.................................... ........................ 6
G overnm ent R ole in N natural D isasters .................................. .................................... 8
Government Aid to Hurricane Victim s .................................... ............... 10
Response of Cooperative Extension in Natural Disasters.............................. 10
State ent of Problem .......................................... ..... .... ..... .. ...... .... 12
Purpose of Study .................................................................... ........ 13
L im stations ...................................................................................................... ....... 14
O operational D definitions ............................................................15

2 LITERATURE REVIEW .................. ........................... .. ........ ................. 18

Intro du action .....................................................................................................18
D definition of C crisis ..................................... ...... ...... ........ .. .......... .. 19
Crisis M anagem ent .................. ...................................... .. ........ .... 20
Phases of C risis M anagem ent......................................................................... ..... 20
Crisis M anagem ent M odels .............................................. .............................. 22
Four-Stage M odel .................. ..................................... .. ........ .... 22
Five-Stage M odel .......................... ............ ............... .... .. .....23
C risis C lassification M atrix ............................................................ ............... 24
Three-Stage M odel ............................ .. .................. ................ .............. 24
Pre-Crisis Stage of Crisis Management .......................................... ...............25
Signal D election ....................................................................25
C crisis P rev mention .............................. ......................... ... ...... .... ..... ...... 2 8
Crisis Preparation............................... ............. 30
Diagnosing Crisis Vulnerabilities.................... ...... ......................... 31


v









C crisis T ypes ............................................................................................... 3 1
Crisis M anagem ent Team s ............................................................................ 33
The Crisis Management Plan................................................... 35
Crisis Preparation and The Disaster Handbook ...............................................39
Crisis Stage of Crisis M anagem ent.......................................................................40
C crisis R recognition .............................. ........................ .. ...... .... ...... ...... 40
Crisis Containment and Recovery .......... ............................................41
Initial crisis response ..... .. ........ ... .... .... ...... ........ ...... .. .............. 42
Reputational concerns and crisis communication .......................................43
Crisis Event and The Disaster Handbook ................................. ............... 44
Post-Crisis Stage of Crisis M anagem ent ........................................ .....................44
Post-Crisis Stage and The Disaster Handbook..................... .............................45
Risk Perception ............... .... ... ................ ........ ........... ......... 46
Socio-Technical System s Approach................................ ................................... 47
S u m m a ry ............................................................................................................... 4 8

3 M E T H O D O L O G Y .......................................................................... .....................50

E extension F faculty Survey ...................................................... ................ ............... 51
Questionnaire Design and Variable Definitions.................................... ...................51
O bjectiv e 1 ............................................................................ 52
O bjectiv e l a ....................................................................... 52
O bjectiv e lb ........................................................................6 1
O bje ctiv e I c .................................................................... 6 2
Objective 2 ..................................... .................. ............... ......... 63
Objective 3 ..................................... .................. ............... ......... 64
P opu nation Stu dy .................................................. ................. 66
Survey Im plem entation ...................................................................... ...................68
D ata A analysis Procedures ........................................................................... 69

4 R E S U L T S .............................................................................7 1

O bje ctiv e 1 ...............................................................7 1
O objective la............................................. ............... 7 1
Preparation of Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders .............72
Performance of Extension faculty as front-line responders .........................76
Subsequent evaluation and learning............... ...........................................81
O bjectiv e lb ................................................................... 8 4
O bjectiv e Ic ........................................................................ 85
Objective 2 ..................................... .................. ............... ......... 87
Objective 3 ..................................... .................. ............... ......... 89
P opu nation Stu dy .................................................. ................. 9 5
S u m m ary ...................................... .................................................. 9 7

5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND IMPLICATIONS ........................................100

Su m m ary ...................................... ................................................. 10 0









Procedure ............... ...................................... .......... ............... 101
Preparation of Extension Faculty as Front-Line Responders ........... ............... 102
Professional C hallenges............................................. ............................ 102
Resource Awareness............................................................ 104
Communications Planning and Challenges................................................... 104
Job Performance of Extension Faculty as Front-Line Responders .........................105
Learning and Post-crisis Evaluation ................. .. ...............108
Personal Hardships of Extension Front-Line Responders ............. ................109
Professional Hardships of Extension Front-Line Responders .............................1.10
Professional Development Needs................... .................................111
The D disaster H handbook ......... ................. ....................................... ............... 112
Population Study....................................... 113
Implications and Recommendations.......................................................113
Conclusion ............. ........... .... ..... ........ .. ..........116

APPENDIX

A SU R V E Y R E SU L T S ......... ................. ........................................ ........................ 117

B PRE-NOTICE LETTER TO IFAS EXTENSION FACULTY FROM
E X TEN SIO N D E A N ........ ......... ......... .......... ........................ ............... 138

C FOLLOW-UP LETTER FROM DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL
EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION .................................. ...............139

LIST OF REFEREN CE S ......... .................................. ........................ ............... 140

B IO G R A PH ICA L SK ETCH ......... ................. ...................................... .....................143
















LIST OF TABLES


Table p

3-1 Questions describing communication channels used by agent for the public..........53

3-2 Questions pertaining to communication channels used by agents for clientele.......54

3-3 Questions pertaining to communication channels used by Extension for the
p u b lic ..................................................................................... 5 5

3-4 Questions pertaining to faculty perceptions of public and clientele awareness of
Extension communication efforts during the 2004 hurricane season.....................56

3-5 Questions pertaining to sources of emotional and physical support for Extension
fa cu lty .................................................................................... 5 7

3-6 Questions pertaining to faculty readiness to respond............................................ 58

3-7 Questions pertaining to The Disaster Handbook ..........................................60

3-8 Questions pertaining to sources of personal hardships experienced by Extension
fa cu lty .................................................................................... 6 2

3-9 Questions pertaining to personal hardships experienced by Extension faculty.......63

3-10 Questions pertaining to professional development and future disasters. ................64

3-11 Questions pertaining to descriptive information of respondents ...........................67

4-1 Faculty awareness and use of The Disaster Handbook (N=208)...........................72

4-2 Pearson's product-moment correlation with relationship between The Disaster
Handbook use and training by faculty (N=196).....................................................73

4-3 Availability of plans to manage communication efforts in a crisis (N=208). ..........74

4-4 Extent to which faculty members were prepared to address professional
obligations (N =208). ........................... ........... ...... ...... ...... ...... 74









4-5 Pearson's product-moment correlation with relationship between extent to which
faculty were prepared to address the professional challenges faced and extent
preparation to address the stress or emotional symptoms exhibited by clientele
(N = 188). ..............................................................................75

4-6 Pearson's product-moment correlation with relationship between extent to which
faculty were prepared to address the professional demands and years of
experience within the FCES (N=150). ......................................... ...............75

4-7 Extent to which the personal experience of faculty affected their job
perform ance (N =208). ...................................................................... ...................76

4-8 Extension faculty use of The Disaster Handbook during the 2004 hurricane
season or for any other disaster (N=208). ..................................... ............... 77

4-9 Extent to which Extension made use of mass media channels during the 2004
hurricane season (N =208). ............................................. .............................. 77

4-10 Pearson's product-moment correlation with relationship between extent to which
faculty used mass media channels and extent to which the extension office made
use of mass media channels to communicate during the hurricanes (N=195).........78

4-11 Extent to which Extension faculty utilized personal communication methods to
convey information to clientele groups and to the public during the 2004
hurricane season (N =208). ............................................. .............................. 79

4-12 Most used local, state, and federal agencies by Extension faculty during the
2004 hurricane season (N=208). ........................................ .......................... 80

4-13 Extension faculty preference of available disaster-related resources (N=168)........81

4-14 Extension faculty selection of most effective media channels used by faculty
members to communicate information to the public or clientele during the
hurricane (N=208). ........................................ ........ .............. 82

4-15 Public and clientele awareness of Extension's efforts (N=208). ...........................83

4-16 Pearson's product-moment correlation of relationship between public awareness
and clientele awareness of Extension's efforts during the hurricanes (N=196).......83

4-17 Extent to which faculty experienced personal hardships and stress (N=208)..........84

4-18 Extent to which Extension faculty had support for their own emotional and
physical needs (shelter, food, water, electricity) (N=208). ......................................85

4-19 Extent to which the following barriers got in the way of faculty utilization of
Extension resources following the hurricanes (N=208) ........................................86









4-20 Difficulty of Extension faculty to balance personal and professional needs
(N = 208). ..............................................................................86

4-21 Respondents who reported experiencing personal stress or emotional symptoms
and who said it was difficult to balance personal and professional needs to a
great extent (N =190) ...................................................... .... .... ...... 87

4-22 Extension faculty need for professional development in the following areas in
preparation for hurricanes and other emergency situations (N=208) .......................88

4-23 Likelihood of faculty to attend or participate in the following training formats in
preparation for hurricanes or other emergency situations (N=208). ........................88

4-24 Demographic information of respondents (N=208). .........................................96















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

THE USE OF CRISIS MANAGEMENT BY EXTENSION IN HURRICANE
PREPAREDNESS

By

Abbe R. DeGroat

May 2006

Chair: Howard Ladewig
Major Department: Agricultural Education and Communication

When a disaster is threatening the state of Florida, the Florida Cooperative

Extension Service (FCES) is called upon as a support agency to the Florida Department

of Agriculture and Consumer Services. CES serves to educate commercial and non-

commercial pet and livestock owners on how to safely care for their animals during

emergency situations as well as providing them with food, water, and power. In addition

to providing such information, FCES aids Florida residents in times of disaster by being a

source of research-based information concerning disaster preparation, what to do during a

disaster, and recovery from disasters.

The purpose of this study is to determine the readiness on the part of University of

Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension faculty to serve

as front-line responders in the preparation and recovery from the 2004 hurricane season.

In addition, the study was conducted to determine how well agents were prepared to deal

with professional demands, job expectations and clientele demands, while coping with









personal hardships as a result of the hurricanes. A third purpose was to discern the

availability of a crisis management plan to guide Extension faculty on internal,

communications, roles, and responsibilities.

This study was based upon crisis management, which is a means to prevent or

lessen the negative outcomes of a crisis so that the organization, stakeholders, and/or

industry are protected from damage. Crisis management is comprised of four phases

including prevention, preparation, performance, and learning. An important aspect of the

preparation phase is the crisis management plan, which allows an organization to respond

efficiently and effectively in the event that a crisis occurs.

The survey was sent to all county and district Extension faculty with viable email

addresses as of October 2004. The overall response rate consisted of 208 out of 328

(63.41% response rate). A pre-notice letter was sent to all county Extension faculty and

District Extension Directors on November 30, 2004 by email to inform potential

respondents of the forthcoming questionnaire and to encourage their participation.

Several days after, a second email was sent to all Extension faculty from the researchers

in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. This email consisted

of an overview of the study, as well as a link to the web-based questionnaire. Two waves

of follow-up were sent to encourage non-respondents to complete the questionnaire. The

link to the survey was closed on January 5, 2005, which prevented any new responses.

Results from this study concluded that most Florida Cooperative Extension faculty

were not fully prepared to act as front-line responders during the 2004 hurricane season.

In addition, a comprehensive, state-wide crisis management is needed to identify clear

professional roles and job expectations for faculty.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1 and ends on November

30. For people living on or near the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico,

this is a very critical time of year. This is particularly true for Florida residents, whose

peninsula is between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Because of the widespread damage across the state of Florida as a result of the

2004 hurricane season, it is evident that the hurricanes created a crisis situation. A crisis

is defined as "an event that is an unpredictable, major threat that can have a negative

effect on the organization, industry, or stakeholders if handled improperly" (Coombs,

1999, p.2). Crises can be sorted into more specific families, including economic,

informational, human resource, reputational, psychopathic acts, and natural disasters

(Mitroff, 2001, p. 34).

The purpose of this study was to determine the readiness on the part of University

of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension faculty to

serve as front-line responders in the preparation and recovery from the 2004 hurricane

season. In addition, the study was conducted to determine how well agents were

prepared to deal with professional demands, job expectations and clientele demands,

while coping with personal hardships as a result of the hurricanes. A third purpose was

to discern the availability of a crisis management plan to guide Extension faculty on

internal communications, roles, and responsibilities.









Hurricanes

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a

hurricane is defined as a tropical cyclone with winds that have reached a constant speed

of 74 miles per hour or more and is found in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast

Pacific Ocean east of the dateline, or the South Pacific Ocean east of 160 E (Landsea, no

date). The winds of a hurricane form a large spiral around a center, termed the "eye,"

which is approximately twenty to thirty miles wide. If a hurricane strikes land, it has the

ability to cause torrential rains, high winds, and storm surges. The strength of a hurricane

is assessed according to the potential wind and storm surge damage it may cause, and

then it is assigned a category from the Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale, ranging from

Category 1 to 5. For example

* Category 1: Winds of 74 to 95 mph. Damage primarily to shrub and tree foliage,
and to unanchored mobile homes. No major damage to other structures. Some
damage to poorly constructed signs. Low-lying coastal roads inundated, minor pier
damage, some small craft in exposed anchorage torn from moorings.

* Category 2: Winds of 96 to 110 mph. Considerable damage to shrub and tree
foliage; some trees blown down. Major damage to exposed mobile homes.
Extensive damage to poorly constructed signs. Some damage to roofing materials
of buildings. Coastal roads and low-lying inland escape routes ct by rising water
two to four hours before arrival of the hurricane center. Considerable damage to
piers. Marinas flooded. Small craft in unprotected anchorages torn from moorings.

* Category 3: Winds of 110 to 130 mph. Foliage torn from trees; large trees blown
down. Practically all poorly constructed signs blown down. Some damage to
roofing materials of buildings; some window and door damage. Some structural
damage to small buildings. Mobile homes destroyed. Serious flooding at coast and
many smaller structures near coast destroyed; large structures near coast damaged
by battering waves and floating debris. Low-lying inland escape routes cut by
rising water 3 to 5 hour before hurricane center arrives.

* Category 4: Winds of 131 to 155 mph. Shrubs and trees blown down; all signs
down. Extensive damage to roofing materials, windows and doors. Complete
failure of roofs on many small residences. Complete destruction of mobile homes.
Major damage to lower floors of structures near shore due to flooding and battering









by waves and floating debris. Low-lying inland escape routs cut by rising water 3
to 5 hours before hurricane arrives. Major beach erosion.

S Category 5: winds greater than 155 mph. Shrubs and trees blown down;
considerable damage to roofs of buildings; all signs down. Very severe damage to
windows and doors. Complete failure of roofs on many residence and industrial
buildings. Extensive shattering of glass in windows and doors. Some complete
building failures. Small buildings overturned or blown away. Complete
destruction of mobile homes. Storm surge greater than 18 feet about normal tide.
Low-lying inland escape routes cut by rising water 3 to 5 hours before hurricane
center arrives (NOAA, 2005).

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2004), in the

past 25 years the United States has sustained 62 weather-related disasters in which the

overall damage and costs exceeded $1 billion. The total cost of such natural disasters

exceeded $390 billion (NOAA, 2004). Of those weather-related disasters, 18 were

hurricanes that caused a total of over $120 billion in damage. In the past 25 years,

Florida alone has been struck by nine hurricanes that each caused over $1 billion each in

damage, with a collective cost of $98 billion.

Damage Sustained by Florida from Hurricanes

In 2004, the Atlantic hurricane season proved to be one of the deadliest and

costliest hurricane seasons on record. Nearly 3,000 deaths occurred, with the majority in

Haiti, and $42 billion worth of damage in the United States. There were ten storms that

made landfall in North America, with nine storms hitting the United States and one

hitting Canada. Of these storms, six were hurricanes upon landfall and three were major

hurricanes at a category three or higher at landfall (Wikipedia contributors, 2005). Of the

six hurricanes making landfall in the United States in 2004, four of them ravaged the state

of Florida within a six week period. According to the Florida Office of Insurance

Regulation (FIC), there was in excess of $22 billion of insured losses from hurricanes

Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne (2005). At the close of the 2004 hurricane season,









every one of Florida's 67 counties was greatly affected as indicated by the damage or

destruction sustained by one of every five homes (Dickey, 2004).

Hurricane Charley, the first major hurricane to strike Florida, made landfall on

August 13, 2004 at 3:45 pm EDT at Cayo Costa, approximately 20 miles north of Fort

Myers, as a Category 4 storm. It later exited Florida at approximately midnight near

Daytona Beach (Wikipedia contributors, 2005). As a result of Hurricane Charley, there

was an estimated gross insured loss of over $8 billion in Florida (FIC, 2005) and there

were two million people reported in Florida without power immediately after landfall

(Wikipedia contributors, 2005). In addition, according to NOAA (2004), 24 people died

in Florida as a result of Hurricane Charley, with 792 injuries, and 1.42 million people

evacuated from their homes.

