Public participation in the emergency response phase of flooding : a case study of the Red River Basin

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Wachira, Jacqueline K.
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Emergency flood response is a controversial phase in flood management mostly because there is virtually no public input into important decisions such as evacuation orders. Little attention has been paid to the potential for involving the public more in decision-making in this phase of flood management. The purpose of the study was to investigate whether more public involvement in the emergency response phase would create greater support for government action, minimize uncertainty and dissatisfaction, and improve overall flood management. The specific objectives were to: l) identify and describe key publics, government agencies, and civic organizations involved in emergency flood response; 2) determine the understanding that the public had of their role in emergency flood response; 3) identify and describe interactions among key participants during the emergency flood response phase; 4) evaluate public involvement practices in the emergency response phase; and 5) develop recommendations to improve public involvement in the emergency response phase of a flood. A case study approach involving two communities from Canada and the United States in the Red River Basin was used to accomplish the objectives of the study. One community was the village of Rosenort in Manitoba, and the other was the city of Drayton in North Dakota. Data collection methods included document review and semi- structured qualitative interviews...