International disaster assistance in the Mexico City earthquake

Citation
International disaster assistance in the Mexico City earthquake

Material Information

Title:
International disaster assistance in the Mexico City earthquake
Series Title:
Quick response research report ;
Online version incorrectly called on cover:
Internal disaster assistance in the Mexico City earthquake
Creator:
Comfort, Louise K ( Louise Kloos ), 1935-
University of Colorado, Boulder -- Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center
Place of Publication:
Boulder, Colo
Publisher:
Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, University of Colorado
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
48 p. : ; 28 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Disaster relief -- Mexico -- Mexico City ( lcsh )
Earthquakes -- Mexico -- Mexico City ( lcsh )
Genre:
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 44-48).
Additional Physical Form:
Also issued online as part of a joint project with the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) Research Library's disaster mental health initiative.
General Note:
Cover title.
General Note:
"Institute of Behavioral Science #6."
Statement of Responsibility:
Louise K. Comfort.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
001985210 ( ALEPH )
39041233 ( OCLC )
F57-00023 ( USFLDC DOI )
f57.23 ( USFLDC Handle )

USFLDC Membership

Aggregations:
Added automatically
Natural Hazards Center Collection

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Book

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International disaster assistance in the Mexico City earthquake /
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Internal disaster assistance in the Mexico City earthquake
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1986.
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NaturalHazardsResearchandApplicationsInformationCenterCampusBox482UniversityofColoradoBoulder,Colorado80309.. 8,>' .. r+-()....; INTERNATIONALDISASTERASSISTANCEINTHEMEXICOCITYEARTHQUAKELouiseK.Comfort1986QuickResponse Research Report#03This publication is partofthe Natural Hazards Research&Applications Information Center's ongoing Quick Response Research Report Series. http://www.colorado.edu/hazards. InstituteofBehavioralScience#6 (303)492

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InternationalDisasterAssistanceintheMexicoCityEarthquakeLaciudadsabeatragedia,perotambienafraternidad.UnlectorTheDecisionMakingProcessinInternationalDisasterAssistanceImmediatelyfollowingthefirstnewsannouncementsofthe19September1985earthquakeinMexicoCity,disasterassistancefrominternationalsourcesbeganarrivinginMexicoCity.Food,medicalsupplies,heavyequipment,clothingandothergoodsbeganarrivingbythetonatMexicoCityInternationalAirport,lmuchofitunrequested;mostofituntargeted,withnodesignatedrecipientorganizationorgroup.Simultaneously,internationalrescueworkersatthesitesofcollapsedbuildingsinMexicoCitywerehamperedbyinadequateknowledgeofthelocale,lackofappropriateequipmentandlackofcoordinationamongthemultiplerescueteamsandorganizations.2Equipment,supplies,rescueworkersandmoneyarrivedfromfifty-twonationsandfourinternationalorganizationstoassistthedisasterreliefeffort.inMexicoCity.3TheGovernmentofMexicoestablishedanexpertcommissionmadeupofdistinguishedofficialsandhighlyrespectedcitizenstoimplementvalidproceduresforcataloguingandtrackingthedispositionofincomingsupplies.4Thedecision-makingtasksinvolvedincoordinatingtheinternationalassistanceeffortsandmatchingthemtoactuallocalneedswereenormouslycomplex.Themassiveearthquakepromptedanextraordinaryoutpouring1

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ofhumanitarianinternationalassistancetotheMexicanpeopleintheirtragedy.Butquestionsremain.Whatkindsofassistance,andhowmuch,wereactuallyneededbytheMexicans?WhatarethemostappropriatemeansofgettingaidtotheMexicanvictimsofthedisaster?Inwhatwayscaninternationalorganizations,operatinginconcert,takecohstructiveactiontoassistanothernationstruckbytragedy?Clearlytheinternationalcommunityactedpromptly,warmlyandgenerouslyinresponsetoperceivedneedscreatedbythedisasterinMexico.5TheMexicanGovernment,inturn,actedresponsiblytosetupdisasteroperationsprocedurestomanagetherescueandreliefefforts,6andtheMexicanpeopleacknowledgedgratefullythecareandconcernshowedthembytheinternationalcommunity.7Yet,despitethegoodwill,effortandenergyexpendedbyinternationalandMexicanparticipants,theactualresultsofinternationalrescueandreliefoperationshadarelativelyminoreffectinlesseningthetollofdeadandinjured,restoringfunctionalservicestothecityoreasingtheburdenofthosepeoplerenderedhomelessduetotheearthquake.8Thecomparativelyweakratioofresultsachievedtoassistanceextendedcompelsareconsiderationoftheinternationaldisasterassistanceprocess.InMexicoCity,theenormityoftheneedwasobvioustoallwhowatchedtheeveningnews.Theavailabilityofresourcestime,skillandmaterials--wasequallyclear,documentedbypassengerlistsandshippinglabelsonincomingplanesandby2