Hurricane Frances struck the State of Florida only three weeks after Hurricane

Charley, when it made landfall on September 5, 2004 at 1:00 am EDT as a Category 4

hurricane on the east coast of Florida between Fort Pierce and West Palm Beach in

Stuart. Although Hurricane Frances proceeded to exit Florida near Tampa as a tropical

storm, it then gained strength as it crossed the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall for a

second time at St. Marks, located in the Florida panhandle. As a result of Hurricane

Frances, there were 32 reported deaths in Florida, over six million people were without

power following the storm (Wikipedia contributors, 2005), and there was in excess of

$5.5 billion in insured losses (FIC, 2005).

Hurricane Ivan was the fifth hurricane of the 2004 Atlantic season, but was the first

to be classified as a Category 5 storm. It made landfall on September 16, 2004 at Gulf

Shores, Alabama at 2:15 am EDT, thus greatly affecting counties in the panhandle of









Florida. As a result of Hurricane Ivan, 23 people died in Florida and there was over $4.3

billion in insured losses (FIC, 2005). Damage in Florida was also sustained from the

occurrence of two devastating tornadoes that struck Blountstown and Panama City Beach

(Wikipedia contributors, 2005).

Hurricane Jeanne was the fourth hurricane to strike Florida during the 2004 season,

as it made landfall on September 25 at 11:50 pm EDT at Hutchinson Island, just east of

Stuart, Florida, as a Category 3 storm. Only three weeks prior, Hurricane Frances had

struck Florida two miles from where Jeanne had made landfall. Jeanne continued to

closely follow the path of Frances until it exited Florida from Pasco County. In the wake

of Hurricane Jeanne, there were eight reported deaths, millions of Florida residents were

without electricity for the third time in a month, and 23 counties affected (Wikipedia

contributors, 2005). In addition, there was an estimated $4.3 billion in insured losses

(FIC, 2005).

Personal Difficulties Resulting from Hurricanes

In addition to economic losses hurricanes may cause, many people suffer from

emotional stress during such disasters. For example, a lack of knowledge concerning

how to prepare for a hurricane, what to do when one strikes, as well as how to recover,

may leave people feeling distraught, depressed, or anxious. Even though some families

and individuals may have had a disaster plan, the onslaught of hurricanes this past season

eventually did take an emotional toll on many victims. Many without electricity for

weeks, Florida residents found themselves without the everyday necessities, such as the

ability to have clean water, meals, and a means to bathe. In addition, many residents

lacked a working telephone line, resulting in isolation. As one woman's story is

described, "This week, after Hurricane Jeanne took a swipe at her apartment over the









weekend, she found herself waiting again at a relief station under a relentless sun. She

managed to get a bag of ice, but wondered where she might find water or a meal for her

three children. Relief workers had no answers... she has tried calling the American Red

Cross hot line to find a counselor, but clogged phone lines kept her from reaching

anyone" (Associated Press, 2004). At some mental health centers in the southwestern

area of Florida, the number of calls increased 150% in August and September as

compared to last year. In addition, Florida saw the number of suicides increase by 13%

since Hurricane Charley struck, as well as a rise in the number of domestic abuse cases

(Associated Press, 2004). For some the recent hurricane season simply caused a

disruption in routine; for many others it represents a time of fear and uncertainty.

Agricultural Loss from Hurricanes

The agricultural and allied industries in Florida sustained extensive damage during

the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season, specifically from hurricanes Charley, Frances,

Jeanne, and Ivan. It has been estimated that the agriculture and allied industries of

Florida sustained damages of $2.156 billion, including crop losses and program funding

needs (UF/IFAS, 2005, page 1).

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the

commodities that were impacted the greatest, as estimated by damage surveys conducted

immediately after the hurricanes, were nurseries (including ferns) with $700 million in

damage, citrus with $500 million, and beef cattle with $213 million. As a result of the

hurricanes that occurred in 2004, many of the largest nursery crop production areas in

Florida suffered damage ranging from "immediate damage/death to plants, loss of

production for weeks to months, to damage and/or loss of greenhouses, slathouses,

production areas, support structures and irrigation systems" (UF/IFAS, 2005, page 5). In









addition, ornamental plant production including landscape plants, flowering, foliage and

bedding plants, cut flowers, caladium corm production, cut foliage, and sod, suffered

extensive damage. However, the extent to which damage incurred depended on the crops

produced, the area where they were produced, and the types of facilities that were used to

produce the nursery crop. For example, trees and ornamental plants as part of field

production suffered severe damage to leaves, stems, and trunks as a result of high winds.

Flooding and standing water also affected caladium corm and cut foliage production in

terms of damage to root systems (UF/IFAS, 2005, page 5).

The Florida citrus industry suffered extensive devastation and destruction to fruit,

trees, and infrastructure, including citrus nurseries, buildings, and equipment as a result

of hurricane-force winds and significant flooding. Flooding has the potential to cause

many long-term problems as standing water has increased the chance of soil borne illness

and insect infestation, as well as causing water damage to irrigation and drainage

structures and equipment. In addition, many citrus operations suffered damage from

three of the four hurricanes. Some citrus groves that were located closest to the paths of

the hurricanes lost their entire crop, especially those producing grapefruit. Overall, the

United States Department of Agriculture has estimated a 27% decrease in orange

production during the 2004-2005 season, as compared to the previous season's

production total. Furthermore, the grapefruit crop is expected to decrease 63% from last

season. In addition to actual citrus fruit losses, tree damage also occurred. There was

significant damage to limbs and trunks, as well as trees that were in the paths of the

hurricanes being uprooted (UF/IFAS, 2005).









The third industry most affected by the 2004 hurricane season was beef (UF/IFAS,

2005, page 22). When fencing was damaged, cattle often roamed, which can result in a

loss of cattle. Flooding caused cattle and calves to drown as well as severely decreasing

the quality and quantity of available forages, resulting in an increased need to buy

supplemental feeds and a loss in reproductive capabilities in herds. As an indirect result

of hurricane damage, livestock markets had to close on a temporary basis because of

facility damage, shortages in labor, flooding, and transportation issues (UF/IFAS, 2005,

page 11).

Government Role in Natural Disasters

Because of the destruction and chaos caused by hurricanes to the environment of

Florida and its residents, the state government established the Florida Division of

Emergency Management (FDEM). At the forefront of disaster and emergency response

in the state of Florida, the mission of FDEM is to "ensure that Florida is prepared to

respond to emergencies, recover from them, and mitigate against their impacts" (FDEM,

2005b). In the event that such a situation or a threat of one occurs, the State Emergency

Operations Center is activated according to the level of the existing threat. The response

effort is conducted via the State Emergency Response Team (SERT), which consists of

the Governor-appointed Emergency Coordination Officers (ECO) from state agencies

and volunteer organizations. In association with the FDEM, other organizations that play

a role in emergency response and support in Florida as well as nationally are Florida's

County Emergency Management agencies, Florida Emergency Preparedness Association,

State agencies, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Emergency

Management Association (NEMA), the Council of State Governments, Federal Alliance

for Safe Homes, the American Red Cross, and the Salvation Army (FDEM, 2005b).









The state agencies and volunteer groups are then organized into 17 Emergency

Support Functions (ESF), in order to coordinate and carry out response and recovery

missions, which are common to all disasters. Emergency Support Functions provide a

means in which to combine similar-functioning organizations to allow for more efficient

management. Each ESF is made of at least one primary agency that then directs the

efforts of supporting organizations and agencies. The primary agency is named as such

due to its authorities, resources, and expertise in the particular area, such as

transportation, communication, or energy. According to the Federal Emergency

Management Agency (1999), a primary agency of a particular ESF has "operational

responsibility for

* orchestrating the Federal agency support within the functional area for an affected
state;

* providing an appropriate level of staffing for operations at FEMA Headquarters,
the ROC, DFO, and DRC;

* activating and subtasking support agencies;

* managing mission assignments and coordinating tasks with support agencies, as
well as appropriate state agencies;

* supporting and keeping other ESFs and organizational elements informed of ESF
operational priorities and activities;

* executing contracts and procuring goods and services as needed;

* ensuring financial and property accountability for ESF activities;

* supporting planning for short- and long-term disaster operations."

If designated as a support agency for an ESF that is activated during a disaster, that

organization "has operational responsibility for

* supporting the ESF primary agency when requested by conducting operations using
its authorities, cognizant expertise, capabilities, or resources;









* supporting the primary agency mission assignments;

* providing status and resource information to the primary agency;

* following established financial and property accountability procedures; and

* supporting planning for short- and long-term disaster operations" (FEMA, 1999).

Government Aid to Hurricane Victims

During and in the aftermath of the hurricanes of 2004, both the federal and state

governments were quick to respond to needs of citizens. In addition, many agencies

worked prior to the arrival of the hurricanes to prepare residents. According to Cole,

Corbett, and McCullough (2005), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

began to provide personnel and supplies, including water, ice, medical assistance, and

emergency housing, even before the first hurricane made landfall, which would provide

immediate support to disaster victims. After repeated hurricanes, FEMA also assisted in

clean-up efforts, as more than 25 million cubic yards of debris were removed (Dickey,

2004). By the end of October, 2004, President Bush had secured $12.2 billion from

Congress in storm appropriations, most of which was used to simply cover FEMA's costs

for the four hurricanes (Dickey, 2004).

Response of Cooperative Extension in Natural Disasters

One organization that has been called upon to help during times of natural disasters

is the Cooperative Extension Service (CES). Extension represents a partnership between

the US Department of Agriculture, the University of Florida, and county governments.

As an educational organization, Extension provides science-based knowledge to the

public on a variety of topics, including agriculture, resource conservation, food and

nutrition, child and family development, and financial literacy (IFAS, 2003). At the core

of Extension are county agents. Dedicated to education and their communities, agents









strive to inform and teach local residents through seminars, workshops, media, and

technology.

The grass-roots nature of Cooperative Extension represents a unique ability to aid

community and state residents in times of disaster. Specifically related to natural

disasters, in Florida, Cooperative Extension is designated as a support agency to the

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services under ESF 17, Animal

Protection. ESF 17 coordinates the response of state agencies in aiding local and

volunteer organizations to provide emergency medical care, evacuation, rescue,

confinement, shelter, food and water, and identification to all animals affected by a

natural disaster. In addition, ESF 17 is involved in the diagnosis, prevention, and control

of diseases that may pose a threat to public health (FDEM, 2000). Specifically,

Cooperative Extension would serve to educate commercial and non-commercial pet and

livestock owners on how to safely care for their animals during emergency situations as

well as providing them with food, water, and power.

As a fusion of science and education, Cooperative Extension enables people to not

only obtain such knowledge, but also to determine their own needs. As a result, county

residents aid in the development of relevant educational programs. In addition, all

educational information is also research-based. The mission of Extension today is

comprised of diagnostics, such that people are aided in determining the problems they

face, education for the future, and education for problem solving.

Extension agents typically work within a particular subject area, including

agriculture, family and consumer science, 4-H and youth development, and nutrition

(Texas Cooperative Extension, 2003). Agents are able to communicate unbiased,









community-related information to the public through partnerships and coalitions

(Dresbach & Longo, 2001). In addition to fostering collaboration and empowering others

to act, agents orchestrate change through the educational programs they establish.

According to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences,

"federal and state disaster preparedness agencies view the land grant program in each

state and its personnel as important links to local communities" (UF/IFAS, 1998). As a

result of the grass-roots nature of programming, Extension has an innate advantage at the

rapid dissemination of emergency information to individuals and communities (UF/IFAS,

1998).

In addition to providing aid to pet and livestock owners, Extension also provides

Florida residents with research-based information pertaining to disaster preparation,

during a disaster, and disaster recovery. Extension provides information relating to

specific types disasters, such as hurricanes and fires. In terms of disaster preparation,

information is available on creating a disaster supplies kit, protection of valuable records,

and handling stress. During a disaster, Extension can be a valuable information source

regarding safety during emergency travel and evacuation. After a natural disaster,

Extension can provide information regarding emotional recovery, obtaining safe

emergency food and water, and wildlife and pest issues, such as insect control (UF/IFAS,

1998).

Statement of Problem

During the 2004 hurricane season, the entire state of Florida was ravaged by four

consecutive hurricanes, including Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne, beginning on

September 2, 2004 and continuing for six weeks. During disaster situations, according to

UF/IFAS, the faculty of the Cooperative Extension Service has a responsibility first to









their families and then to their communities as a communication link to assist state and

federal recovery programs. Conversely, the Florida Cooperative Extension Service has a

designated role as a support agency, as described by the Federal Disaster Management

Agency. Unfortunately, there is a lack of research pertaining to the exact role of

Extension during disaster situations, as opposed to serving a reactive function. As a

result, there is limited information on factors affecting the role Extension plays as a front-

line responder. In addition, there is limited understanding concerning the organizational

and professional role of faculty during disasters, while still maintaining the ability to

meet personal and familial needs.

Purpose of Study

Hurricanes can cause major havoc to the environment, people and the communities

in which they live. In addition, because of the growing number of pets, attention must be

given to the care and shelter of small animals, horses, and other livestock during

emergencies. In regard to natural disasters, response time can be critical. As such, each

agency involved in hurricane support must understand their assignments and the

resources available to them. However, those who are front-line responders also may be

personally affected by the hurricanes. Extension county professionals may face the need

to aid Extension in its role as a front-line responder, while dealing with the effects of the

hurricanes at their own homes and with their families. During a hurricane, Extension

faculty may have to report to work in a professional setting in order to be a source of

information regarding disaster recovery while they themselves do not have electricity at

their homes in order to bathe or keep food.

The purpose of this study was to determine the readiness on the part of UF/IFAS

Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders in the preparation and recovery from









the 2004 hurricane season. In addition, the study was conducted to determine how well

agents were prepared to deal with professional demands, job expectations and clientele

demands, while coping with personal hardships as a result of the hurricanes. A third

purpose was to discern the availability of a crisis management plan to guide Extension

faculty on internal communications, roles, and responsibilities. The objectives of the

study were as follows:

1. Determine how well Cooperative Extension Service carried out its responsibilities
as a front-line responder, as indicated by the following three subobjectives:

a. Determine the readiness of Extension faculty to serve as front-line
responders during the 2004 hurricane season, in terms of preparation,
performance, and subsequent evaluation or learning

b. Determine the personal hardships of Extension faculty during the 2004
hurricane season and the role that Extension played to reduce these
hardships

c. Determine the professional hardships of Extension faculty during the 2004
hurricane season and the role that Extension played to reduce these
hardships

2. Determine whether or not needs exist for professional development, training,
curriculum, and resources in terms of future natural disasters

3. Determine the availability of a crisis management plan to guide Extension faculty
on internal communications, roles, and responsibilities

Limitations

The methodology presents limitations to this study. For example, the data

instrument was a web-based survey sent via email to county Extension faculty and

District Extension Directors with viable email addresses as of October 2004. As a result

of damage sustained by Florida during this time, some people did not have access to

computers and were without electricity. As a result, response may be limited.









In addition, because of the traumatic nature of the 2004 hurricane season, faculty

may have had a particularly difficult time dealing with the personal and professional

repercussions of the event. Also, faculty may have been continuing to deal with the

aftermath of the hurricanes at the time they were surveyed. As a result, those surveyed

may not have been willing to fully describe their experiences in the survey. There may

have been delayed effects, as well, as faculty were not aware of the full extent of damage

from the hurricanes.

Operational Definitions

The following terms were operationally defined as follows:

* County Division of Emergency Management: local government organization
created to discharge emergency management responsibilities and functions of the
county (UF/IFAS, 1998).

* County Emergency Operations Center (EOC): the county facility that serves as
a central location for the coordination and control of all emergency preparedness
and response activities (UF/IFAS, 1998).

* Crisis: an event that is an unpredictable, major threat that can have a negative
effect on the organization, industry, or stakeholders if handled improperly
(Coombs, 1999, p.2).

* Crisis management: a set of factors designed to combat crises and lessen the
actual damage inflicted by a crisis. Crisis management seeks to prevent or lessen
the negative outcomes of a crisis and thereby protect the organization, stakeholders,
and/or industry from damage (Coombs, 1999, p. 4).

* Crisis Management Plan (CMP): a communication document for an organization
to help reduce response time by precollecting needed background information,
preidentifying responsibilities, and assigning certain actions to specific individuals
that must be taken when a crisis hits (Coombs, 1999, p. 79).

* Crisis Management Team (CMT): a cross-functional group of people in the
organization who have been designed to handle any crises. Typically, the CMT is
responsible for (a) creating the CMP, enacting the CMP, and (c) dealing with any
problems not covered in the CMP (Coombs, 1999, p. 63).

* The Disaster Handbook: a publication by UF/IFAS to help Extension personnel
assist their communities in times of disaster (UF/IFAS, 1998). It provides









materials related to disaster preparedness, surviving disaster situations, and
recovering from them.

* Emergency Support Function (ESF): Emergency Support Functions provide a
means in which to combine similar-functioning organizations to allow for more
efficient management. Each ESF is made of at least one primary agency that then
directs the efforts of supporting organizations and agencies. (FDEM, 2005a).

* Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): following the declaration of
a disaster area, FEMA reacts by providing immediate aid and relief to the affected
by a disaster, natural or man-made (UF/IFAS, 1998).

