Monday, September 28, 2020


Share your stories and ideas with the network as you respond to crisis and disaster.

Jul 08
Douglas Bush

Chicken Soup for Emergency Planning

Posted by: Douglas Bush

Tagged in: Untagged 


Each month I spend a considerable amount of time reading about emergency preparedness.  Of interest are new products, methodology, psychology, companies in the market place, etc.  I refer to it as my general knowledge. 

Many years ago, two university professors did an experiment on Group Intervention in Emergency Situations.  The purpose of the experiment was to determine what makes an individual or individuals in a group decide to intervene in assisting in an emergency situation.  The following are there observations.

Before an individual can decide to intervene in an emergency, he must take several preliminary steps:-

a)      Notice the event

b)      Interpret it as an emergency

c)      Must decide that it is his personal responsibility to act  

At each of these preliminary steps the individual may remove himself from the decision process and thus fail to offer assistance in the emergency situation:-

a)      Didn’t notice the event

b)      Failed to interpret it as an emergency

c)      Failed to assume the responsibility

After reading their experiment, I quickly concluded that this is pretty basic stuff.  But after reading their notes a second and a third time, it is actually quit complicated.  Our ability to notice, to interpret and to take responsibility is greatly influenced by who we are, our upbringing, our environment, etc.  Certain individuals will rise to the challenge quicker than others while some will remain coy but (in my opinion) we should take on either in a minor or major way the responsibility of helping our fellow man.  Emergency preparedness and emergency assistance is a team sport.

What did I learn from this experiment?  The words notice, interpret and responsibility could make a good start in writing a “Chicken Soup” book on Emergency Planning.  They were great books. Remember?


J. Douglas Bush

Managing Partner

Leave a comment