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thousandsofvolunteerswhohelpedtocleardebris,directtrafficanddistributefoodandwatertothosemadesuddenlyhomeless.Theproblem,however,wasthecomplexoneofmakingtimelyandappropriatedecisionssimultaneouslyunderconditionsofgreatuncertaintyandincompleteinformation.Theinabilityofrationalmodesofproblemsolvingtocopewithgreatcomplexity,notedbyotherresearchers,9waspainfullyapparentinlightoftheenormityofdemandsengenderedbytheearthquakedisaster.ThesoberingquestionraisedbytheeventsinMexicoCityiswhethermembersoftheinternationalcommunitywillusethisopportunitytoimprovetheirsharedreflectuponmeansbywhichtheymightdecision-makingprocesstoachieveastrongerratioofresultsproducedforeffortsextendedininternationaldisasterassistance.TheLogicofActioninUncertainEnvironmentsSearchingforaexplanationofthedecisionmakingprocessininternationaldisasterassistance,onequicklydismissesthethesisofeventsproceedingaccordingtoarationalplan.Thedegreeoferror,confusion,uncertaintyoromissionthatcharacterizedthedailyoperationsoftheinternationalreliefagenciesduringthefirstweeksfollowingtheearthquakesdefiedthededicatedeffortsofthemostprofessionalpersonnelininternationalorganizationstoordertheiractionsinoptimalways.Yet,decisionsweremade;actionsweretaken,andasthehoursanddaysofdisasterassistanceactivitiesproceeded,anincreasingdegreeoforderandrationalityevolvedfromthe3

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interactionofparticipatingorganizations.10Amongtheinternationalsearchdogteams,forexample,theinitialfrustrationofnotknowingwhichbuildingshadbeensearchedorwhatbuildingsofferedthemostlikelychanceoffindingvictimsalive,thewastedtimeinvolvedinwaitingforneededequipmenttomovedebris,oncesurvivorshadbeenlocated;theunwittingclashoftechnologiesinvolvedinthedisruptionofsilencerequiredforseismicdetectionofsurvivorsbythenoiseoftrafficandotherrescuevehiclescompelledthevariousteamstore-examinetheirproceduresofoperation.llClearlythemembersofthevariousinternationalteamsarrivedinMexicoCitywithnopredesignedplanfortheirrescueactivities. They separatelyengagedinrescueoperations,accordingtotheirrespectiveformsoftrainingandexperience.Encounteringdifficultiesandfrustrationapparentinthelackofcoordinationamongtheirparticulareffortstoaccomplishtheirsharedgoal,membersoftheteamsdevisedtheirownproceduresforcoordinatingtheirinterdependentactivitiesinamoreeffectivemanner.12Theseconditionssuggestadifferentmodeofrationalityinoperationthanthestandardadministrativemodelofrationalplanning,inwhichonefirstdevisesaplanforactioninregardtoaspecificproblem,then carriesouttheplantoachievethedesiredresult.13Instead,organizationsactedsimultaneouslyinresponsetoaparticularproblem.Then,observingtheresultsagainstthesharedgoalofrescuing4

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survivors,theyredesignedtheirrespectiveactionstoapproximatethatgoalmoreclosely.14Theevolvingdegreeofcooperationbetweentheindividualorganizationsresultedinmoreeffectiveperformanceforthesetofinternationalorganizationsen'gagedinsearchandrescueactivities.Itisalogicofaction,reflectionupontheconsequencesofthataction,andchoicebaseduponfitperformance.Thedecision-makingprocess,employingrationality,issimilartothebiologicalmodelofevolutionarychoice,whichassumesadaptationinresponsetothedemandsfromtheenvironment,withadaptivechoicesmadeuponthebasisoffitnessinthatenvironment.1SCharacteristicsofthismodelhavebeenrecognizedinthedecision-makingprocessesofbusinessorganizationsalsooperatinginenvironmentsofgreatuncertaintyandcomplexity.16TheEvolutionaryModelofAdaptationinOrganizationalChoiceWhatisthemodelofevolutionaryadaptationincomplexenvironmentalconditionsandinwhatways,if doesthismodelofferinsightintothedecision-makingprocessininter-nationaldisasterassistance?Theconceptofadaptationisusedbybiologiststoexplaintheprocesseswhereby"aninitiallyunorganizedsystemacquiresincreasingself-controlincomplexenvironments."l?Examiningtheprocessofadaptationinbothnaturalandartificialsystems,Hollandstatesthatadaptation,whateveritscontext,involvesaprogressivemodificationofsomestructureorstructures.Thesestructuresconstitutethegristoftheadaptive beinglargelydeterminedbythefieldofstudy.l5

