December 15, 1999 Group Discussion

Planning: Theory vs. Reality


Online Transcript
Download Transcript (MS Word File)
Discussion Questions

Amy Sebring

Related Paper:
Major Criteria for Judging Disaster Planning and Managing Their Applicability
in Developing Societies. E. L. Quarantelli, 1998.
(PDF File is available for download


    EIIP Virtual Forum Group Discussion
    Wednesday - December 15, 1999 - 12:00 Noon EST

    Planning: Theory vs. Reality

    Amy Sebring
    EIIP Technical Projects Coordinator

    The December 15 Virtual Forum was conducted as a group discussion on Planning -- Theory vs. Reality. Amy Sebring, EIIP Technical Projects Coordinator, provided 10 questions as the basis for the dialogue (see below).

    To facilitate a free-flowing discussion, Amy dispensed with the usual protocol for asking questions or making comments. She asked each of the questions and urged the session participants to respond at will. This proved to be effective for stimulating an interactive discussion or a 'reality check' on the status of planning for disasters.


… any evaluation of disaster preparedness planning and managing must operate in a real and not an ideal world. Idealistic conceptions should provide us goals. Yet if we are to improve the planning for and the managing of disasters we have to be realistic, both in terms of recognizing what really exists and what can be realistically achieved. -- (E. L. Quarantelli, 1998)
  1. What is the real purpose of disaster planning?

  2. Do "model plans" serve this purpose?

  3. What assumptions are implicit in our plans?

  4. Is current planning comprehensive enough, i.e., are we planning for all phases?

  5. Do we plan in isolation?

  6. Are plans used?

  7. Are plans current?

  8. How are plans communicated?

  9. What additional guidance or support is needed?

  10. How can we do this better?

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