* Florida Cooperative Extension Service (FCES): Established by the Smith-Lever
Act of 1914, it is the third arm of the land grant system, in conjunction with
teaching and research. It is a partnership between UF/IFAS, United States
Department of Agriculture, and county governments in Florida to provide scientific
knowledge and expertise to the public through nonresident educational programs
(UF/IFAS, 2003).

* Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM): a state agency, in
coordination with various state and federal agencies, that works to ensure that the
Florida population is prepared to respond to emergencies, recover from then, and
lessen their effects (Florida Division of Emergency Management, 2005b).

* Front-Line Responder: local responders, government agencies, and private
organizations who respond as soon as a disaster is detected and begins to threaten
an area. Response involves mobilizing and positioning emergency equipment;
getting people out of danger; providing needed food, water, shelter and medical
service; and bringing damaged services and systems back on line (UF/IFAS, 1998).

* Personal needs: basic physical and emotional needs of front-line responders,
including shelter, food, clothing, and emotional support, during times of crises.

* Professional needs: needs of Extension faculty so they are able to meet their job
expectations.

* Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale: the system used by the National Weather
Service to give public safety officials a means to evaluate the strength of a
hurricane based upon potential wind and storm surge damage. Hurricanes are
categorized from a Category 1, with maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph,
to a Category 5 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph or greater
(UF/IFAS, 1998).

* University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS):
The University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)
is a federal, state, and local government partnership dedicated to develop
knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences and to






17


make that knowledge accessible to sustain and enhance the quality of human life
(UF/IFAS, 2004).














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

The purpose of this study was to determine the readiness on the part of UF/IFAS

Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders in the preparation and recovery from

the 2004 hurricane season. In addition, the study was conducted to determine how well

agents were prepared to deal with professional demands, job expectations and clientele

demands, while coping with personal hardships as a result of the hurricanes. A third

purpose was to examine discern the availability of a crisis management plan to guide

Extension faculty on internal, communications, roles, and responsibilities.

Introduction

Although the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Florida

Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) exist to act as front-line responders, the

Florida Cooperative Extension Service (FCES) occupies a unique niche as hurricanes and

other crises threaten the residents of Florida. As a result of its grass-roots origin,

Extension has the ability to quickly and efficiently distribute reliable emergency

information to the public (UF/IFAS, 1998). Therefore, it is vital that Florida Cooperative

Extension reflect upon its response efforts to the recent hurricane crisis so as to improve

its ability to prepare, respond, and assist in recovery for future natural disasters. In

addition to its efforts focusing on its work with the public and clientele, this study will

provide more information that will help future Extension response to the professional and

personal needs of its faculty as they serve as front-line responders.









Definition of Crisis

Although many definitions of the term "crisis" exist, a widely accepted definition

was created by the Institute for Crisis Management, which states that a crisis is "a

significant business disruption which results in extensive news media coverage and

public scrutiny" (as cited in Irvine & Millar, 1996). In addition, according to Fearn-

Banks, a crisis is a "major occurrence with a potentially negative outcome affecting an

organization, company, or industry, as well as its publics, products, services, or good

name" (as cited in Coombs, 1999, p.2). Although there is no one single definition of

crisis, Coombs (1999) provides a working definition of a crisis "as an event that is an

unpredictable, major threat that can have a negative effect on the organization, industry,

or stakeholders if handled improperly" (p. 2). Despite differently worded definitions,

several similarities emerge that describe a crisis. Irvine and Millar (1996) stated that

these include

* A crisis occurs very suddenly.
* A quick reaction is required when a crisis does arise.
* A crisis interferes or interrupts the performance and routine of an organization.
* A crisis causes stress and uncertainty.
* A crisis causes the reputation and assets of the organization to become threatened.
* A crisis increases in intensity.
* A crisis causes people outside to become critical of the organization.
* A crisis leaves the organization permanently altered.

In addition, simply because a crisis is unpredictable does not mean that it is

unexpected. An organization can prepare for a crisis in advance, but they may not know

when it will occur. The term major, when used to describe a crisis, refers to the fact that

a crisis has the ability to disrupt an entire organization, whereas a minor incident simply

affects one small part of the routine in an organization (Coombs, 1999, p.3). A crisis is

characterized as a threat because it has the potential to result in negative outcomes. Thus,









the damage created by a crisis can include financial loss, injuries or deaths to

stakeholders, property damage, tarnished reputations, and environmental harm (Coombs,

1999). Because a single crisis has the ability to cause negative outcomes for entire

organizations, its stakeholders, or the industry, crisis management was introduced as a

means to reduce the threats posed by crises through guidelines for the proper handling of

crises (Coombs, 1999).

Crisis Management

Although organizational crisis can not be eradicated, it can be dealt with effectively

when it does occur. This is accomplished through crisis management. Coombs (1999)

concluded that crisis management:

represents a set of factors designed to combat crises and lessen the actual damage
inflicted by a crisis. Put another way, crisis management seeks to prevent or lessen
the negative outcomes of a crisis and thereby protect the organization, stakeholders,
and/or industry from damage. (p. 4)

In addition, regardless of how it is defined, crisis management necessitates that strategic

action be taken in order to decrease negative outcomes and create solutions to problems.

As a result, crisis management is a continuous and ongoing process (Burnett, 1998, p.

476). According to Rosenthal and Kouzmin (1996):

Crisis management was the scholarly epithet for a full spectrum of contingencies in
the public and private sectors: natural disasters and new scarcities, the old and new
epidemics, nuclear and post-nuclear accidents, wars, revolts, riots, socio-political
turmoil, terrorism, and gunman's craze; as well as dramatic market shifts,
conspicuous product failures, and product sabotage, information and
communication breakdowns, boycotts and embargoes. (p. 119)

Phases of Crisis Management

Crisis management is made of up of four different components, including

prevention, preparation, performance, and learning (Coombs, 1999, p.4). These crisis

management phases represent a cycle. As a result, they must be used in conjunction with









one another in order to deal with a crisis effectively. For example, "if prevention fails,

preparation is required for optimal performance. Learning is derived from performance

and informs both the prevention of and preparation for a crisis. In turn, improving

preparation should improve performance. Crisis management is a process of preventing,

preparing for, performing, and learning from crises" (Coombs, 1999, p. 5).

Prevention includes activities that can avoid the crisis all together. As a result,

these actions are rarely seen by those beyond the organization. Preparation involves the

crisis management plan (CMP), forecasting when and where a crisis may occur due to

vulnerabilities, selecting and training a crisis management team and spokesperson to

respond to crises, creating a crisis portfolio, and improving the crisis communication

system (Coombs, 1999, p. 4).

As a result of the preparation phase of crisis management, performance can be

tested through the use of a simulated or real crisis. The performance phase is conducted

in order to determine if the crisis management team, spokespersons, the crisis

management plan, and communication system are adequate to deal with the rise of an

actual crisis. It is important that the components of the performance stage are sound, as

these are the steps that become publicly scrutinized through the media in the event of a

real crisis (Coombs, 1999, p. 4).

The fourth aspect of crisis management is learning. It is during the learning phase

that an organization evaluates those actions taken during the performance phase in

response to an actual or invented crisis. By evaluating the performance during the crisis

management, the organization can determine strengths and weaknesses in its plan. In

addition, this phase contributes to the development of an institutional memory, by









allowing the organization to expand its scope of crises and arsenal of crises response

strategies (Coombs, 1999, p. 4).

Crisis Management Models

Over the past two decades, since the occurrence of the Tylenol tampering case of

1982, several prominent stage models and strategies of crisis management have emerged

(Seeger, Sellnow, & Ulmer, 2003). The four most influential models, as indicated by

frequency of references in the research literature are the Fink's (1986) four-staged model

of a crisis life cycle, Mitroff s (2001) five-stage model, Burnett's (1998) crisis

classification matrix, and Coombs' (1999) basic three-staged model.

Four-Stage Model

Fink's (1986, p. 20) four-stage model characterizes a crisis through four distinct

stages, including (1) prodromal crisis stage, (2) acute crisis stage, (3) chronic crisis stage,

and (4) crisis resolution stage. The prodromal stage can be defined as the warning stage

of a crisis, which represents a time when signals must be recognized before the onset of

the actual crisis. As a result, this stage is very important because it is easier to manage a

crisis in this stage than later on (Fink, 1986, p. 21). Once a crisis has evolved from the

prodromal crisis stage to the acute crisis stage, damage has already occurred to the

organization. At the acute crisis stage, the crisis itself cannot be controlled, but the

organization does have some control over where, how and when the crisis occurs (Fink,

1986, p. 22). The third or chronic crisis stage encompasses the clean up, recovery, and

organizational evaluation that occurs following a crisis. It presents an opportunity for the

organization to determine positive and negative aspects of its crisis management plan,

thus improving its crisis management planning (Fink, 1986, p. 24). The final stage, and









goal of Fink's crisis model, is crisis resolution. It is at this point that the organization

returns to its regular routine (Fink, 1986, p.25).

Five-Stage Model

The second influential staged-approach to crisis management was developed by

Mitroff (2001). Mitroff s best practice model for crisis management describes five

stages, including types/risks, mechanisms, systems, stakeholders, and scenarios, which

have to be managed before, during, and after a major crisis (Mitroff, 2001, p. 30). The

types and risks of crises describe the six categories that a crisis will fall into including

economic, informational, human resource, reputational, psychopathic acts, and natural

disasters. By categorizing types of crises, it allows the organization to prepare for each

type. The second stage includes the "various CM [crisis management] mechanisms for

anticipating, sensing, reacting to, containing, learning from, and redesigning effective

organizational procedures for handling major crises" (Mitroff, 2001, p.40). This step

illustrates the fact that a systematic approach to crisis management is needed in order for

it to be effective.

The third stage of Mitroff s model includes the systems that govern most

organizations. For example, every complex organization is comprised of technology,

organizational structure, human factors, culture, and top management psychology. The

fourth stage of the model are the stakeholders, which are those who are the internal and

external parties of a organization, and "who have to cooperate, share crises plans, and

participate in training and the development of organizational capabilities in order to

respond to a range of crises" (Mitroff, 2001, p. 48). Stakeholders may play a key role

during a crisis to aid organizational functioning. The fifth stage of the model includes









scenarios. Scenarios allow an organization to test its crisis management policy through

created crisis situations (Mitroff, 2001).

Crisis Classification Matrix

According to Burnett (1998), every crisis can be characterized by time pressure,

control issues, threat level concerns, and response option constraints, which are all

inhibiting characteristics of a crisis. Time pressure refers to the fact that a crisis occurs

and then requires immediate attention. During a time of crisis, an organization has a very

low degree of control on external factors. In addition, crises create concern over threat-

levels, especially to strategy formulation, evaluation, and implementation. Response-

option constraints refer to that fact that there are limited ways for an organization to

respond to a crisis (Burnett, 1998, p. 480).

Utilizing these characteristics, crisis situations can then be classified into a 16-cell

matrix. For example, a crisis would be classified as a Level 4 situation if the time

pressure was intense, the degree of control low, the threat-level is high, and response-

options are limited.

Three-Stage Model

Although it is not clear who originally created the three-stage model that illustrates

the crisis life cycle, it is largely elaborated upon by Coombs (1999). It subdivides crisis

management into the three stages of pre-crisis, crisis, and post-crisis (Coombs, 1999,

p.13). Generally, the pre-crisis stage includes crisis prevention and preparation, which

were introduced earlier as phases of crisis management, as well as signal detection. The

crisis stage includes crisis recognition, containment, and recovery. Lastly, the post-crisis

stage includes crisis learning, which is the last stage of crisis management, and resolution

(Coombs, 1999, p. 13). This three-stage model will provide the framework for the









remaining review of literature as it has the ability to incorporate other models of crisis

management into a more condensed description. The study was guided by the theory of

crisis management, as presented by Coombs (1999), through the phases of prevention,

preparation, performance, and learning.

Pre-Crisis Stage of Crisis Management

The pre-crisis stage is very important to crisis management because it includes the

proactive activities that organizations must take in order to prevent the occurrence of a

crisis. By paying attention to warning signs, an organization can avoid situations that

have the potential to develop into a crisis (Coombs, 1999, p. 17). The pre-crisis stage

involves three substages or phases, including signal detection, crisis prevention, and crisis

preparation (Coombs, 1999, p. 17).

Signal Detection

Signal detection requires crisis managers to identify warning signs that arise from a

situation that has the potential to develop into a crisis. This process consists of three

steps, which include identifying sources of information to scan, collecting the

information to be scanned, and evaluation of the information to determine crisis potential.

In order to detect these crisis signals, crisis management must also incorporate a system

to scan (the active search for information), and monitor for crisis warning signals.

Scanning a variety of information sources from both the external and internal

environment is conducted by crisis managers to detect warning signals from different

types of potential crises. After warning signs are detected through scanning, monitoring

takes place in order to pay careful attention to those with the most potential of becoming

crises (Coombs, 1999, p 17).









The scanning system that an organization employs as part of the signal detection

process consists of three resources including issues management, risk assessment, and

stakeholder relations. According to Coombs (1999), an "issue is a type of problem whose

resolution can affect the organization." As a result, issues management is a means in

which to mitigate the negative effects that an issue may have on an organization by

influencing how the issue develops and its subsequent resolution (Coombs, 1999, p. 18).

As part of scanning, risk assessment identifies risk factors or weaknesses. By doing so, it

can be determined whether or not an internal weakness could develop into a crisis.

Stakeholder relations refer to the relationship between the organization and its

stakeholders, which are "any person or group that has an interest, right, claim, or

ownership in an organization" (Coombs, 1999, p. 20).

When scanning for potential crises, there are sources that need to be scanned that

are specific to issues management, risk assessment, and stakeholder relationships. In

issues management, for example, environmental scanning is very important to identify

changes, trends, events, and issues pertaining to social, political, and health issues.

Examples of traditional sources that would be scanned in issues management are news

media, trade journals, or public opinion polls. Online sources include web pages and

online newspapers, magazines, and trade publications.

Risk assessment sources have the ability to provide information about the

weaknesses of the organization that could develop into crises. These include

environmental crisis exposure and natural disaster exposure, which identifies what a

natural disaster may do to an organization. In terms of Extension, they are an

organization that responds to the effects of natural disasters. For instance, a natural









disaster would affect not only the communities in which Extension serves, but also the

organization's ability to respond and provide assistance. Stakeholder relationship sources

include stakeholder complaints or inquiries and stakeholder resolutions, which are

representative of the values and attitudes of those who have a vested interest in the

organization as a result of social or financial concerns (Coombs, 1999, p. 28).

Once sources have been identified, the information must be collected. Generally,

this is conducted by content analysis, interviews, surveys, focus groups, and informal

contacts. However, the information collected lacks meaning and applicability without

analysis, which allows crisis managers to determine if the information does actually

suggest that the possibility for a crisis to exist. In terms of issue evaluation, criteria used

are likelihood and impact, where likelihood is "the probability of an issue gaining

momentum," and impact is "how strongly the issue can affect either profits or operations"

(Coombs, 1999, p. 32). In risk evaluation, impact and likelihood are again used to

determine if a risk has the potential to become an actual crisis, yet they are operationally

defined differently. Likelihood is "the probability that the risk can or will become an

event," while impact is "how much the event might affect the organization" (Coombs,

1999, p. 33). Impact includes disruption to routines of the organization and the potential

damage that can occur.

Potential crises as a result of stakeholder relationships are evaluated based upon

power, legitimacy, and willingness. Stakeholder power refers to the ability of the

stakeholder to change the operations or routine of the organization, including getting

them to do something they normally would not. A stakeholder threat is deemed

legitimate when "actions are considered desirable, proper, or appropriate according to









some system" (Coombs, 1999, p. 34). Willingness is also used to evaluate a

stakeholder's threat because a problem must be important to the stakeholder (Coombs,

1999, p. 35).

Crisis Prevention

The crisis prevention stage is when the organization considers the warning signs

evaluated in the signal detection stage and then tries to restrict the arrival of the crisis

(Coombs, 1999, p. 39). The goal of this stage is to "defuse the crisis by attending to the

warning signs and risks" (Coombs, 1999, p. 39). Although some crises can not be

entirely prevented, the subsequent damages they produce can be reduced. For instance,

"even with hurricanes, whose paths cannot yet be precisely predicted, warning for regions

at high risk is generally available hours or even days ahead" (Johnston & Stepanovich,

2001, p. 1246).

The two parts of the crisis prevention system are change and monitoring. Change

refers to making alterations in order to eliminate or reduce the probability that a warning

sign will become a crisis. In addition, monitoring refers to assessing the changes that are

made and it allows the organization to determine if the changes were effective in

reducing the chances that the crisis will occur. In regards to issues management, the

organization attempts to influence how the issue is resolved, specifically, to have the

issue end up to not be a crisis. This can also include changing the organization itself,

such as by improving or correcting an aspect of the organization (Coombs, 1999, p.41).