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Thestructuresundergoingmodificationdisplaythevisibleevidenceofadaptation,butsuccessivestructuralmodificationsarelikelytorevealabasicsetofoperatorsthatactuponthestructures.Itistherepeatedactionoftheseoperatorsupontheidentifiedstructuresthatproducestheobservedadaptation.19Themodelofadaptationissimple.Therearethreemajorcomponentsintheprocessthatcanbeidentifiedforanyfield.First,thereistheenvironmentofthesystemthatisundergoingadaptation.Theenvironmentprovidesthecontextinwhichadaptationoccursandoffersmultiplestimuliandobstaclestotheprocess.Second,the'adaptiveplan'isthesetofbeliefsorconditionsinfluencingstructuralchoicesintheenvironmentatsuccessivestagesofdevelopmentinordertoimproveperformance.Theadaptiveplanincludesthecentralvaluesandintelligentsensingmechanismsthatdrivetheselectionprocess.Third,'themeasureofperformanceor'fitness'ofthestructureinthatenvironmentservesasthecriterionforchoiceinretainingormodifyingthestructures.Thesecomponentsinteractwithoneanotherinanadaptationprocessthatcanbecharacterizedbyasetoffundamentalquestionsappropriatetoanysystem.Thesequestions,posedbyHolland,areasfollows:1.Towhatpartsoftheenvironmentisthesystemadapting?2.Howdoestheenvironmentact upon theadaptingsystem?3.Whatstructuresareundergoingadaptation?6

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4.Whatarethemechanismsofadaptations?5.Whatpartofthehistoryofitsinteractionwiththeenvironmentdoestheorganismretain?6.Whatlimitsaretheretotheadaptiveprocess?7.Howaredifferent processestobecompared?20Eachofthequestionsidentifiesabasiccharacteristicoftheadaptationprocess.Thesecharacteristics,definedaselements for aparticularadaptiveprocess,canberepresentedbysymbolswhichmaybeusedtomodeltheprocessmathematically.Sincethepurposeofthisessayisnottodevelopamathematicalmodelbuttoidentify,ifpossible,anexplanatorymodelfortheinter-nationaldisasterassistanceprocessinMexicoCity,thesecharacteristicswi11bedefinedincommon1anguageterms.Correspondingtothesevenquestionslistedabove,thetermsaredefinedasfollows:1.Environment(E):thespecificpartsofthelargerenvironmentoruniversetowhichthesystemunderstudyisadapting.2.Inputs(I):therangeofsigna1stransmittedfromtheenvironmenttothesystemundergoingadaptation.3.Structures(S):thesetofattainableformswithinwhichtheadaptingplanactsintheenvironment.4.Operators(0):thesetofmeansorprocessesformodifyingstructuresemployedbyanadaptiveplan.5.Memory(M):thespecificaspectsofthehistoryofitsinteractionwiththeenvironmentthattheadaptingsystemretains.6.Limits(L):process.theexistingconstraintstotheadaptive7.Criterion(C):themeasurebywhichdifferentadaptiveprocessesmaybecomparedtodeterminefitnesswithintheset.217

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Usingthetermsdefinedabove,theadaptiveprocessmayberepresentedbytheschemashowninFigure1.Thegeneralenvironmentgeneratesstimulithatactivateanadaptingsystem.Thissystemisillustratedbythepresenceofanadaptiveplanthatreceivesinputsfromthegeneralenvironment.Theadaptiveplanthenselectsoperatorsthat,inturn,actuponstructureslocatedinaparticularenvironment.Thisactionproducesaperformanceintheparticularenvironmentthatisobservedandeva1uatedaccordingtothecriterionoffitness.Feedbackfromtheperformanceisreturnedtotheadaptiveplanwhichretainsinitsmemoryaselectiverecordoftheevent.Informedbythepreviousexperience,theadaptiveplaninitiatesanewcycleofadaptation,seekingtoimproveitsperformancewithinthelimitsoftheoperatingenvironment.Theprocessisdynamic.Whiletheschemadepictstheformandflowoftheadaptiveprocess,itisequallyimportanttonotethemajorobstaclestoadaptation.Theseobstacles,accordingtoHolland,arealsogeneric,andinhibitadaptationinanyenvironment.Theyare:1)size;2)complexity;3)interdependenceamongparameters;4)varianceinperformancemeasuresovertimeandspace;and5)thegreatfluxofinformationfromtheenvironmentthatneedstobescreenedandorderedintermsofrelevance.22Theadaptationprocessdepictedbythismodelisaverysimpledynamicofselectionforaction,trial,observationofperformanceandnewselectiononthebasisofafitnesscriterion.Itassumesintelligentactorsthatutilizeinformationfromobservedperformanceastheirbasisofchoicein8

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successiveactions.Itacknowledgessimultaneousactionsbymultipleoperators,y-etsortstheeffectsofthoseactionsintocategoriesforsecondstagedevelopmeneonthebasisofperformance.Towhatextentisthismodelapplicabletotheinternationaldisasterassistanceprocess?Ifappropriate,themodelmaybeusedtoexplaintheeventsinMexicoCityfollowingthe19September1985earthquake.9

