Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

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Volume 8 Issue 1 (March 2000), Pages 1-62

Public Organizations in an Emergency: The 1995 Hanshin‐Awaji Earthquake and Municipal Government (pages 15-22)

A magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit one of the major metropolitan areas of Japan at 5:46 am on 17 January 1995. This paper examines the behaviour of public organizations during this event in four municipal governments. Opening and managing shelters, reception of relief goods and cooperation with volunteers are, especially, studied in detail. Some of the programmes implemented by the national government and Hyogo prefectural government are also studied. Based on these studies, characteristics of the organizations' responses during the emergency are analyzed. It is argued that the structure of organizations or the disaster response programmes are formulated or changed by using more stable structures or procedures.

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