Crisis prevention with regards to risk management, deals with attempting to reduce

the risks faced by an organization. However, because not all risks can be completely

avoided, risk management strategies are implemented according to cost and technical

factors. For example, the costs of the risk, including death, injuries, or litigation, is









compared to the cost of risk reduction, such as work needed to prevent the risk. No

action may be taken if the cost to reduce the risk is greater than the costs resulting from

the risk. The second factor incorporates technical aspects of risk management, such as

whether or not it is possible to eliminate or reduce the risk (Coombs, 1999, p. 43). "Risk

management becomes crisis management when risk aversion (the avoidance or reduction

of risk) is possible" (Coombs, 1999, p. 43). However, it depends on the nature of the

actual risk in order to determine what actions can be taken by the organization to

implement a risk aversion strategy.

Relationship building also plays a part in crisis prevention. Although the

relationships between an organization and its stakeholders occur without provocation, it

is the quality of those relationships that are important in crisis prevention. As a result,

three common elements of favorable organization-stakeholder relationships emerge,

including staying close, credibility, and meeting expectations (Coombs, 1999, p. 45). By

having a close relationship between the organization and its stakeholders, it allows for

better understanding on the part of both participants. It aids signal detection by allowing

the organization to identify and prevent problems early on (Coombs, 1999, p. 45).

Organizational credibility is defined as "the receiver's attitude toward the

communicator. For crisis management, the organization is the communicator and the

stakeholders are the receivers" (Coombs, 1999, p. 46). Credibility is composed of

expertise, which is the organization's knowledge about the subject, and trustworthiness,

which refers to the organization's concern for the stakeholders (Coombs, 1999, p. 46).

Credibility plays an important role in crisis management, as the literature suggests that an

organization must establish control during a crisis situation as well as show consideration









for the stakeholders during this time. In this context, control refers to the organization

having complete and accurate knowledge and information about the crisis (Coombs,

1999, p. 47). Credibility on the part of the organization allows the stakeholders to believe

and then accept what the organization has stated as the crisis. Favorable relationship

building between the organization and stakeholders is dependent upon the meeting of

expectations. Primarily, this indicates that an organization is considered legitimate if it

conforms to the stakeholder expectations (Coombs, 1999, p. 50).

The combination of staying close, organizational credibility, and meeting

stakeholder expectations results in the formation of the organization's reputation. "An

organization's reputation is the product of stakeholders' perceptions of what it says and

does" (Coombs, 1999, p. 51). For example, when an organization remains close to its

stakeholders, mutual understanding and respect develop, thus creating a favorable

organizational reputation. In addition, when the organization fulfills the expectations of

the stakeholders, this indicates to the stakeholders that the organization values their

concerns and will address them. Lastly, a credible organization depicts an expert and

trustworthy image, both of which help to strengthen the relationship between the

organization and stakeholder (Coombs, 1999, p. 51).

Crisis Preparation

Although it is best to prevent a crisis, many are inevitable, such as natural disasters.

Rather, an organization can only prepare for the arrival of the crisis and not fall victim to

the idea that their preventative measures will protect the organization from the effects of

the crisis. In order to prepare for a crisis, an organization must address certain aspects,

including diagnosing vulnerabilities, assessing crisis types, selecting and training the

crisis team, selecting and training the spokesperson, developing the crisis management









plan, and reviewing the communication system (Coombs, 1999, p. 59). Crisis

preparation is the final substage of the pre-crisis stage of crisis management.

Diagnosing Crisis Vulnerabilities

Every organization has certain crisis vulnerabilities that arise as a result of the

organization's industry, size, location, size, operations, personnel, and risk factors

(Coombs, 1999, p. 59). An organization must identify the crises that it is most prone to

encounter. Organizational vulnerability is assessed according to the probability that a

certain type of crisis will occur and the severity of the damage it may cause (Coombs,

1999, p. 60).

Crisis Types

Because organizations are often involved in many different arenas and, they are

faced with differing environmental factors and many different crises, they require the use

of a range of crisis strategies and crisis management plans. "Naming and classifying a

crisis is important to addressing the uncertainty and confusion regarding causes and

responsibility, particularly during the initial moments of the event" (Seeger, Sellnow, &

Ulmer, 2003, p. 45). In addition, by identifying a crisis by type allows the proper

agencies with specific expertise to become involved, such as the Center for Disease

Control (CDC) or Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (Seeger, Sellnow,

& Ulmer, 2003, p. 46). Crises often possess similar characteristics, and as a result, are

grouped according to type. An organization should organize its own potential crises

according to the types provided and then select at least one crisis from each type based

upon vulnerability.









The crisis management plan will vary according to each selected crisis (Coombs, 1999, p.

62). Coombs (1999) synthesized a collective list, which included

* "Natural disasters: when an organization is damaged as a result of the weather or
'acts of God.' Sample natural disasters include earthquakes, tornadoes, floods,
hurricanes, and bad storms.

* Malevolence: when some outside actor or opponent employs extreme tactic to
express anger toward the organization or to force the organization to change.
Sample malevolence crises include product tampering, kidnapping, malicious
rumors, terrorism, and espionage.

* Technical breakdowns: when the technology used or supplied by the organization
fails or breaks down. Sample technical breakdowns include industrial accidents,
software failures, and product recalls that result from technical problems.

* Human breakdowns: when human error causes disruptions. Sample human
breakdowns include industrial accidents and product recalls caused by human error.

* Challenges: when the organization is confronted by discontented stakeholders.
The stakeholders challenge the organization because they believe it is operating in
an inappropriate manner and does not meet their expectations. Sample
confrontations include boycotts, strikes, lawsuits, government penalties, and
protests.

* Megadamage: when an accident creates significant environmental damage.
Sample megadamage includes oil spills and radioactive contamination.
Megadamage is caused by either technical or human breakdowns or both.

* Organizational misdeeds: when management takes actions it knows will harm or
place stakeholders at risk for harm without adequate precautions. These acts serve
to discredit or disgrace the organization in some way. Sample organization
misdeeds include favoring short-term economic gain over social values, deliberate
deception of stakeholders, and amoral or illegal acts by management.

* Workplace violence: when an employee or former employee commits violence
against other employees on organizational grounds. Sample workplace violence
includes killing or injuring coworkers.

* Rumors: when false information is spread about an organization or its products.
The false information hurts the organization's reputation by putting the
organization in an unfavorable light. Sample rumors include linking the
organization to radical groups or stories that their products are contaminated"
(Coombs, 1999, p. 61).









When a crisis is brought about by natural disasters, although the organization itself

is not directly responsible for the crisis, they must be prepared and effectively manage

such situations. In addition, natural disasters are a unique type of crisis, as the crisis

situation that results can evolve into a different type. For example, the crisis situation

faced by a community may have initially begun as a result of a hurricane, but it can

eventually become an economic crisis or cause transportation accidents (Seeger, Sellnow,

& Ulmer, 2003, p. 63). In addition, natural disasters are unique in that "the suddenness

and magnitude of the occurrence renders the areas affected by natural disasters unable to

respond effectively to the emergency because the devastation exceeds the capacity of the

area's resources" (Galambos, 2005, p. 83). According to Noji (as cited in Galambos,

2005, p. 83), the objectives in natural disaster management should be to

* determine the needs of the population that was affected by the disaster,
* provide available resources to fulfill the determined needs of the population,
* prevent additional negative health issues by executing disease control strategies,
* evaluate how effective the disaster relief programs were, as well as improving plans
for future disasters.

Crisis Management Teams

The crisis management team (CMT) is a group within an organization who handle

crises that affect the organization. The role of the CMT is to create the crisis

management plan (CMP), carry out the CMP, and deal with issues not addressed by the

CMP (Coombs, 1999, p. 63). "To develop the crisis plan, the crisis team needs the

information about different crisis types and all information about potential crises

(scanning) and actions being taken to prevent crises (prevention)" (Coombs, 1999, p. 63).

Carrying out the CMP includes putting it into action during simulated as well as actual

crisis situations.









Four critical tasks carried out by the crisis team are group decision making,

functioning as a team, enacting the crisis management plan, and listening in order to

collect information (Coombs, 1999, p. 64). The ability to make group decisions is crucial

to the success of the implementation of the crisis strategy, as all of the primary

responsibilities of the CMT refer to this task. In terms of enacting the CMP, it is

beneficial to have appointed team members according to their subject-matter knowledge

that is important during a crisis, including media relations or legal issues. As a result of

the specific tasks carried out by the CMT, a profile of a successful crisis team member

would be someone who was "low in communication apprehension in groups, high in

cooperation, high in ambiguity tolerance, moderate in argumentativeness, and well

equipped to handle stress" (Coombs, 1999, p. 69). An undesirable team member would

have the opposite of these stated characteristics. In addition, it is important for the crisis

management team to be comprised of people with "different specialties, [which] brings

together broader perspectives, enhancing the team's information-processing capacity"

(Seeger, Sellnow, & Ulmer, 2003, p. 185).

In addition, it is critical that team members have specific knowledge and

experience in certain areas, as well as in general crisis management (Coombs, 1999, p.

69). It is important the team represent a cross-functional unit. For example, in terms of

general crisis management skills, it would be important for each team member to be

knowledgeable in working as a team, applying the crisis management plan to crises,

making group decisions, and listening to others (Coombs, 1999, p. 65). Knowledge in

such areas then translates to a set of skills, including the ability to work in cooperation,

follow directions, and speak in groups. Following the possession of these skills are a set









of traits, including a cooperative predisposition, the ability to handle stress, ambiguity

tolerance, argumentativeness, and a willingness to speak in groups (Coombs, 1999, p.

65). As a result, it is important that front-line responders possess certain traits, skills, and

abilities, such as the ability to cope with stress, in order to deal with crisis situations. In

addition, experience and expertise in dealing with crises become an important part of

being selected to be a front-line responder.

Another important member of the crisis team is the spokesperson. "The primary

responsibility of the spokesperson is to manage the accuracy and consistency of the

messages coming from the organization" (Coombs, 1999, p. 71). Whether an

organization has one or several spokespersons, there are certain qualifications that he or

she must possess. For instance, preparation on the part of the spokesperson is imperative

in order to provide the public and media with appropriate responses. In addition, the

spokesperson must be able to operate efficiently and effectively while under stress, as

crisis situations are unto themselves very stressful. Although part of the crisis team, the

spokesperson must also have training in working with the media, such as having practice

in dealing with media questions and presenting information in a fashion that is attractive

for target audiences (Coombs, 1999, p. 76).

Crisis Management Plan

Although the crisis situations that organizations may face can vary greatly, it is

possible for an organization to create a crisis plan, including a crisis communication plan.

This will allow the organization to lessen potentially negative consequences and reduce

uncertainties in the event of a crisis (Whiting, Tucker, & Whaley, 2004, p. 10). This idea

also applies to communities, such that communities that create disaster plans before the

onset of a disaster will be better able to deal with the disaster as it develops (Galambos,









2005, p. 84). In addition, "communities that develop a strong disaster plan, conduct rapid

assessments, procure resources, and provide assistance in coping with the aftermath will

have a more effective approach to deal with disasters" (Galambos, 2005, p. 84). Because

crisis situations require a quick response time, the crisis management plan (CMP) is

crucial, as it contains previously collected background information, responsibilities of

crisis team members, and a blueprint for actions that must be taken by certain members

once the crisis does occur (Coombs, 1999, p. 79). Overall, the CMP provides the

organization with a means in which to respond efficiently and effective to the crisis at

hand, as well as saving lives and decreasing risk (Coombs, 1999, p.79). Essentially, it is

a crisis communication plan for the organization. According to Coombs (1999), the crisis

management plan should consist of the following sections

* Cover page

* Introduction

* Acknowledgments

* Rehearsal dates: These are dates in which the crisis management plan was
practiced.

* Crisis management team: This section identifies who is in charge of the team, as
well as how to contact them, how to begin putting the plan into action, and when
the plan should be activated, such as what denotes a crisis.

* CMT contact sheet: This section lists all the members of the crisis management
team, their complete contact information, their areas of knowledge, and any outside
people that may be needed, such those involved in emergency or insurance
response.

* Crisis risk assessment: This section identifies all the possible crises that an
organization may encounter, determines the probability that each will occur, and
identifies damage that will ensue.

* Incident report: In this section, the actions taken during a crisis by the CMT are
recorded, which is to be used during the evaluation phase.









* Proprietary information: Although it is important for crisis managers to fully
disclose all information to the organizational stakeholders, some information must
be kept confidential until it is reviewed by the head of the organization or legal
council.

* CMT strategy worksheet: This section relates to crisis communication, such that
the crisis manager must record what message was sent, what audience it was sent
to, and the goal of the communication or message.

* Secondary contact sheet: This section identifies additional stakeholders who may
need to be contacted in the event of a crisis, as they will be able to provide
information that the organization needs.

* Stakeholder contact worksheet: Because different stakeholders, including the
media, will contact the organization during a crisis, this section deals with the
procedures to be taken when a call is received. For example, it dictated who
contacted the organization, the information requested, and the organizational
response.

* Business resumption plan: Because an organization may suffer damage to
facilities or equipment during a crisis, this section details procedures to follow if
this does occur, so that the organization can resume operation.

* Crisis control center: This section deals with where team members must meet in
the event of a crisis.

* Postcrisis evaluation: After a crisis is over, this section provides the team with a
means in which to evaluate their effort during the crisis, primarily focusing on the
communication efforts. In addition, it provides an opportunity to correct
weaknesses of the plan as well as maintain its strengths.

Although the crisis management plan is an important part of the organization's

overall response effort, it does not mean that the organization is secure during a time of

crisis. Rather, it represents a general guideline and must be able to be adapted to the

individual circumstances that the team will encounter. In addition, the crisis management

plan must be adaptive to other factors, such as personnel changes, and, as a result, must

be able to be updated on a regular basis. Because the CMP is action-oriented, it is not a

document meant to go unused. Rather, it must be acted out in simulated crisis situations,

so as to enable the team to detect weaknesses that have to be addressed before an actual









crisis occurs and to give the team ample time to practice procedures (Coombs, 1999, p.

83). Furthermore, a crisis management plan will not fulfill the role to mitigate the effects

of a crisis if it does not represent the philosophies, values, attitudes, assumptions, and

norms of the organization. As a result, open communication within the organization is

critical for the crisis management plan to succeed (Penrose, 2000, p 161).

Incidentally, in a study conducted to determine the crisis communication readiness

at land-grant universities, it was found that "more than one third (36.4%) of the

respondents indicated a crisis plan was in place for extension, while less than one fourth

said that a plan was in place for either their experiment station (22.7%) or academic or

teaching programs (18.2%)" (Whiting, Tucker, & Whaley, 2003, p. 14). As a result,

there is a lack of planning on the part of Extension organizations for future crises. In

addition, less than half said that the plan had been implemented once. As indicated by

Coombs (1999) there is a need in organizations for practice in implementing the plan in

real and simulated crisis situations. Furthermore, the study showed a "significant number

of respondents perceive they are not responsible for communication policy formation or

administrative decision-making, or they are uncertain about their roles" (Whiting,

Tucker, and Whaley, 2003, p. 16). When developing a crisis management plan, a

significant part is determining who the members are and the roles of each person in the

crisis team (Coombs, 1999). Lastly, there exists a need in general for a crisis

communication plan at each land-grant university, as evident by the fact that nine percent

of the respondents were unaware of extension plans (Whiting, Tucker, & Whaley, 2003,

p. 16).









Crisis Preparation and The Disaster Handbook

A main resource for UF/IFAS Extension faculty during times of crises, especially

natural disasters, is The Disaster Handbook (UF/IFAS, 1998). This publication is part of

the Prevention and Preparedness Design Team, State Major Program (SMP) 124 of the

Florida Cooperative Extension Service (UF/IFAS, no date). SMP 124 is responsible for

delivering information and training to the population of Florida on agricultural safety and

disaster preparedness and recovery. The primary purpose of The Disaster Handbook "is

to help Extension personnel assist their communities in times of disaster" (UF/IFAS,

1998).

A significant portion of this document is dedicated to crisis preparation. The crisis

preparation section includes

* definitions of severe weather terms,
* finding information in an emergency,
* disaster supplies kit,
* detecting hazards in the home,
* protecting valuable records,
* handling stress,
* disaster planning for the elderly and disabled,
* emergency plans for small animals,
* state animal disaster plan,
* electrical outages on farms,
* electric generators,
* auxiliary units for greenhouses,
* emergency management guide for business and industry (UF/IFAS, 1998).

The last section, emergency management for business and industry, created by

FEMA, does correlate to crisis management. This section focuses upon steps in the

planning process, emergency management considerations, hazard-specific information,

and information sources. Steps in the planning process, including establishing a planning

team, analyzing capabilities and hazards, developing a plan, and implementing the plan,









which includes evaluation, do correspond to several aspects of Coombs' crisis

management model.