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TheInternationalDisasterAssistanceProcessinResponsetothe19September1985MexicanEarthquakeThecontextandsequenceofeventsfollowingthemassive1985earthquakeinMexicoCityofferanaptenvironmentinwhichtoobservethecontinuingsearchfororderandanevolvingpatternofimprovedperformanceamongmultipleorganizations.Thedomainofpossibleadaptiveprocessesisvast.Thisanalysiswillselecttwoparticularenvironmentsoutoftheverylargesetofpossibleenvironmentsencompassinginternationaldisasterassistancetoobservetheinteractionamongthecomponentelementsofthemodelinordertodeterminewhetheradaptiveprocesseswereoperatingtoimproveperformance.Theseenvironments,containingsomecommonandsomeuniqueelements,illustratecentralproblemsintheinternationaldisasterassistanceprocess.First,theenvironmentofsearchandrescueoperations,carriedoutbyinternationalrescueteamswillbereviewedtodeterminewhetheranoperatinglogicofaction fromtheconditionsofcomplexityanduncertaintysurroundingthisprocess.Thisphaseofinternationaldisasterassistanceisselectedforanalysisforseveralreasons.ThePresidentofMexico,MigueldelaMadridHurtado,declaredthefirstpriorityfortheMexicangovernmentanditspeopletobesearchandrescueofsurvivorstrappedinthedamagedbuildings.23Further,internationalteamsgeneratedahighlevelofvisibilityandattentioninthemediawiththeirapplicationsofnew 10

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technologies,neverbeforeusedindisasteroperations,tothetasksofsearchandrescue.24Duetohighvisibilityandvitaltoretrospectiveanalysis,activitiesoftheinternationalsearchandrescueteamsweredocumentedcarefullybymultipleagencies,allowingconsiderationofthesameeventsfrommultipleperspectivesandvarioussourcesofevidence.Finally,severalsignificantresearchstudieshavereportedan'emergent'cooperationamongmultipleorganizationsengagedindisasterresponse,especiallyinsearchandrescueoperations.25Thisanalysisbuildsuponfindingsreportedinpreviousresearchinitstheoreticalconceptionofpatternsoforganizationemergingfromthecomplexenvironmentofdisaster.Second,theperceivedeffectofinternationaldisasterassistanceefforts,includingthesearchandrescueoperations,willbereportedfromasurveyofresidentsofthedamagedneighborhoodsinMexicoCity.26Theactualdeliveryofinternationaldisasterassistancetothedamagedneighborhoods,reportedthroughtheperceptionsofresidents,offersavaluablecheckontheportrayaloftheprocessthroughmediareports,officialdocumentsorinterviewswithparticipantsorgovernmentaldecision-makers.Thesetwoparticularenvironmentsoftheinternationaldisasterassistanceprocessbothcomplementandcontradictoneanother.Tothe thatcontradictionsarereducedandcomplementarityincreasedoversuccessivestagesofinteractionbetweenthetwosub-sets,theevolutionof'fitness'orimprovedperformanceinthelargerenvironmentof11

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internationaldisasterassistanceisindicated.AdaptationinPerformanceofInternationalTeamsEngagedinSearchandRescueOperationsfollowingthe19September1985MexicanEarthquakeUsingthemodelofadaptationoutlinedabove,itispossibletoidentifythedifferentcomponentsofan-adaptiveprocessfromthecontextofpost-disastersearchandrescueoperationsinMexicoCity.Theenvironmentunderanalysisincludesthedomainofinternationalactorsonly,foralthoughtheinternationalteamsinteractedregularlywiththeMexicangovernmentandsubunitsoftheMexicangovernmentinsearchandrescueoperations,thefocusofthisstudyistheinternationaldisasterassistanceprocessanditsperformanceinthecontextoftheMexicandisaster.TheimpactoftheinternationalteamsupontheoperationsoftheMexicangovernmentinsearchandrescueactivitieslikelygeneratedaseparateadaptiveprocess,butconsiderationofthatprocessisbeyondthescopeofthisstudy.Thespecificenvironmentoftheinternationalsearchandrescueteamsgeneratedmultiplestimuliandpowerfulobstaclestoeffectiveperformanceininternationaldisasterassistance.Thesestimuliandobstacleswillbedescribedintheidentificationoftermsfortheadaptationmodelinthiscontext.Thesecondmajorcomponent or themodelisthe'adaptiveplan'orthesetofinputsfromtheenvironmentinteractingwithpossibleformsforactionthatdetermine-theactualchoicesmadeininternationalsearchandrescueoperations.Theadaptiveplan12

