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School districts and disaster expertise: What types of school districts consult emergency management professionals?

Scott E. Robinson, PhD


Emergency management calls for collaboration among a wide range of organizations. Many of these organizations are involved in matters of emergency management by statute or organizational mission. However, other organizations participate in emergency management as a task secondary to some other core mission. Why and to what extent these organizations collaborate with emergency management professionals are key questions in our attempt to build a broad coalition of organizations to support emergency management activities. The article considers the case of public school districts. Some school districts collaborate with other organizations to overcome their limited internal capacity to prepare for disasters. Other districts continue to rely on their limited internal capacities. The empirical model compares the relative importance of structural characteristics and perceived vulnerability in predicting which districts are likely to consult with external emergency specialists. The results show that the most persistent force behind the decision to engage an emergency management specialist in preparing for emergencies is the size of the school district.


education management, emergency management, emergency planning

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