Crisis Stage of Crisis Management

The actual crisis event represents the second stage in Coombs' three-stage approach

to crisis management, which follows the pre-crisis stage. The crisis stage actually begins

when it is initiated by an event and ends when the crisis is resolved. The three substages

of a crisis are crisis recognition, crisis containment, and business resumption (Coombs,

1999, p. 16).

Important to the crisis stage is the crisis trigger event. This event immediately

precludes the recognition of the situation as a crisis. "A crisis trigger event is usually

dramatic in occurrence, such as a consumer being harmed by a product failure... In other

instances, the trigger event is a dramatic disruption of operations..." (Seeger, Sellnow, &

Ulmer, 2003, p. 111). The trigger event is very important as it often dictates the

magnitude and type of crisis it will become. In addition, it also brings internal and

external attention to the crisis, thus creating public responses such as fear and confusion

(Seeger, Sellnow, & Ulmer, 2003, p. 112).

Crisis Recognition

A situation does not become a crisis until key stakeholders and members of the

organization agree that it indeed is a crisis. However, these two parties may not agree

upon a situation that is presented as a crisis. In addition, management within the

organization may not take actions to recognize crisis warning signs and take preventative

actions. As a result, the crisis management team may have to persuade management into

believing that a crisis situation is upon them. For example, it was found by Penrose

(2000) that if an organization perceives a crisis as a threat, the organization will be more









willing to create a crisis plan (p. 166). It is important that an event that is a crisis be

labeled as such, because this changes the way in which the organization responds to its

onset. For example, "when a problem becomes defined as a crisis, the organization

expends more resources on the problem and works harder to discover an explanation for

it" (Coombs, 1999, p. 90). This includes activating the crisis management plan (CMP).

In order to understand a crisis once it has arisen, it is important for the crisis

management team to first collect data, process it into information that can be used, store

the information, and then give the information to external stakeholders (Coombs, 1999, p.

90). The information is necessary so that the team can make decisions concerning the

situation and what messages to pass onto the stakeholders (Coombs, 1999, p. 99).

It is the role of the crisis managers to present the crisis in such a way as to provide

a desirable response from the organization itself. Although defining certain situations as

crises may be ambiguous, natural disasters often go uncontested by stakeholders as being

defined as a crisis (Coombs, 1999, p. 95). Overall, in order to label a situation a crisis,

the crisis manager needs information indicating that a crisis is important, such that there

will be a probable loss, it is immediate, and uncertain, such that there is vagueness

surrounding it (Coombs, 1999, p. 97).

Crisis Containment and Recovery

The main goal of crisis containment is to prevent the effects of the crisis from

spreading to other parts of the organization as well as limiting the duration of the crisis

(Coombs, 1999, p. 113). In addition, it is imperative that the crisis team convey that they

are in control of the situation, as well as show concern and compassion for those affected

by the crisis. The four topics addressed during the crisis containment and recovery phase

are (a) the initial response, (b) reputational management concerns, (c) enactment of the









contingency and business resumption plan, and (d) follow-up communication (Coombs,

1999, p. 113).

Initial crisis response

The initial crisis response is the first public message addressed through mass

media. As a result, this stage is very important as it has the ability to modify the image

and communication efforts of the organization in the eyes of the stakeholders. For

example, it is important for the organization to respond quickly so as to prevent

inaccurate information from other sources concerning the crisis from reaching the

stakeholders. A quick response also coveys the image that the organization is in control

of the situation and has the ability to deal with the problem. The initial crisis response

must also be consistent with a unified response on the part of the organization through a

designated spokesperson. In addition, during this time, the organization must remain

open, such that they are available to the media, possess a willingness to disclose

information, and are honest (Coombs, 1999, p. 117).

In the initial response of crisis communication, it is necessary for the organization

to give instructing information to stakeholders by telling them what happened and how

the crisis will affect them. This includes giving them basic information about the crisis,

including what happened, where, why, and how the crisis occurred. In addition,

instructing information includes telling the stakeholders if there is anything they need to

do in order to protect themselves and what is being done to remedy the situation

(Coombs, 1999, p.120). Although it is stressed within the crisis management literature

that an organization must collect information before taking action, it is often necessary to

act without sufficient information about the crisis or the effects of it" (Seeger, Sellnow, &

Ulmer, 2003, p. 131).









Reputational concerns and crisis communication

The second part of crisis containment and recovery is reputational management

concerns. An organization's reputation during a crisis is affected by their crisis

communication strategies, which is how the organization responds through their actions

and messages to stakeholders during a crisis. As a result of the organization's crisis

communication, the perceptions that the stakeholders have of the organization will be

affected. "A company's crisis-response strategies, and all its accompanying postcrisis

communication, should make every attempt to protect and/or repair the organization's

image" (Strother, 2004, p. 291). According to Barton (as cited in Strother, 2004), the

primary goals of crisis communication in an organization are to:

* provide accurate information,
* prevent the spread of the crisis,
* limit the duration of the crisis,
* show compassion,
* demonstrate corporate responsibility,
* address compensation of victims and their families,
* prevent further occurrences where possible.

According to Coombs (1999), "crisis communication should continue throughout

the life cycle of the crisis" (p. 130). In addition, even though disseminating information

through communication with the press is important, this represents only one of the

communication tasks of an organization during a crisis or another major event.

Specifically, it is necessary for the organization to communicate with all its stakeholders,

beginning with its immediate employees, through several different information channels

(Strother, 2004, p. 290). It is important to update relevant stakeholders as new

developments concerning the crisis emerge.









There are four pieces of information that stakeholders should be made aware of as

the crisis unfolds. These include that (a) stakeholders should know how the recovery

effort is progressing, (b) identify and relay what the cause of the crisis was, (c) actions

taken in order to prevent a similar crisis from occurring, and (d) any outside support that

the organization is receiving (Coombs, 1999, p. 131). According to Seeger, et al., (2003),

poor communication can actually escalate the crisis, making recovery nearly impossible

(p. 65). If stakeholders feel as though the communication strategy was adequate and their

questions were answered, crisis resolution is able to occur. In addition, communication is

then the center of bringing closure to a crisis situation (Seeger, Sellnow, & Ulmer, 2003,

p. 75).

Crisis Event and The Disaster Handbook

The Disaster Handbook (UF/IFAS, 1998) provides information on what actions to

take during a disaster. Although it discusses aspects of a disaster, it does not directly

coincide with Coombs' crisis management model, primarily because The Disaster

Handbook focuses solely on natural disasters. The document includes

* evacuation safety tips and preparation for natural and man-made disasters,
* establishing a safe place if the person does not evacuate,
* the role of government in a disaster,
* working with local emergency government,
* Federal disaster assistance program,
* help after a disaster,
* recovery- Disaster Application Center,
* how the public can help disaster victims.

Post-Crisis Stage of Crisis Management

Although a crisis may be considered over by those involved, the crisis manager

must then evaluate how their team performed and continue to monitor the crisis once it

has passed. Such evaluation efforts during the final post-crisis stage of crisis









management will help to better prepare the organization in the event of another crisis,

leave stakeholders with a positive image of the organization, as well as enabling the crisis

manager to determine if the crisis is truly over (Coombs, 1999, p. 16). According to

Penrose (2000), "an organization that does not evaluate its crisis management strategy

after a crisis will be little better prepared to manage the next crisis" (p 167). Because

much can be learned from the evaluation of the crisis response efforts, two areas are

evaluated. These include how the organization actually dealt with the crisis, which refers

to crisis management performance, and also the impact of the crisis itself is evaluated,

including damage assessments (Coombs, 1999, p. 136).

In terms of crisis management performance evaluation, the main focus is the crisis

management plan and how the crisis management team carried it out. Following the

identification of any weaknesses, the plan would then be revised. The crisis impact is

evaluated based upon financial, reputational, human, and media factors. For example, the

damage to the organization's reputation could be determined by stakeholder feedback. In

addition, the presence of deaths, injuries, and environmental damage would be assessed

(Coombs, 1999, p. 140).

Post-Crisis Stage and The Disaster Handbook

After the crisis, The Disaster Handbook focuses on specific actions to take in order

to recover from the crisis. This section includes

* safety,
* emotional recovery,
* emergency food and water,
* health and sanitation,
* wildlife and pest issues,
* community recovery,
* assistance programs and insurance concerns.









Although a major source of information regarding disasters as they apply to

communities, it does not elaborate upon on what actions Extension is to take if it is

affected by a crisis, including natural disasters. Specifically, "this module is to help

Extension personnel assist their communities in times of disaster. These materials refer

not just to disaster preparedness, but to surviving disaster situations and recovering from

them" (UF/IFAS, 1998).

Risk Perception

Since the 1970's, studies have emerged indicating that how the public perceives

risk is significantly different from how "experts," including those who make policies and

are involved with scientific fields, view risks. While experts often view risk in terms of

its measurable attributes, the public focus on qualitative, value-laden attributes of risk

(Groth, 1998). According to Slovic (1987), these attributes that affect public perception

of risk, or "risk space," are on a two dimension continuum. Risks are ranked from

"known" to "unknown" on one continuum representing whether or not the risk is new or

known to science. On the other continuum, the risk is ranked from "dreaded" to "not

dreaded," which includes whether or not people are able to control their own risk. If a

risk is found near the "dreaded" end of the continuum, then there is more perceived risk.

In conjunction with the research of Slovic, Sandman (1987) determined that

"outrage" describes the qualitative attributes of risk. "Outrage" is defined as "all the

attributes of a risk that determine how likely it is to worry you or make you angry"

(Sandman, 1987). "Hazard," then, is the measurable side of risk, or how likely it is to kill

you. While the public focuses on "outrage" and ignores "hazard," experts focus on

"hazard." As a result, the more closely the risk affects the public, the more the emotional

their reaction will be.









Socio-Technical Systems Approach

The socio-technical approach can be used to explain the importance of the crisis

management plan and how it is carried out by the Extension organization. The

integration of the plan and the workforce in order to carry out that plan is the essence of

socio-technical research.



The socio-technical systems theory is explained as

Organizations consist of both a social, or human, system and a technological
system, and that the fit between the two systems determines the overall
effectiveness of the organization. As the theory indicates, the sociotechnical
systems (STS) approach is primarily a theory of organizational design,
incorporating both industrial engineering and behavioral science concepts in the
diagnosis of organizational problems. (Shashkin, Burke, Lawrence, & Pasmore,
1985, p. 46)

At the core of STS are the creation of small groups, which operate independently of

other aspects of the organization, even if this requires a restructuring of the organization

itself. As a result, because each small group is autonomous, each team member must be

skilled in many different areas, as well as interdependent with other members.

"Intergroup operations are designed in terms of a pooled technology. Each group makes

its own relatively independent contribution to the organization" (Shashkin, et al., 1985, p.

46). In order to enact organization change, technical changes are made at the group level,

in addition to the technological changes on the organizational level.

Specifically to this study, the socio-technical system helps to explain the gap that

exists between the creation of The Disaster Handbook and the expectations that county

officials and Extension administration had for agents, even though personally hit by the

hurricanes in 2004. As made evident by available literature, when a crisis does occur, as

a result of natural disasters or otherwise, it is essential that every organization have a









protocol to follow and opportunities to practice and evaluate actions taken. Further, the

organization fit needs to be examined to determine whether adjustments need to be made

to either the group structure or activities and crisis protocol.

Summary

A crisis can be defined as "as an event that is an unpredictable, major threat that

can have a negative effect on the organization, industry, or stakeholders if handled

improperly" (Coombs, 1999, p. 2). As a result, a crisis can pose a severe threat to an

organization or a community as a destructive force. In order to mitigate the potentially

disastrous effects of and to deal with a crisis situation effectively, crisis management

exists. According to Coombs' definition, crisis management consists of prevention,

preparation, performance, and learning (Coombs, 1999, p.4). "Crisis management is a

process of preventing, preparing for, performing, and learning from crises" (Coombs,

1999, p. 5).

The prevention phase of crisis management includes actions that are taken by the

organization to prevent a crisis from occurring in the first place. Crisis prevention

includes change and monitoring, which refers to taking actions in order to reduce the

probability that a warning sign will become a crisis. In addition, monitoring includes

evaluating the changes that were made and then determining if those changes were

effective in reducing the probability that the crisis will occur (Coombs, 1999).

Following the prevention phase of crisis management is the preparation phase. The

preparation phase includes determining where and when a crisis may occur due to

weaknesses in the organization. An organization first must determine which types of

crises it can be affected by including natural disasters, malevolence, technical or human

breakdowns, challenges, megadamage, organizational misdeeds, workplace violence, or









rumors (Coombs, 1999). The types of crises that an organization may face are reflected

in the crisis management plan (CMP), which allows the organization to mitigate the

possible negative effective in the event that a crisis occurs. The CMP includes

background information, responsibilities of crisis team members, and a plan for actions to

be taken once the crisis does occur (Coombs, 1999, p. 79).

The third phase of crisis management is performance, which is also connected to

the crisis management plan. In this phase, through simulated or real crisis situations, the

crisis management team, plan, and communication system are tested in order to

determine if they are adequate. Lastly, the fourth phase is learning. This includes

evaluating the actions taken during the performance phase in order to determine strengths

and weaknesses in the crisis plan.

Although The Disaster Handbook does provide valuable information regarding

community disaster preparation, it does not provide a means in which Extension faculty

can prepare themselves. Rather, it is contradictory as it implies the role of Extension is to

be a primary source of disaster information, as well as other national and state agencies,

but designates agents as responsible to their families first. In addition, it does not serve to

prepare faculty to deal with professional demands and personal hardships that can occur

as a result of crisis situations.














CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

The purpose of this study was to determine the readiness on the part of UF/IFAS

Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders in the preparation and recovery from

the 2004 hurricane season. In addition, the study was conducted to determine how well

agents were prepared to deal with professional demands, job expectations and clientele

demands, while coping with personal hardships as a result of the hurricanes. A third

purpose was to discern the availability of a crisis management plan to guide Extension

faculty on internal communications, roles, and responsibilities. The objectives of the

study were as follows:

1. Determine how well Cooperative Extension Service carried out its responsibilities
as a front-line responder, as indicated by the following three subobjectives:

a. Determine the readiness of Extension faculty to serve as front-line
responders during the 2004 hurricane season, in terms of preparation,
performance, and subsequent evaluation or learning

b. Determine the personal hardships of Extension faculty during the 2004
hurricane season and the role that Extension played to reduce these
hardships

c. Determine the professional hardships of Extension faculty during the 2004
hurricane season and the role that Extension played to reduce these
hardships

2. Determine whether or not needs exist for professional development, training,
curriculum, and resources in terms of future natural disasters

3. Determine the availability of a crisis management plan to guide Extension faculty
on internal communications, roles, and responsibilities









Extension Faculty Survey

As part of the disaster response network in each of the 67 counties in the state of

Florida, the Cooperative Extension Service has the ability to aid a unique sect of the

population affected by natural disasters, as well as their own specific clientele. As a

result, Extension's role was critical to the statewide disaster response during the 2004

hurricane season. In November 2004, a list of all the county and district Extension

faculty with viable email addresses as of October 2004 was obtained from UF/IFAS

(Irani, Kistler, Telg, & Place, 2005, p. 2). The original list of faculty consisted of 332

names with email addresses. Following corrections for incorrect addresses and

retirements, the final list of faculty surveyed consisted of 328 viable addresses.

Questionnaire Design and Variable Definitions

The web-based survey consisted of 76 qualitative and quantitative items that

measured Extension faculty personal and professional needs, disaster preparedness,

communication efforts, disaster resources used, Extension's impact during hurricane

relief efforts, and demographic information. The survey also contained 11 questions

designed to learn more about social and demographic characteristics of the respondents.

The survey was designed by a team of researchers in the department of Agricultural

Education and Communication at the University of Florida and followed the Tailored

Design Method (Dillman, 2000).

The survey contained specific questions aimed at obtaining "a clear understanding

of Extension's role during the hurricane preparation and recovery efforts" (Irani, et al.,

2005, p. 2), professional development needs, and crisis communication efforts of faculty.

In addition, "experts from the departments of Family, Youth, and Community Sciences;

Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Food and Resource Economics; and Clinical









and Health Psychology were also asked to include and edit questions that touched on

such topics as disaster preparedness, educational materials, agents' personal needs

(including mental health issues), and community support needs" (Irani, etal., 2005, p. 2).

The study utilized the online web survey site, Zoomerang. However, because this

software was not available in the department of Agricultural Education and

Communication at the University of Florida, the developers of the questionnaire

cooperated with Extension faculty at Purdue University to develop the online instrument

utilized in this study.

The survey utilized a variety of question types, including open-ended questions,

dichotomous yes/no questions, selection from multiple choices, and Likert-scale

questions. Responses to the Likert scale included "not at all," "slight extent," "moderate

extent," and "great extent." The multiple choice responses depended upon the question

being asked and were not identical for each question.