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inthisenvironmentincludesthesharedvaluesofhumanitarianconcernforvictimsofthedisasterandcommitmenttoresponsibleactiondemonstratedbyallnationsthatextendeddisasterassistancetoMexico.Itisexpressed,forexample,inthelogooftheu.s.SearchandRescue(SAR)DogTeam,"ThatOthersMayLive".27Again,thespecificelementsoftheadaptiveplanwillbedescribedintheidentificationoftermsforthemodel.Finally,thecriterionoffitperformanceinthisenvironmentwastherescueofhumanlife,drawinguponprofessionalstandardsoforganizationaleffectivenessandefficiencythatwereacknowledgedbytheinternationalrescueteams,separatelyandcollectively.28GiventheinitialassessmentthatthebasiccomponentsofanadaptiveprocessdidexistintheMexicandisaster,thefurtherelementsofthemodelcanbespecified.Theseelementswillbedefinedinreferencetosevenfundamenta1termscharacterizingtheadaptationprocess.EnvironmentThesystemunderstudyisthedecision-makingprocessininternationaldisasterassistance.Thesystemitselfisnascent,andalthoughdecisionsareclearlymaderegardingtheallocationandimplementationofinternationaldisasterassistance,theprocessbywhichthesedecisions are madeandthecriteriaforchoiceappeartobeevolvingwithexperienceindisasteroperations.Thelargerenvironmentforthissystemisdisastermanagementincatastrophicnaturalortechnologicalevents.More13

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specificallythetentativesystemofdecisionmakingthatemergedamonginternationalorganizationsextendingdisasterassistancefollowingtheearthquakewasadaptingtothewiderdisasterenvironmentinMexicoCity.Thetimeperiodunderstudyisthetwelve-dayperiodfrom19Septemberthrough1October1985duringwhichtheinternationalsearchandrescueactivitiesoccurred.Particularcharacteristicsofthisenvironmentincludetheurbansettingof18millionpeople,theentrapmentoflargenumbersofpeopleincollapsedmultistorybuildings,andthetechnicaldifficultiesofrescueoperationsthatrequiredmovingorcuttingthroughvastamountsofconcreteandsteeldebris.29InputsMultiplestimulifromthisenvironmentacteduponthedecisionmakingprocessininternationaldisasterassistance.Threetypesofstimuli,however,werepowerfulandconsistentinfluencesuponthesystem,engagingitsattentionandpromptingitsresponse.First,themedia,andparticularlytheinternationalpress,actedveryquicklytotransmitnewsoftheearthquaketonationalcapitolsofthe world.30 Second,newsofthecatastrophicearthquakepromptedanimmediateandgeneroushumanitarianresponseindisasterassistancefromnationsaroundtheworld.Atfinalcount,fifty-twonationsandfourinternationalorganizationssentpersonnel,equipment,materialsandmoneytoassistMexicointhedisasterrescueandrecoveryoperations.TheactualarrivalofthesepersonnelandgoodsinMexicobothincreasedthepossibilitiesandalteredthe14

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requirementsforproductiveactioninthedisasterenvironment.Third,directobservationsofparticipantsin_searchandrescueactivitiescontributedacontinuingflowofinformationandassessmentofrequirementsforeffectiveaction.Equally,reportsandresponseofinformedobserversregardingtheunfoldingsearchandrescueoperationsaddedanimportantperspective to thedecision-makingprocess.31Allthreeinputscontributetothetransmissionofdatatomultiplerecipientssimultaneouslyandthetransformationofthosedataintoinformationmarshaledfordecisionsupportthroughthecommonfilterofthegoalfordisasteroperations,savinglivesandassistingthoseinjured,madehomelessorotherwiseaffectedbythedisaster.structuresAgain,multiplestructuresemergedintheactivitiesofthesearchandrescueoperationsprocess.Theclearestandmostvisiblestructures,were,first,thesearchandrescueteamssentbyninenations--France,WestGermany,Israel,Italy,Spain,Switzer1and,UnitedKingdom,UnitedStatesandVenezue1a.32Notallteamswereincommunicationwithoneanother;notallteamshadthesametechnologiesorstrategiesinsearchandrescueoperations.Yet,allteamsdidsharethesamecommitmenttolocateandrescuevictimstrappedinthedebris.Second,thenationalembassieslocatedinMexicoCityservedaspointsofcommunicationbetweentherespectivesearchteamsandtheirnationalcapitolsandaspossiblepointsofcoordinationamong15

