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How university students perceive emergency management: A case for marketing emergency management

Robert A. Mann, DSc, Gregory L. Shaw, DSc

Abstract


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine if university students understood the differences between first responders and emergency management as awareness of the differences informs the individual’s decision-making processes.

Design: Convenience sampling, mixed methods data collection with descriptive analysis and means testing.

Setting: US, Southeastern Conference University, during summer semester.

Participants: 500 convenience sampled student volunteers.

Intervention: Convenience sampled, mixed-mode survey administered May to July 2017.

Main outcome measures: Population sampling of a minimum of n = 372 (actual n = 500 obtained) surveys to achieve a 95 percent confidence level of p ≤ 0.05 ± 4.29 percent.

Results: 19.6 percent of the participants were able to associate response and recovery with emergency management. Word association with “Emergency Management” as the trigger word produced a 35.8 percent association with disasters and emergencies. 70.4 percent of the participants attended a university sponsored emergency preparedness course, but only 44.2 percent indicated they had received emergency preparedness training.

Conclusions: There was a derivation of three issues: A lack of understanding in the differences between first responders and emergency management, a non-association of emergencies and disasters with emergency management, and a lack of understanding in what emergency preparedness training is. Results point to a need for further education on the duties and responsibilities of the emergency management profession. A form of information transfer that may be productive would be to administer an awareness campaign via social marketing. Further study is indicated, using a more rigorous sampling and analysis methodology.


Keywords


emergency management, university students, first responders, awareness, education

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/jem.0509

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