January 19, 2000 Group Discussion

Building Relationships
Horizontally and Vertically


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Discussion Questions

Amy Sebring

Related Paper:
Natural Hazards Research Working Paper #102, A Review of the Literature and Programs on Local Recovery from Disaster, Jeanine Petterson, 1999. (See especially section on Local Vision, Coordination, and Participation.)

Major Criteria for Judging Disaster Planning and Managing Their Applicability
in Developing Societies.
E. L. Quarantelli, 1998. (PDF File is available for download
via http://www.udel.edu/DRC/preliminary/268.pdf; see especially page 13, criteria #7.)

Project Impact Guidebook: Chapter One, Partnerships

Project Impact Guidebook: Checklist One (listing potential partners)


EIIP Virtual Forum Group Discussion
Wednesday - January 19, 2000 - 12:00 Noon EST

Building Relationships: Horizontally and Vertically

Amy Sebring
EIIP Technical Projects Coordinator

The EIIP Virtual Forum featured a lively group discussion on "Building Relationships -- Horizontally and Vertically." Amy Sebring, EIIP Technical Projects Coordinator, served as the moderator for the open forum.

Amy referred to an earlier Virtual Forum group discussion on planning in which the consensus was there is not enough coordination on planning and we typically plan in isolation. She cited research by Dr. Henry Quarantelli, Jeanine Petterson, and Philip Berke as the basis for discussing vertical and horitzontal integration applied to all four phases of emergency management. Good audience participation made for a stimulating, and thought-provoking session.


A community with a high degree of horizontal integration has a tightly knit network among local organizations. This type of community is a true system of interdependent parts, and is a viable, locally based problem-solving entity.


A community with a high degree of vertical integration has a relatively large number of ties with larger political, social, and economic institutions. Vertical integration helps to expand the resources (funds, influence, etc.) potentially available to the community. Moreover, issues of local concern have a greater chance of being communicated to central authorities.

(Natural Hazards Research Working Paper #102, A Review of the Literature and Programs on Local Recovery from Disaster, Jeanine Petterson, 1999, citing Berke, et al., 1993.)

  1. What level of horizontal integration does your community have?

  2. What level of vertical integration does your community have?

  3. Does your planning adequately consider the number and diversity of responders from within and without the community that will converge in the event of disaster?

  4. Do you have adequate opportunities to educate one another about expectations?

  5. Do you understand each others' priorities and are they consistent?

  6. Are Community Based Organizations (CBO's) and the private sector involved on a regular basis?

  7. What opportunities exist to enhance horizontal integration?

  8. What opportunities exist to enhance vertical integration?

  9. Do you have an advisory council, or similar body?

  10. If your community implements a Disaster/Emergency Management Program Committee, as proposed by the NFPA 1600 Standard, who should be on the committee and how should it function?

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