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theteamsworkinginthefield.33Third,theinternationalorganizations--theunitedNationsDisasterReliefOffice,theInternationalRedCross,thePanAmericanHealthOrganizationandtheCatholicReliefServices,tonameafewofthemostvisibleand/ormostactive--offeredpossibilitiesforpotentialcollaborationamongnationaleffortsincollectivedisasteroperations.34Eachsetofstructuresengagedindisasteroperationsand,insodoing,hadtheopportunitytoeitherfacilitateorobstructtheperformanceoftheoverallinter-nationaldisasterassistanceprocess.OperatorsThemeansofadaptationintheinternationaldisasterassistancesystemareprimarilythoseinvolvingcommunication--patterns,styles,technologiesandlanguage.Sincetheprocessofadaptationinthisenvironmentofdisasterdependsuponthecapacityofthehumanparticipantstolearnfromtheirown,and/others',experience,theform,contentandmodeofcommunicationamongthembecomestheprimarysetofoperatorsuponthestructuresnamedabove.Specifically,thissetofoperatorsincludestheinformalpatternsofcommunicationthatdevelopedbetweensearchteammembersandbetweenthedifferentparticipatingteams.ItalsoincludesthemoreformalpatternsofcommunicationthattookpIacebetweentheirrespectivegovernmentsthroughthemediumofembassycontacts.Further,itincludesthelimitedbutpotentiallyimportantcontactsbetweenthenationalembassiesandtheinternational relief16

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organizations.Finally,itincludestheverylimited,butpotentiallyevenmorepowerfulcontactbetweenthesetofstructures--fieldsearchteams,nationalembassiesandinternationalorganizations--andthecitizensofMexicowhoactuallyreceivedsomebenefitthroughtheinternationaldisasterassistanceprocess.MemoryTheinteractionamongoperatorsandstructuresinthegivendisasterenvironmentisextremelycomplex. Not allofthoseinteractionsareretainedinthecollectivehistoryoftheprocess.Memoryconstitutesthevitalrecordofthoseeventsandexperiences'selected'ascriticaltoperformance.These,thenserveasthelessonslearnedfromtheinteraction.Severaltypesofexperiencewerevividlyembeddedinthecollectivememoryofthehumanparticipantsinsearchandrescueoperations.Firstwasthegreatsenseoffrustrationatnotbeingabletoaccomplishtheirintendedgoalsbecauseoflackofcoordination,organizationorfacilitationamongtheseparateactorsintheprocess.Thissenseoffrustration'washeightenedbytherecognitionthatintent,materialsorpersonnelwerenotlacking;rather,communication,planningandadministrativeskillsappropriatetothemagnitudeofthetaskwere.35Second,equallypowerfulinshapingthecollectivememoryofthisprocesswasthesharedexperienceofexperimentationwithnewmethodsofdevelopingcoordination,inventingcommunicationsproceduresbetweenparticipantsandpoolinginformationregarding17

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commontasks.Finally,theensuingsatisfactionofimprovingperformancethroughcooperationprovidedanimportantlinkbetweenpastandfutureperformance.Itleftwitheachparticipanttheglimpseofeffectivenessincollectiveperformanceandthegenerativecommitmenttoincreasethiseffectivenessinfurtherinteractions.36Memoryservesasthestoredbodyofknowledgederivedfromexperiencethathasbeenjudgedworthyofretentioninguidingthedecisionprocess.LimitsLimitstoactionaboundindisasteroperations,andaprimaryoneisthesheercomplexityofadisasterthemagnLtudeoftheMexicanearthquake.Thevastnessofthesearchandrescuetask,involvingsome954collapsedbuildingswithestimatedtensofthousandsofpeopletrappedinthem,37presentedthesearchandrescueteamswithanextraordinarilydifficultproblemforaction.Compoundingthecomplexitywastheurgencyoftime.Thechancesofrescuingsurvivorsalivefromthedebrisdeclinedwitheachhour,eachdayofdelayinsearchandrescueoperations.Thetechnologiesemployedinthesearchandrescueoperationsintroducednewpossibilitiesforaction,butaddednewrequirementsforfieldsupport,informationandcoordination.Unplanned,theserequirementsattimeshadtheperverseeffectofdelayingratherthanfacilitatlngthesearchandrescueoperations.38 Athird,andpowerful,limitonthedecision-makingprocessininternationaldisasterassistancewasavailabilityand18

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accessibilitytoaccurate,timelyandrelevantinformation.ThisconditionwasexacerbatedbytheseveredamagetoTelefonosdeMexico(TELMEX),theMexicantelecommunicationsfacilities,thatvirtuallycloseddownallinternationaltelephonecommunicationsinthefirsttendaysafterthedisaster.39withoutreadyandeasyaccesstoauthoritiesinMexico,itwasextremelydifficultfordecision-makersengagedintheinternationaldisasterassistanceprocesstoconfi rmreportsofdamage,correcterrorsinperceptionandmakeappropriateallocationsofpersonnel,equipmentandmaterialstofacilitatedisasteroperations.Fourth,thediversityoflanguages,technologiesandpremisesforoperationamongthedifferentunitsandlevelsofdecisionmakersintheinternationaldisasterassistanceprocessconstitutedasignificantlimitonthecapacityoftheparticipantstoattainacommonunderstandingoftheirsharedresponsibilities.TheunfortunateexperienceofwitnessingthedisagreementbetweentheFrenchandtheu.s.searchteamsoverthemostappropriateproceduretouseinlocatingsurvivorsinunsafebuildingsillustratestheobstaclesencounteredinthedecision-making process.40 Finally,thelimitingconditionsofcomplexity,time,informationandcommunicationsinteractedwithoneanothertocompoundtheobstaclesconfrontinghumandecisionmakersinthesearchandrescueprocess.Thedynamicsoftheprocessitself,unchartedandlittleunderstoodbytheparticipants,servedtolimittheircapacityforeffectiveperformance.19