Objective 1: Determine How Well the Cooperative Extension Service Carried Out
Its Responsibilities as a Front-Line Responder

Objective la: Determine the Readiness of Extension Faculty to Serve as Front-Line
Responders During the 2004 Hurricane Season

Measures of faculty readiness to respond as front-line responders included

preparation prior to the crisis, performance during, and the evaluation and learning

afterwards. The indicators of faculty readiness to respond also included communication

efforts during the crisis, sources of support for emotional and physical needs, the ability

to address the needs of clientele, and utilization of resources.

An indicator of workforce performance during the crisis is communication efforts.

Communication efforts focused on communication channels used by the agent for the

public, channels used by the agent for clientele, channels used by the Extension office for









the public, public perception of the communication efforts, and clientele perception of the

communication efforts. Increased effort as well as a variety of communication channels

would indicate that the agent was attempting to provide the public population as well as

their clientele with pertinent disaster information.

Communication channels directed at the public and used by the agent were

measured by four questions (Table 3-1). The first question was aimed at determining

how much the agent made use of mass media channels in order to communicate

necessary information to the public during the recent hurricane season. This question

utilized a Likert scale ranging from "not at all," "not at all," "slight extent," "moderate

extent," and "great extent." The second question focused on those sources or channels

used for communication. Agents were asked which channel they thought was most

effective in conveying such information to the public. Lastly, an open-ended question

attempted to gain additional information regarding the type of message that agents were

trying to disseminate to the public during the hurricanes.

Table 3-1. Questions describing communication channels used by agent for the public.
Question Scale
Likert
1 Not at all
To what extent did you make use of mass media channels tot
2 Slight extent
communicate during recent hurricanes? 3 Modeat extent
3 Moderate extent
4 Great extent
Flyers, print materials
Newspaper
Of the communication sources/channels you used, which one Radio public service
was most effective in conveying information to the public announcements
during the recent hurricanes? Live radio interviews
Internet/web
Other

Communication channels used by agents to provide information to clientele groups

were measured by five questions (Table 3-2). The first question, which used a Likert









scale, was aimed at determining the extent to which the agents used the personal

communication methods of face to face, on-site visits, telephone, cell phone, text

messaging, or e-mails in order to convey information to clientele groups during the 2004

hurricane season. Second, qualitative information concerning this topic was obtained by

an open-ended question. The third multiple-choice question asked of those personal

communication methods used, which ones were most effective in conveying information

to clientele groups. Lastly, a qualitative question was aimed at determining the message

that the Extension agent was attempting to convey to clientele during the season.

Table 3-2. Questions pertaining to communication channels used by agents for clientele.
Question Scale
To what extent did you use the following personal
communication methods to convey information to your
Extension clientele group during the recent hurricanes? Likert
Face to face 1 Not at all
On-site visits 2 Slight extent
Telephone 3 Moderate extent
Cell phone 4 Great extent
Text messaging
Electronic mail
Other
Face to face
On-site visits
Of the personal communication methods you used, which one Telephone
was most effective in conveying information to your Extension Cell phone
clientele group during the recent hurricanes? Text messaging
Electronic mail
Other

The third measure of the communication efforts of Extension faculty included four

questions that were used to describe the communication channels used by the entire

county Extension office for the public (Table 3-3). The first question was used to

determine the extent to which the local Extension office made use of mass media

channels in order to communicate to the public. The second question described the









extent that the Extension office used the communication sources or channels of flyers or

print materials, newspapers, radio public service announcements, live radio interviews,

television public service announcements, live television interviews, the internet or web,

or other in order to convey information to the public during the hurricane season. The

first two questions utilized a Likert scale ranging from "not at all" to "great extent."

Lastly, it was asked whether the Extension office had a plan to manage communication

efforts in a crisis like the hurricanes or other emergency situations.

Table 3-3. Questions pertaining to communication channels used by Extension for the
public.
Question Scale
Likert
To what extent did your local extension office make use of 1 Not at all
mass media channels to communicate during the recent 2 Slight extent
hurricanes? 3 Moderate extent
4 Great extent
To what extent did your Extension office use the following
communication sources/channels to convey information to the
public during the recent hurricanes?
Flyers, print materials Likert
Newspaper 1 Not at All
Radio public service announcements 2 Slight Extent
Live radio interviews 3 Moderate Extent
TV public service announcements 4 Great Extent
Live TV interviews
Internet/web
Other
Does your Extension office have a plan to manage
communication efforts in a crisis like the hurricanes or other
emergency situations? Yes/No
Internally
Externally

The fourth topic, measure of performance, concerned faculty perceptions toward

the public's awareness of Extension communication efforts (Table 3-4). A Likert-type

question asked the extent to which the Extension faculty member believed the public was

aware of the efforts on the part of Extension during the hurricanes. The fifth measure









concerned faculty perceptions toward clientele awareness of Extension communication

efforts. This measure used a Likert-type question asking the faculty member's perception

of the extent to which the Extension clientele group was aware of the efforts of Extension

during the hurricanes.

Table 3-4. Questions pertaining to faculty perceptions of public and clientele awareness
of Extension communication efforts during the 2004 hurricane season.
Question Scale
Likert
1 Not at all
To what extent do you believe the general public was aware t e
2 Slight extent
of Extension's efforts during the recent hurricanes? 3 M at extent
3 Moderate extent
4 Great extent
Likert
To what extent do you believe your Extension clientele group 1 Not at all
was aware of Extension's efforts during the recent 2 Slight extent
hurricanes? 3 Moderate extent
4 Great extent

Another factor affecting readiness to respond was sources of support for the

Extension faculty. This included identifying sources of support that agents utilized to

meet their emotional and physical needs. Three questions in the survey identified sources

of emotional support for Extension faculty. Faculty were asked the extent to which they

had a source of support for their own emotional needs and to whom (either person or

agency) did they turn to for support. Lastly, qualitative data was collected by an open-

ended question asking the agents to provide any additional information regarding

personal needs that they had during the 2004 hurricane season.

Two questions described support for the physical needs of Extension faculty during

the hurricane season (Table 3-5). These included determining the extent to which they

had a source of support for their physical needs, including shelter, food, water, and









electricity. In addition, they were asked to identify the person or agency that was a

source of support for their physical needs.

Table 3-5. Questions pertaining to sources of emotional and physical support for
Extension faculty.
Question Scale
Likert
1 Not at all
To what extent did you have a source of support for your own t extent
2 Slight extent
emotional needs? ext
3 Moderate extent
4 Great extent
To whom (person or agency) did you turn for support of your Open-ended
emotional needs?
Likert
1 Not at all
To what extent did you have a source of support for your ownt e
SiA2 Slight extent
physical needs (shelter, food, water, electricity)? 2 t extent
3 Moderate extent
4 Great extent
To whom (person or agency) did you turn for support of your Op
physical needs (shelter, food, water, electricity)? Open

Extension faculty readiness to respond also was measured by asking agents how

well prepared they were to deal with job and clientele demands and needs during the

2004 hurricane season (Table 3-6). This variable addressed whether or not they knew

what to do and as a result, how well they performed theirjob. Two factors affecting

faculty readiness to respond are (a) the ability of the agent to address the needs of

clientele and (b) the utilization of available resources.

The ability to address the needs of clientele is supported by three questions,

including determining the extent to which agents were prepared to address the

professional challenges that they were faced with in meeting the needs of clientele. A

second question asked agents the extent to which they were prepared to address the stress

or emotional symptoms that clientele exhibited after the 2004 hurricanes. Both questions

were measured using a Likert scale. The Likert scale consisted of "not at all", "slight









extent," "moderate extent," and "great extent. In addition, an open-ended question asked

agents to elaborate upon this by obtaining information regarding how agents addressed

the needs of clientele if they exhibited stress or emotional symptoms.

The second factor affecting Extension faculty readiness to respond is the utilization

of resource. Utilization of resources was supported by seven questions. This involved

the agents' use of agencies or organizations that could have aided their response during

the 2004 hurricane season. Agents were asked to what extent they accessed local, state,

and federal agencies to conduct a more effective response before, during, and after the

hurricanes. The Likert scale consisted of "not at all", "slight extent," "moderate extent,"

and "great extent." For each agency level, agents were asked to specify other agencies

that they used, including the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

Table 3-6. Questions pertaining to faculty readiness to respond.
Question Scale
Likert
1 Not at all
To what extent were you prepared to address the professional
2 Slight extent
challenges that you faced in meeting the needs of clientele? 3 Modeat extent
S 3 Moderate extent
4 Great extent
Likert
To what extent were you prepared to address the stress or 1 Not at all
emotional symptoms your clientele exhibited after the 2 Slight extent
hurricanes? 3 Moderate extent
4 Great extent
To what extent did you access or contact the following local
agencies in order to do your job more effectively before, during,
and after the recent hurricanes?
County Emergency Management Likert
County Fire/Rescue Not at all
1 Not at all
Local Law Enforcement 2 Slit
2 Slight extent
County Road Department 3 Moderate extent
County and/or City Public Works Department 4 Great extent
County and/or City Solid Waste Department
County Health Department
Local/Regional Utilities (electric, gas)
Telephone Company









Table 3-6. Continued.

Question Scale
To what extent did you access or contact the following state
agencies in order to do your job more effectively before, during,
and after the recent hurricanes?
Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
Division of Consumer Services
Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
Division of Animal Industry
Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
Division of Forestry
Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Likert
Division of Plant Industry 1 Not at all
Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services 2 Slight extent
Office of Bio & Food Security Preparedness 3 Moderate extent
Florida Department of Children and Families 4 Great extent
Florida Department of Community Affairs, Division of
Emergency Management
Florida Department of Community Affairs, Division of
Housing and Community Development
Water Management District
Florida Department of Health
Florida Department of Transportation
University of Florida/IFAS
University of Florida Health Science Center
To what extent did you access or contact the following federal
agencies in order to do your job more effectively before, during,
and after the recent hurricanes?
USDA: Farm Service Agency (FSA)
USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
USDA: Rural Development (RD)
USDA: Animal & Plant Inspection
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Likert
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Centers 1 Not at all
for Disease Control (CDC) 2 Slight extent
U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Federal Emergency 3 Moderate extent
Management Agency (FEMA) 4 Great extent
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association (NOAA):
National Weather Service
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association (NOAA):
National Hurricane Center
U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration
(OSHA)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers









Table 3-6. Continued.

Question Scale
To what extent did you access or contact the following other Likert
organizations/resources in order to do your job more effectively 1 Not at all
before, during, and after the recent hurricanes? 2 Slight extent
American Red Cross 3 Moderate extent
Salvation Army 4 Great extent

It was also investigated as to whether the use of The Disaster Handbook by

Extension front-line responders helped them to perform better in their job than those who

did not use it (Table 3-7).

Table 3-7. Questions pertaining to The Disaster Handbook
Question Scale
Does your office have the UF/IFAS publication, The Disaster Yes
Handbook?
Do you know where The Disaster Handbook is located within Yes/No
your office?
Have you ever been trained on how to use The Disaster Yeso
Handbook?
Did you refer to The Disaster Handbook during the hurricane Y
Yesseason or for any other disaster in 2004
season or for any other disaster in 2004?


Prior to the 2004 hurricane season, when was the last time you
reviewed or used The Disaster Handbook?


Which format of The Disaster Handbook would you most
likely use?


Within the month prior
to the start of the 2004
hurricane season

Within 2-6 months
before the 2004
hurricane season began

Within 7-12 months
before the 2004
hurricane season began

More than a year ago

Never
The notebook (print)
format

The web-based format

Would use both formats










This section utilized an array of question formats, including dichotomous yes/no,

open-ended, and selection from provided choices that measured the respondents

preparations before the crisis. Nineteen questions were included in this section,

beginning with asking if their office even has The Disaster Handbook, if they knew

where it was located in the office, and if they received training on how to use it.

Knowledge of its presence and location within their work office would help to increase

its use during such times of disaster. In addition, training would help agents to use The

Disaster Handbook effectively amongst its clientele.

The remaining questions focused on use of the handbook, in terms of the print and

web-based versions. For example, the survey asked if the faculty member familiarized

themselves with the print and web versions of the handbook or reviewed them prior to the

beginning of the 2004 hurricane season. In addition, faculty were asked what section was

most helpful and if they had suggestions to improve the print and web versions.

Objective Ib: Determine the Personal Hardships of Extension Faculty during the
2004 Hurricane Season and the Role that Extension Could Play to Reduce These
Hardships

Sources of personal hardships, were used to determine the causes of personal stress

faculty felt during the 2004 hurricane season. For example, a factor affecting personal

hardship would be whether or not that faculty member experienced damage to their

home, as this personal experience has the ability to affect theirjob performance. In

addition, sources of hardship also helped to explain if the Extension faculty member had

difficulty in balancing work and family life during this time. The first three questions of

the survey focused on the personal hardships of faculty during this time. For instance,

they were asked to what extent they experienced damage to their home, experience









personal stress, and how these factors affected their performance on the job during

hurricane preparation and recovery efforts. Questions pertaining to sources of personal

hardships experienced by Extension faculty can be found in Table 3-8.

Table 3-8. Questions pertaining to sources of personal hardships experienced by
Extension faculty.
Question Scale
Likert
1 Not at all
To what extent did you experience damage to your home 2 Slt xtet
2 Slight extent
or experience other personal hardships? 3 Moderate extent
3 Moderate extent
4 Great extent
Likert
To what extent did you experience personal stress or 1 Not at all
emotional symptoms while involved in hurricane 2 Slight extent
preparation and relief efforts? 3 Moderate extent
4 Great extent
Likert
To what extent did your personal experience affect your 1 Not at all
job performance such as having trouble concentrating 2 Slight extent
or missing work? 3 Moderate extent
4 Great extent

Objective Ic: Determine the Professional Hardships of Extension Faculty during
the 2004 Hurricane Season and the Role that Extension Could Play to Reduce
These Hardships

The professional hardships felt by agents were determined by two questions. Using

a qualitative question, each faculty member was asked to give the three greatest

professional challenges they faced during the hurricane season. Secondly, they were

asked if barriers existed to prevent them from using certain Extension resources, such as

The Disaster Handbook or the "Triumph Over Tragedy" curriculum during the hurricane

season. Such barriers would include location of the materials, knowledge that they were

available, or time to allow their use. Sources of hardships included the ability of

Extension faculty to balance their work and family life. Two questions supported this

measure. First, faculty were asked how difficult it was to meet the needs of both their









professional and personal lives. Second, they were asked what was most difficult about

balancing professional and personal lives. Overall, the sources of hardship, both personal

and professional, would influence how ready faculty were to respond to the needs of

Florida residents during the 2004 hurricane season by affecting their job performance.

Questions pertaining to personal hardships experienced by Extension faculty can be

found in Table 3-9.

Table 3-9. Questions pertaining to personal hardships experienced by Extension faculty.
Question Scale
List the three (3) greatest professional challenges you Open-ended
faced as a result of the 2004 hurricanes.
To what extent did the following barriers get in the way
of you utilizing resources such as the Disaster
Handbook, Triumph Over Tragedy, or other Extension Likert
Likert
resources following the hurricanes. N a
S. 1 Not at all
Materials were located in the main office t a
S. 2 Slight extent
Didn't know that certain materials were available 2 t extent
3 Moderate extent
Didn't have time to access the materials
4 Great extent
Didn't know were to find materials
Materials were online and we didn't have computer
access
Likert
1 Not at all
To what extent was it difficult for you to balanced x
2 Slight extent
personal and professional needs? 3 Modeat extent
3 Moderate extent
4 Great extent
Describe what was most difficult for you about Open-ended
balancing personal and professional needs.

Objective 2: Determine if Needs Exist for Professional Development, Training,
Curriculum, and Resources

One of the primary goals of crisis management is feedback and evaluation. Thus

one objective of this study was to determine if professional development needs exist

amongst Extension faculty in Florida, in regards to future natural disasters. Specifically,

the survey strived to determine if the presence of specially trained volunteers would aid

faculty in dealing with home and family issues. In addition, its goal was to determine









what areas of professional development were needed and in what training formats such

information should be presented. Questions pertaining to professional development and

future disasters can be found in Table 3-10.

Table 3-10. Questions pertaining to professional development and future disasters.
Questions Scale
If specially trained volunteers were available to help you Likert
with home and family issues in the immediate aftermath 1 Not at all
of a future disaster so that you could better focus on your 2 Slight extent
Extension work with disaster victims, to what extent 3 Moderate extent
would you make use of these supports? 4 Great extent
To what extent do you need professional development in
the following areas in preparation for hurricanes and
other emergency situations? Likert
Working with the media Not at all
., 1 Not at all
Coping with personal stress 2 Slight extent
2 Slight extent
Helping coworkers cope with stress 3 Moderate extent
3 Moderate extent
Helping clientele cope with stress
4 Great extent
Personal needs (emotional and physical needs)
Hurricane disaster preparedness
Applying my subject matter in disaster situations
How likely would you be to attend or participate in the
following training formats in preparation for hurricanes
or other emergency situations? Likert
Statewide conference 1 Not at all
District meeting 2 Slight extent
Web-based module/CD-ROM 3 Moderate extent
Telephone conference 4 Great extent
Videoconference
Print materials

Objective 3: Determine the Availability of a Crisis Management Plan to Guide
Extension Faculty

The UF/IFAS publication The Disaster Handbook, although not a crisis

management plan, provides guidance for Extension during disasters. It provides

Extension faculty with information to provide to the public and clientele groups.