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criterionforFitPerformanceThefinalelementinthemodelofadaptationininternationalsearchandrescueoperationsisatoncethesimplestandthemostimportant.Itisthecriterionforchoiceregardingwhichactionsarerepeatedandwhichactionsarediscardedinthecontinuingsearchforfitperformance.Itrepresentsthelogicofactionunderuncertainconditionsand,verysimply,canbedefinedas"whatworks"inwidelyvaryingcircumstances,judgedbyhighlydiverseactors.41Agreementon"whatworks"isbasedlargelyuponthecontributionofagivenactiontoachievingthecommongoal.Insearchandrescueoperations,thismeasureofperformancewasthelocationandrescueoflivevictims.InthelargercaseoftheMexicandisaster,thisgoalwasalsoveryclearandverysimpletoallinvolved--itmeantactionstosavelives,assistthehomelessandrestorebasicservices.ThesegoalswererecognizedintheprioritiesforactionsetbyPresidentMigueldelaMadridofMexico42andacknowledgedbyallparticipatinginternationalteams.Asecondelementthatfurtherspecifiedthecriterionforfitperformancewasthesharedrecognitionofprofessionalstandardsbytheparticipatingteams.Althoughthemembersdifferedinlanguage,cultureandtechnology,theyrespectedthetraining,disciplineandaccomplishedperformanceoftheirinter-nationalcolleagues.A commonsenseofprofessionaIstandardsinformedtheirseparatejudgmentsoffitperformance. 20

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TheModelofAdaptationinInternationalDisasterAssistanceThesevenelementsidentifiedabove--environment,inputs,structures,operators,memory,limitsandcriterionforfitness--presentthecomponentsofapossiblemodelofadaptationinthedecisionmakingprocessininternationalsearchandrescueoperationsintheMexicanearthquakedisaster.ToHolland,aprobleminadaptationisrecognizablewhenthelimits,environmentandcriterionoffitperformancecanbespecifiedwithinagiven Anadaptivesystemisidentifiablewhenthestructures,operators,inputsandadaptiveplancanbespecifiedwithinthatcontext.43ThisinquirywillreviewaselectedsequenceofeventsinsearchandrescueoperationsintheMexicandisastertodeterminewhetheradaptation,oranevolutionaryimprovementinperformance,didinfactoccur.TheEvolutionofImprovedPerformanceinInternationalSearchandRescueOperationsApplyingthismodelofadaptationtointernationalsearchandrescueoperations,itispossibletodistinguishfourphasesinthedecision-makingprocessthatillustratebeginningstepsintheevolutionofimprovedperformance.Thesephasesindicatebothincreasingcontrolovertheenvironmentofsearchandrescueoperationsbyindividualsearchteamsaswellasincreasingrecognitionofsharedobjectives'andmeritofcollaborativeefforts,amongtheinternationalteams.Theprocessisindeedcomplex,anditwillbedescribedhereonlyinsufficientdetailtoindicatetheoperationofthe moOel. 21

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InitialDecisiontoSendSearchandRescueTeamstoMexicoCityThewiderenvironmentinwhichdecisionsweretakenbynationalgovernmentstosendsearchandrescueteamstoMexicoCitywascharacterizedbyverylittleinformationandgreatuncertainty.Theprocessalsodifferedfromnationtonation.Intheinterestofbrevity,theU.S.case"willbeusedtoillustratethedynamicsoftheprocess.Whilethedetailsdiffered,similarconditionsexistedforallcountriesthatsentsearchandrescueteams.TheparticularenvironmentinwhichtheUnitedStatesmadethedecisio"ntosendsearchandrescueteamstoMexicoCitywasoneofclassicdisorderinthemidstofenormouscomplexity.ThefirstnewsreportsofthedisasterinMexicoCityhadgreatlyexaggeratedthedamage,estimatingthat37%ofthecityhadbeendestroyedwithpossibly 100,000 dead.44Furtherconfirmationorcorrectionofthesereportswasnotpossible,becauseinternationaltelephonecommunicationshadbeendestroyed.InMexic0CitY,theUSAmbassad0rcontacted0fficia1s0ftheMexicangovernmenttoofferassistance.TheMexicanofficialsrepliedthattheywereintheprocessofdeterminingwhatkindsofassistancewereneeded.InNashville,Tennessee,trainedsearchandrescuepersonnelattendingtheannualconferenceoftheNationalAssociationofSearchandRescue(NASAR)learnedoftheMexicandisasterthroughtelevisednewsreportsandimmediatelycontactedU.S.officialsintheStateDepartment,22