However, it does not offer guidance on the roles and professional expectations of faculty,

and emergency contact information. It includes information on disaster preparation, what









to do during a disaster, as well as disaster recovery, especially for homes and farms. For

example, it describes how to make a disaster supplies kit and how to evacuate safely. It

also provides information on how to deal with specific disasters, including such

incidences as hurricanes, lightning, floods, tornadoes, and events of terrorism.

The Disaster Handbook will be compared to Coombs' (1999) crisis management

theory to determine its effectiveness as a crisis management plan for the Florida

Cooperative Extension Service. The essential elements of a crisis management plan

include

* Rehearsal dates: These are dates in which the crisis management plan was
practiced.

* Crisis management team: This section identifies who is in charge of the team, as
well as how to contact them, how to begin putting the plan into action, and when
the plan should be activated, such as what denotes a crisis.

* CMT contact sheet: This section lists all the members of the crisis management
team, their complete contact information, their areas of knowledge, and any outside
people that may be needed, such as those involved in emergency or insurance
response.

* Crisis risk assessment: This section identifies all the possible crises that an
organization may encounter, determines the probability that each will occur, and
identifies damage that will ensue.

* Incident report: In this section, the actions taken during a crisis by the CMT are
recorded, which is to be used during the evaluation phase.

* Proprietary information: Although it is important for crisis managers to fully
disclose all information to the organizational stakeholders, some information must
be kept confidential until it is reviewed by the head of the organization or legal
council.

* CMT strategy worksheet: This section relates to crisis communication, such that
the crisis manager must record what message was sent, what audience it was sent
to, and the goal of the communication or message.

* Secondary contact sheet: This section identifies additional stakeholders who may
need to be contacted in the event of a crisis, as they will be able to provide
information that the organization needs.









* Business resumption plan: Because an organization may suffer damage to
facilities or equipment during a crisis, this section details procedures to follow if
this does occur, so that the organization can resume operation.

* Crisis control center: This section deals with where team members must meet in
the event of a crisis.

* Postcrisis evaluation: After a crisis is over, this section provides the team with a
means in which to evaluate their effort during the crisis, primarily focusing on the
communication efforts. In addition, it provides an opportunity to correct
weaknesses of the plan as well as maintain its strengths.

Population Study

The population for the study included University of Florida/IFAS county and

district Extension faculty. The unit of analysis is based upon individuals. The survey

was sent to all county and district Extension faculty, which was obtained from UF/IFAS,

with viable email addresses as of October 2004. The original list of Extension faculty

consisted of 332 names and after making corrections for incorrect addresses and

retirements, the final list of faculty surveyed consisted of 328 participants. The overall

response rate consisted of 208 out of 328, or 63.41%.

To learn more about the faculty who completed the survey, respondents were asked

to provide answers to eleven questions, which were a mixture of multiple-choice and

open-ended items that measured demographic items (Table 3-11). Specifically, three

questions determined level of experience, including Extension rank and years of

experience with the Cooperative Extension Service. Extension rank was determined

through a multiple choice question, with choices Extension agent I, II, III, or IV,

Courtesy Extension agent I, II, III, or IV, Extension Program Assistant, or other. These

items were important as they could possibly serve as a predictor of performance during

preparatory and recovery efforts during a natural disaster. One item measured









administrative responsibilities, such as whether the respondent was a County or District

Extension Director.

Table 3-11. Questions pertaining to descriptive information of respondents.
Question Scale
Extension Agent I
Extension Agent II
Extension Agent III
Extension Agent IV
What is your Extension rank? Courtesy Agent I
Courtesy Agent II
Courtesy Agent III
Courtesy Agent IV
Extension Program Assistant
For those with administrative responsibilities only, County Extension Director
please select the appropriate option. District Extension Director
What county or counties do you work in? Open-ended


How many years of experience do you have with
the Cooperative Extension Service?


Please indicate your primary program area.


Please indicate your age.
Please indicate your gender.


Please indicate the ethnicity with which you most
closely identify.


Open-ended


Agriculture/Natural Resources
Community Development
Family and Consumer Sciences
(including FNP/EFNEP)
4-H/Youth Development
Sea Grant/Aquaculture
Ornamental/Environmental
Horticulture
Urban Horticulture (including
Master Gardener)
Commercial Horticulture
(vegetables, citrus, forestry)
Open-ended
Open-ended
African-American
Asian-American
Caucasian
Hispanic/Latino
Native American
Other


Another important question asked what county or counties the respondent worked

with, as this would help determine the readiness to respond by coastal or inland faculty.

Two questions provided the primary program area of the respondent, including









agriculture and natural resources, community development, family and consumer

sciences (including FNP/EFNEP), 4-H/Youth development, Sea Grant/aquaculture,

ornamental/environmental horticulture, urban horticulture (including Master Gardener),

commercial horticulture (vegetable, citrus, forestry), or other. Lastly, four questions

addressed demographic information, including age, gender, and ethnicity.

Survey Implementation

Because web surveys offer much potential in data collection, with little cost, this

method was implemented in this study (Dillman, 2000, p. 400). In addition, according to

Dillman (2000, p. 354), web surveys "not only have a more refined appearance to which

color may be added, but also provide survey capabilities far beyond those available for

any other type of self-administered questionnaire. They can be designed so as to provide

a more dynamic interaction between respondent and questionnaire than can be achieved

in e-mail or paper surveys." Through cooperation with Extension Disaster Education

Network (EDEN) faculty at Purdue University, the survey was made available on the web

through Zoomerang software (Appendix A).

In order to maximize response to the web survey, multiple contacts were made

through email (Dillman, 2000, p. 150). A pre-notice letter was sent to all county

Extension faculty and District Extension Directors on November 30, 2004 by email

(Appendix B). Sent by Extension Dean Larry Arrington, the goal of the email was to

inform potential respondents of the forthcoming questionnaire and to encourage their

participation. Several days after the email from Dr. Arrington was sent to all Extension

faculty, a second email was sent from the researchers in the Agricultural Education and

Communication department (Appendix C). This email consisted of an overview of the

study, as well as a link to the web-based questionnaire. Finally, two waves of follow-up









were conducted to encourage nonrespondents to complete the questionnaire on December

9 and 20, 2004. The link to the survey was then closed on January 5, 2005, which

prevented any new responses.

Data Analysis Procedures

Objectives one and two were analyzed using a percentage distribution response and

means. In such cases where multiple questions measure a construct, a summated score

was computed (i.e. preparation). A summated scale is calculated by adding the scores

from the items that make up each scale to give an overall score for certain scales. To

determine the reliability of the new variable created by the summated scale and to

determine the internal consistency of the new scale, Cronbach's alpha coefficient was

calculated. This is used to determine if all the items that make up the scale are measuring

the same underlying construct. The scale is considered reliable if the value of

Cronbach's alpha is above .7. Lastly, correlations were conducted to describe the

strength and direction of the relationship between certain variables. For example, the

Pearson's product-moment coefficient was calculated to determine if there was an

association between faculty preparation to address the professional challenges they face

and the extent to which they were prepared to address the stress or emotional symptoms

exhibited by clientele.

The third objective- to determine the availability of a crisis management plan to

guide Extension faculty on internal communications, roles, and responsibilities- was

analyzed according to content analysis. Content analysis is "any technique for making

inferences by systematically and objectively identifying special characteristics of

messages" (Holsti, 1969, p. 608). It is considered to be a mixture of qualitative and

quantitative analysis. This is because specific frequencies can be calculated






70


(quantitative) pertaining to certain categories, while themes and symbols can be analyzed

qualitatively (Berg, 2001, p. 242). Content analysis was used to determine if similar

themes exist between a crisis management plan, as described by Coombs (1999) and The

Disaster Handbook (UF/IFAS, 1998). Since this is the only reference agents had, it is

important to determine how useful this document was as both as an information source

agents would use for the public and clientele and as a crisis management plan to guide

faculty on internal communications, roles, and responsibilities.














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

With the immense damage sustained by the people and property and the crisis

situation that often ensues after a natural disaster, it is critical for front-line responders to

act quickly. As a result, it is important for responding agencies to be well versed in their

roles, responsibilities, and the resources available to them. Considered to be a front-line

responder, the Cooperative Extension Service in Florida occupies a unique niche in the

disaster preparation and recovery system.

The purpose of this study was to determine the readiness on the part of UF/IFAS

Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders in the preparation and recovery from

the 2004 hurricane season. In addition, the study was conducted to determine how well

agents were prepared to deal with professional demands, job expectations and clientele

demands, while coping with personal hardships as a result of the hurricanes. A third

purpose was to discern the availability of a crisis management plan to guide Extension

faculty on internal communications, roles, and responsibilities.

Objective 1: Determine How Well the Cooperative Extension Service Carried Out
Its Responsibilities as a Front-Line Responder

Objective la: Determine the Readiness of Extension Faculty to Serve as Front-Line
Responders During the 2004 Hurricane Season

The readiness of Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders during the 2004

hurricane season, and their subsequent preparation, performance, and evaluation, was

affected by several factors. These include faculty and Extension communication efforts









during the crisis, sources of support for emotional and physical needs, the ability to

address the needs of clientele, and utilization of resources.

Preparation of Extension faculty to serve as front-line responders

As suggested by crisis management research, one aspect of crisis management

includes preparation by the organization and its constituents. In terms of Extension, it is

important to determine how well prepared its faculty were to deal with both the

tumultuous hurricane season of 2004 and other crisis situations that may threaten

Florida's population. The UF/IFAS publication, The Disaster Handbook serves as the

major resource available to county faculty when dealing with crisis situations,

specifically natural disasters. As a result, it is important to determine how aware they

were of The Disaster Handbook, in terms of its presence, training, and use.

Table 4-1. Faculty awareness and use of The Disaster Handbook (N=208).
Variable Frequency %
Does your office have the UF/IFAS publication, "The Disaster
Handbook?"
Yes 193 92.8
No 3 1.4
No Response 12 5.8
Do you know where The Disaster Handbook is located within
your office?
Yes 177 85.1
No 20 9.6
No Response 11 5.3
Have you ever been trained on how to use The Disaster
Handbook?
Yes 54 26.0
No 143 68.8
No Response 11 5.3
Prior to the 2004 hurricane season, when was the last time you
reviewed or used "The Disaster Handbook?"
Within 12 months before the 2004 hurricane season .
g 47 22.6
began
More than a year ago 66 31.7
Never 80 38.5
No Response 15 7.2










As reported in Table 4-1, the majority of faculty (94.2%) knew that their office had

a copy of The Disaster Handbook and where it was located within the office (85.1%).

Although most were aware of the presence of the publication in their office, most

Extension faculty had not become familiar or reviewed it recently, prior to the start of the

2004 hurricane season. For instance, 31.7% had not reviewed it in more than a year and

38.5% had never reviewed the publication. In addition, most (68.8%) had never been

trained on its use.

Using Pearson's product-moment coefficient (Table 4-2), a relationship was found

between a faculty member's use of The Disaster Handbook during the hurricane season

and their training on its use. Although statistically significant, the correlation coefficient

of .203 suggests limited practicality of the relationship.

Table 4-2. Pearson's product-moment correlation with relationship between The Disaster
Handbook use and training by faculty (N=196).
Variable Have you ever been trained on how
to use The Disaster Handbook?


Did you refer to The Disaster Handbook during
the hurricane season or for any other disaster in .203*
2004?


*Statistically significant at .05 level

Another critical aspect of crisis preparation is the ability to manage communication

efforts. This includes having internal and external plans to disseminate disaster-related

information to those who need it. Table 4-3 indicates that although most Extension

offices did have an internal plan to manage crisis communication efforts (76.9%), only

half reported having an external plan.









Table 4-3. Availability of plans to manage communication efforts in a crisis (N=208).
Does your Extension office have a plan to manage Frequency %
communication efforts in a crisis like the hurricanes or other
emergency situations?
Internally
Yes 160 76.9
No 33 15.9
No Response 15 7.2
Externally
Yes 104 50.0
No 80 38.5
No Response 24 11.5

Preparation on the part of Extension faculty was also determined by how able they

were to address the professional challenges they faced. As reported in Table 4-4, less

than one-in-ten faculty members reported being well-prepared. Even worse, only 7%

reported being well-prepared to address stress or emotional symptoms of clientele after

the hurricanes.

Table 4-4. Extent to which faculty members were prepared to address professional
obligations (N=208).
Variable No Not Slight Moderate Great
Response at Extent Extent Extent
(%) All (%) (%) (%)
(%)
To what extent were you prepared
to address the professional 7.2 10.1 27.4 46.2 9.1
challenges you faced?
To what extent were you prepared
to address the stress or emotional
8.7 13.5 33.7 37.0 7.2
symptoms your clientele exhibited
after the hurricanes?

The relationship between the extent of preparation on the part of faculty to address

professional challenges and the extent to which they were prepared to address the stress

or emotional symptoms exhibited by clientele after the hurricanes was further examined

(Table 4-5). The Pearson's product-moment coefficient of .589, indicates a strong,

positive relationship between the variables. In essence, the more prepared the faculty









member to address professional challenges, the more prepared they were to address the

stress of their clientele.

Table 4-5. Pearson's product-moment correlation with relationship between extent to
which faculty were prepared to address the professional challenges faced and
extent preparation to address the stress or emotional symptoms exhibited by
clientele (N=188).
Variable To what extent were you prepared to address
the stress or emotional symptoms your
clientele exhibited after the hurricanes?
To what extent were you prepared to
address the professional challenges you .589*
faced?
*Statistically significant at .05 level

A summated score was calculated to create a measure of preparation by combining

questions regarding the extent to which faculty were prepared to address the professional

challenges they faced and the extent to which they were prepared to address the stress or

emotional symptoms clientele exhibited after the hurricanes. Called "preparation," this

new variable had a reliability of Cronbach's alpha equal to .741. In addition, the

relationship between preparation, and years of experience in the Extension Service,

within the state of Florida, was analyzed using Pearson product-moment correlation

coefficient (Table 4-6). There was a slight, positive correlation between the variables.

Although statistically significant, the correlation coefficient of .167 suggests limited

practicality of the relationship.

Table 4-6. Pearson's product-moment correlation with relationship between extent to
which faculty were prepared to address the professional demands and years of
experience within the FCES (N=150).
Variable Preparation
Years of experience within the Florida .167*
Cooperative Extension Service
*Statistically significant at .05 level









Overall, it was found that most faculty knew that their office had a copy of The

Disaster Handbook and its location, but most had not received training on its use.

Correlational analysis revealed a slight relationship between training of faculty on the

publication and its use. Only a small percentage of respondents felt greatly prepared to

deal with the professional challenges they felt and to address the stress or emotional

symptoms exhibited by clientele. In addition, a strong relationship was found between

faculty preparation to address professional challenges and the emotional symptoms of

clientele.

Performance of Extension faculty as front-line responders

A second aspect of crisis management theory is performance during a crisis. In

terms of this study, performance is related to how well Extension faculty fulfilled their

professional obligations and use of available resources, such as The Disaster Handbook

communication channels, and use of local, state, and federal agencies. For example, as

seen in Table 4-7, job performance may be affected by the personal experience of each

faculty member during the hurricane season, such as if their house was damaged.

However, it was found that the job performance, including trouble concentrating or

missed work, of approximately one in three faculty members were not at all affected by

their personal experiences during the 2004 hurricane season.

Table 4-7. Extent to which the personal experience of faculty affected their job
performance (N=208).
No Not Slight Moderate Great
Variable Response at Extent Extent Extent
(%) All (%) (%) (%)
(%)
To what extent did your personal
experience affect your job 346 413 173 2
performance- such as having trouble
concentrating or missing work?










In addition, faculty job performance during a crisis could also be enhanced by the

use of The Disaster Handbook as this publication provides information regarding disaster

preparedness and recovery. As shown in Table 4-8, over half (60.1%) of Extension

faculty surveyed indicated that they used the publication during the 2004 hurricane

season or for any other type of disaster. Since 68% reported they had not been trained on

its use, this means they had to learn its contents during a crisis.

Table 4-8. Extension faculty use of The Disaster Handbook during the 2004 hurricane
season or for any other disaster (N=208).
Did you refer to The Disaster Handbook during the hurricane Frequency %
season or for any other disaster in 2004?
Yes 125 60.1
No 73 35.1
No Response 10 4.8

Another resource available to faculty during times of disaster include mass media

channels which serve as a means to convey important crisis information to the public and

clientele groups (Table 4-9). Utilization of mass media channels indicate faculty are

performing functions of their job by providing information that could aid the public and

clientele groups well-being and safety.

Table 4-9. Extent to which Extension made use of mass media channels during the 2004
hurricane season (N=208).
Variable No Not Slight Moderate Great
Response at Extent Extent Extent
(%) All (%) (%) (%)
(%)
To what extent did you make use of
mass media channels to communicate 4.8 29.4 27.0 26.1 13.0
during recent hurricanes?
To what extent did your local extension
office make use of mass media
6.3 19.2 31.3 32.7 10.6
channels to communicate during the
recent hurricanes?









For example, in Table 4-9, it was found that only 13% of faculty members utilized mass

media channels to communicate during the 2004 hurricane season to a great extent. In

addition, only one in ten (10.6%) Extension offices made use of such channels to a great

extent.

Further analysis using Pearson's product-moment coefficient (Table 4-10), revealed

a relationship between the extent to which faculty utilized mass media channels to

communicate during the hurricanes and the extent to which the local Extension office

made use of mass media channels. The correlation value of .619 indicates that the more

an individual reported using mass media channels, the more the faculty reported the

office using those channels.

Table 4-10. Pearson's product-moment correlation with relationship between extent to
which faculty used mass media channels and extent to which the extension
office made use of mass media channels to communicate during the
hurricanes (N=195).
To what extent did you make use of
Variable mass media channels to communicate
during recent hurricanes?
To what extent did your local extension office
make use of mass media channels to .619*
communicate during the recent hurricanes?
*Statistically significant at .05 level.

In addition to mass media channels, personal communication methods allow faculty

to convey crisis-related information to clientele groups and to the public. As evident in

Table 4-11, the personal communication method used by Extension faculty during the

hurricane season were face to face visits with members of the public1. The most widely

used communication channel used by Extension offices to transmit information to the

public included fliers and other print materials. According to program area, it was found


1 All means are calculated with missing responses excluded









that agriculture and natural resource faculty primarily used the personal communication

methods of face to face and on-site visits to a great extent, more than any other program

area. However, family and consumer science agents used the telephone to a greater

extent, while 4-H agents used electronic mail to a great extent. Horticulture faculty also

utilized face to face communication and on-site visits to a great extent (Muegge, 2005).

Table 4-11. Extent to which Extension faculty utilized personal communication methods
to convey information to clientele groups and to the public during the 2004
hurricane season (N=208).
Frequency of Use
Commu n M d Not at All Slight Moderate Great Mean SD
Communication Method
(%) Extent Extent Extent
(%) (%) (%)
To what extent did you use the
following personal
communication methods to
convey information to your
Extension clientele group
during the recent hurricanes?
Face to face 7.7 20.7 29.3 34.1 3.0 .97
On-site visit 24.5 26.9 20.7 18.3 2.4 1.10
Telephone 10.6 19.2 27.4 34.1 2.9 1.00
Cell phone 30.8 22.6 19.2 17.3 2.3 1.10
Text messaging 81.3 2.4 1.4 0 1.1 .30
Electronic mail 29.8 27.4 20.7 11.1 2.2 1.00
Other 14.9 0.5 4.3 2.4 1.7 1.10
To what extent did your
Extension office use the
following communication
sources/channels to convey
information to the public during
the recent hurricanes?
Flyers, print materials 9.6 26.9 30.3 26.9 2.8 .97
Newspapers 16.3 30.8 26.9 17.8 2.5 .99
Radio public service 46.2 20.7 17.3 5.8 1.8 .96
announcements
Live radio interviews 59.1 18.8 9.1 2.9 1.5 .80
TV public service 61.5 16.8 8.2 2.4 1.5 .77
announcements
Live TV interviews 62.5 19.2 6.3 0.5 1.4 .64
Internet/Web 35.6 20.2 22.1 13.0 2.1 1.10
Other 17.8 3.4 5.8 4.8 1.9 1.20










As a front-line responder to the hurricanes of 2004, the role of Extension includes

providing disaster-related information to those affected. As a result, a factor affecting job

performance would be the ability of faculty to access local, state, federal, and other non-

governmental agencies. As indicated in Table 4-12, the higher the calculated mean, the

more the agency was used by Extension faculty during the hurricanes. For example, the

three most used local agencies included County Emergency Management, Local/Regional

Utilities, and the County Health Department. In terms of state agencies, UF/IFAS was

used the most, followed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer

Services: Division of Consumer Services, and, lastly, the Florida Department of

Agriculture and Consumer Services: Division of Animal Industry. The Federal agencies

most widely used included the United States Department of Agriculture: Farm Service

Agency, National Hurricane Center, and FEMA. In addition, other non-governmental

agencies that were used included the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

Table 4-12. Most used local, state, and federal agencies by Extension faculty during the
2004 hurricane season (N=208).
Local Agency Mean SD
County Emergency Management 2.84 1.2
Local Utilities- Electric/Gas 1.81 1.0
County Health Department 1.78 1.0
Federal Agency Mean SD
Farm Service Agency 2.06 1.2
National Hurricane Center 1.83 1.2
FEMA 1.78 1.1
Other Mean SD
Red Cross 1.63 0.93
Salvation Army 1.30 0.65

In this study, indicators of job performance of faculty during the hurricane season

included fulfillment of professional obligations and use of available resources.

Approximately one-third of the respondents reported that they were not at all affected by









their personal experiences during the 2004 hurricane season, while two-thirds indicated

that they were to some extent. Resources available to faculty include The Disaster

Handbook, mass media and communication channels, and other relief agencies and

organizations. Overall, such resources were not utilized to a great extent by faculty.

Subsequent evaluation and learning

Crisis management literature also stresses the importance of evaluation and

learning after the execution of the crisis plan. By conducting a post-crisis evaluation, the

organization can determine the strengths and weaknesses of its actions, protocol, and

resources. UF/IFAS Extension took some steps towards completing this. For example,

as reported in Table 4-13, it was determined that half of the faculty surveyed preferred

both formats of The Disaster Handbook. In addition, faculty were asked if they would

utilize specially trained volunteers if they were made available to help with home and

family issues during a future disaster so as to allow faculty to better focus on their

Extension work with disaster victims. Approximately half of respondents reported that

they would use such a resource from a moderate to great extent.

Table 4-13. Extension faculty preference of available disaster-related resources (N=168).
Resource Frequency %
Which format of The Disaster Handbook would you most
likely use?
Notebook (print) format 43 20.7
Web-based format 28 13.5
Both formats 97 46.6
If specially trained volunteers were available to help you with
home and family issues in the immediate aftermath of a future
disaster so that you could better focus on your Extension work
with disaster victims, to what extent would you make use of
these supports?
Not at All 11.5
Slight Extent 30.3
Moderate Extent 32.2
Great Extent 16.8










In terms of Extension, it is also important during the evaluation phase to determine

which media channels were most effective when used by faculty to communicate

information to the public or clientele groups during the hurricane season. This will

enable the organization to determine the best way to get information to those who need it.

According to Table 4-14, it was found that the most widely used communication source

or channels were flyers and other print material, followed by newspapers. In addition,

the most effective personal communication method used to convey information to

clientele groups included face to face meetings and the telephone.

Table 4-14. Extension faculty selection of most effective media channels used by faculty
members to communicate information to the public or clientele during the
hurricane (N=208).
Communication channels Frequency %
Of the communication sources/channels you used, which one
was most effective in conveying information to the public
during the recent hurricanes?
Flyers and/or print material 49 23.6
Newspapers 45 21.6
Radio public service announcements 15 7.2
Live radio interviews 6 2.9
Internet/web 4 1.9
Other 26 12.5
No Response 63 30.3
Of the personal communication methods you used, which one
was most effective in conveying information to your Extension
clientele group during the recent hurricanes?
Face to face 60 28.8
On-site visit 16 7.7
Telephone 59 28.4
Cell phone 14 6.7
Text messaging 1 0.5
Electronic mail 8 3.8
Other 11 5.3
No Response 39 18.8

In order to reach those in need of Extension's services during the hurricane season,

the public and clientele need to be aware of the organizations efforts during such









disasters. According to Table 4-15, however, only a small percentage of faculty reported

that the general public was moderately to greatly aware (25.9%). In addition, faculty

reported that only a small percentage of their clientele group (13.9%) was greatly aware

of Extension's efforts.

Table 4-15. Public and clientele awareness of Extension's efforts (N=208).
Frequency of Use
No Not Slight Moderate Great
Variables Response at Extent Extent Exten
All (%) (%) (%)


(%)


To what extent do you believe the general
public was aware of Extension's efforts 5.3 18.8 50.0 22.1 3.8
during the recent hurricanes?
To what extent do you believe your
Extension clientele group was aware of 5 1 3 8 1
5.3 10.6 32.2 38.0 13.9
Extension's efforts during the recent
hurricanes?

In addition, a relationship was found between the awareness of the public of Extension's

efforts during the hurricanes and the awareness of Extension clientele groups towards

Extension's recent efforts during the hurricanes, using Pearson's product-moment

correlation (Table 4-16). The correlation value of .522 indicates that the more aware the

clientele were, the more aware the general public was of Extension's efforts.

Table 4-16. Pearson's product-moment correlation of relationship between public
awareness and clientele awareness of Extension's efforts during the hurricanes
(N=196).
To what extent do you believe the
Variable general public was aware of Extension's
efforts during the recent hurricanes?


To what extent do you believe your
Extension clientele group was aware of
Extension's efforts during the recent
hurricanes?
*Statistically significant at .05 level.


.522*


t









During disasters, it is important that the public and clientele that are in need receive

relevant information. However, only a small percentage of faculty reported that the

general public and clientele groups were aware of their efforts during the 2004 hurricane

season. A strong relationship was found between the awareness of the public of

Extension's efforts and the awareness of clientele groups towards Extension's efforts

during the hurricanes. According to respondents, the most effective method used to

communicate information to the public was flyers and other print materials, while the

most effective personal communication method was face to face visits.

Objective Ib: Determine the Personal Hardships of Extension Faculty during the
2004 Hurricane Season and the Role that Extension Could Play to Reduce These
Hardships

It is critical as a front-line responding organization, that Extension faculty are able

to perform their job and carry out the organizations goals to aid those in need. However,

for some faculty that experienced personal hardships, such as damage to their homes,

fulfilling their job expectations may have proved difficult. As a result, it was important

to determine the extent to which they experienced personal hardships and stress and if

they had support for their emotional and physical needs during this time.

Table 4-17. Extent to which faculty experienced personal hardships and stress (N=208).
Frequency of Use
No Not Slight Moderate Great
Variable Response at Extent Extent Extent
(%) All (%) (%) (%)
(%)
To what extent did you experience
damage to your home or experience 3.3 23.6 45.7 20.7 6.7
other personal hardships?
To what extent did you experience
personal stress or emotional symptoms 38 1 3 3
.. 3.8 12 38.5 36.1 9.6
while involved in hurricane preparation
and relief efforts?









As seen in Table 4-17, one quarter of respondents reported that they experienced

damage to their home or other personal hardships from a moderate to great extent.

In addition, as a result of the hurricane, nearly one in ten faculty members reported that

they experienced personal stress or emotional symptoms. Although many did experience

such hardships, about one in three respondents reported that they had support for their

own emotional needs to a great extent. In addition, about half (48.6%) of Extension

faculty reported having a source of support for their physical needs, such as shelter, food,

water, or electricity, to a great extent, as evident in Table 4-18.

Table 4-18. Extent to which Extension faculty had support for their own emotional and
physical needs (shelter, food, water, electricity) (N=208).
Frequency of Use
No Not Slight Moderate Great
Response at Extent Extent Extent
(%) All (%) (%) (%)
Variable (%)
To what extent did you have a source of 3 9. .
6.3 9.6 21.6 29.3 33.2
support for your own emotional needs?
To what extent did you have a source of 6 5 1 2
6.6 5.3 13.5 26.0 48.6
support for your own physical needs?

Overall, it was found that many respondents did experience damage to their home

or other personal hardships as a result of the hurricanes to some extent, as well as

experiencing personal stress. It was also reported that many had some sort of support for

their emotional and physical needs during this time.

Objective Ic: Determine the Professional Hardships of Extension Faculty during
the 2004 Hurricane Season and the Role that Extension Could Play to Reduce
These Hardships

In addition to personal hardships, Extension faculty may have faced professional

difficulties when trying to perform their job functions. For example, according to Table

4-19, the barrier that was reported to have gotten in the way of faculty utilizing certain









resources, such as The Disaster Handbook and "Triumph over Tragedy," was they did

not have time to access the materials. In addition, a second barrier was that faculty did

not know that certain materials were available. Without electricity in many areas of

Florida for weeks following the hurricanes, many did not have access to computers to be

able to retrieve necessary documents and information.

Table 4-19. Extent to which the following barriers got in the way of faculty utilization of
Extension resources following the hurricanes (N=208).
Frequency of Use
No Not Slight Moderate Great Mean SD
Response at All Extent Extent Extent
Barriers (%) (%) (%) (%) (%)
Materials were 18.7 57.7 12.0 5.3 6.3 1.51 0.92
located in the main
office
Did not know that 15.4 35.1 22.1 15.9 11.5 2.05 1.1
certain materials
were available
Did not have time to 17.3 32.7 25.0 11.5 13.5 2.07 1.1
access the materials
Did not know where 16.9 51.4 16.8 7.7 7.2 1.65 0.97
to find materials
Materials were 21.0 40.9 13.5 8.7 15.9 1.99 1.2
online and we did
not have computer
access

Table 4-20. Difficulty of Extension faculty to balance personal and professional needs
(N=208).
Frequency of Use
No Not Slight Moderate Great
Response at Extent Extent Extent
(%) All (%) (%) (%)
(%)
To what extent was it difficult for 8.2 19.2 34.1 25.0 13.5
you to balance personal and
professional needs?

In addition to these barriers that contributed to the occurrence of professional hardships,

approximately one in six (13.5%) members of Extension faculty reported that that it was









difficult, to a great extent, to balance personal and professional needs (Table 4-20).

Using a cross-tabulation (Table 4-21), of those respondents who reported that they

experienced a high degree of personal stress or emotional symptoms, 16.3% reported a

high level of difficulty in balancing personal and professional needs. Of those who

reported a very high degree of personal stress, 4.7% reported a high level of difficulty in

balancing personal and professional needs.

Table 4-21. Respondents who reported experiencing personal stress or emotional
symptoms and who said it was difficult to balance personal and professional
needs to a great extent (N=190)
Variable Experienced Personal Stress or Emotional
Symptoms
Low Medium High Very
High
(%) (%) (%) ()
Low 14 2 2 2
(%) (7.4) (1.1) (1.1) (1.1)
Difficulty in balancing personal and Medium 21 39 14 4
professional needs (%) (11.1) (20.5) (7.4) (2.1)
High 3 25 31 13
(%) (1.6) (13.2) (16.3) (6.8)
Very 2 4 5 9
gh (1.1) (2.1) (2.6) (4.7)


Objective 2: Determine if Needs Exist for Professional Development, Training,
Curriculum, and Resources

In order to improve Extension's response to disasters in the future, it is critical that

the potential needs of Extension faculty be examined. In addition, a response must be

formulated to meet these needs. A valuable learning experience can result from the

tragedy of the 2004 hurricane season. For example, Table 4-22 reports that faculty most

need professional development in the area of hurricane disaster recovery followed by the

application of their subject matter in disaster situations.









Table 4-22. Extension faculty need for professional development in the following areas
in preparation for hurricanes and other emergency situations (N=208).
Frequency of Use
No Not Slight Moderate Great Mean SD
Response at Extent Extent Extent
Professional (%) All (%) (%) (%)
Development Need (%)
Hurricane disaster 6.7 6.7 20.2 38 28.4 2.94 0.90
recovery
Applying my subject 6.3 14.4 24.5 30.3 24.5 2.69 1.0
matter in disasters
situations
Helping clientele 6.3 11.5 30.3 35.1 16.8 2.61 0.92
cope with stress
Hurricane disaster 6.7 13.9 33.2 32.7 13.5 2.49 0.92
preparedness
Helping coworkers 6.3 14.9 34.6 33.2 11.1 2.43 0.90
cope with stress
Working with the 6.7 21.1 28.4 30.3 13.5 2.39 0.99
media
Coping with 5.8 22.6 48.1 17.8 5.8 2.07 0.82
personal stress
Personal needs 7.2 30.8 38.5 18.3 5.3 1.98 0.87
(emotional and
physical)

Table 4-23. Likelihood of faculty to attend or participate in the following training
formats in preparation for hurricanes or other emergency situations (N=208).
Frequency of Use
No Not Slight Moderate Great Mean SD
Response at Extent Extent Extent
(%) All (%) (%) (%)
Training Format (%)
District meeting 4.8 4.8 11.5 25.5 53.4 3.34 0.88
Print materials 5.8 7.2 17.3 33.7 36.1 3.05 0.94
Web-based 6.7 14.4 23.1 27.9 27.9 2.74 1.1
module/CDROM
Videoconference 6.7 16.8 31.7 25 19.7 2.51 1.1
Statewide 6.7 16.8 30.3 30.3 15.9 2.48 0.98
conference
Telephone 6.7 23.1 31.3 22.1 16.8 2.35 1.0
conference