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volunteeringtheirassistanceindisasteroperations.45HourspassedwithnofurtherinformationfromMexicoCityorWashington.News statedthatPresidentMigueldelaMadridofMexicohadannouncedthatMexicowouldbeabletomanagethedisasterwithherownresources.46Awarethateveryhourofdelayreducedthelikelihoodoffindinglivevictimsinthedebris,trainedNASARpersonnelinNashvilleworriedaboutthestatusofsearchandrescueoperations.inMexicoCityandwaitedforaresponsetotheirofferofassistance.Finally,thetelephonecallcamefromWashington,lateonFriday,September 20, 1986,confirmingarequestfromMexicanofficialsforexpertsinminesafety,demolitionandsearchandrescueoperations.TheU.S.wouldsendateamof11personnelwithspecializedequipmentandsearchdogstoMexicoCitytoassistinsearchandrescueoperations.MembersoftheteamwereaskedtobereadytoleaveearlyonSaturdaymorning,September21,1985.Theteamofseismicdetectionexperts,snakevideocameraexperts,minesafetyexpertsandtrainedsearchdogswiththeirhandlersarrivedinMexicoCityat 3:00 p.m.localtime,Saturday,September21,1985,nearly56hoursaftertheearthquakehadoccurred.47Additionalpersonnelarrivedlater,bringingthetotalnumberofU.S.personnelinvolvedinsearchandrescue operations to27members,organizedinsixteams.Inthisenvironmentofunplanned,unfoldingevents,aproblemforadaptationisclearlyrecognizable.Thelimitsfor23

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actionindisastersearchandrescuearetime,information,andtheenormousdifficultyofthetask.Theenvironmentofnearly 1000 collapsedbuildingswithestimatedtensofthousandsofpersonstrappedinsidecompelledareconsiderationofroutineoperations.Thecriterionforfitperformancewastherescueofsurvivors.Fromthiscontextandthereportedsequenceofevents,anadaptivesystemisalsoidentifiable.Thestructuresthroughwhichadaptationtodemandsfromtheenvironmentwasoccurringweretheinternationalsearchandrescueteams.Theoperatorsmodifyingthesestructureswerethemeansofcommunicationamongthedifferentparticipants:amongmembersoftheseparateinternationalteams;betweentheseparateteamsandtheirrespectivegovernments;betweenthenationa1embassiesandtheMexicangovernmentofficials.Theinputstotheadaptivesystemwere,mostimportantly,theinternationalpress,andthevariousmediacorrespondentswhoreportedtheeventsandconsequencesofthedisastertotheirrespectivenationalcapitals.Theadaptiveplanisdemonstratedthroughtheconcurrentdecisionsbyninenations,influencedbyinformationfromthedisasterenvironmentandawarenessofactualskills,technologiesandpersonnelavailableintheirrespectivenations,tomobilizeandsendsearchandrescueteamstoMexicoCity.Thelinkageistenuous;themessagescommunicatedincompleteandattimescontradictory.Errorsweremade;yet,theywerecorrectedandconstructiveactionsweretakenonthebasisof24

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additionalinformation.Forexample,theinitialjudgmentoftheMexicangovernmentnottorequestassistancewaschangedonthebasisoffurtherevidence,andthenextsetofactionsinvolvedinactuallysendingtheu.s.teamfollowedaccordingly.Themostpowerfulrecollectionofthishistoryofinteractionsstoredinthecollectivememoryofsearchandrescuepersonnelwasthenumberofhours(56)subtractedfromtheoptimalperiod(72hours)forlife-savingsearchandrescueoperationsimmediatelyfollowingthedisaster,duetolackofclarityandorderinthedecision-makingprocess.AllocationofTasksinSearchandRescueOperationsinMexicoCityOnceinMexicoCity,theu.S.searchteamreportedtotheU.S.Embassyforguidanceinfieldoperations.TheU.S.searchteamwastoworkunderthesupervisionoftheU.S.EmbassyinthecentralsectionofthecitywheredisasteroperationswerebeingdirectedbytheMexicanNavydepartmentofMarine.Theactualextentofadministrativesupportandguidanceavailabletothesearchteam,however,wasextremelylimited.TheU.S.Embassydidprovidetranslatorstothesearchteams,andthetranslators,ratherthananycoordinatingadministrativepersonnel,directedthesearchteamstothelocationswherevictimswerepresumedalive.48TheinitialexperienceoftheU.S.teaminfieldoperationswasextremelyfrustrating.Neededsuppliesandtrainedpersonneltosupportthefieldteamswerenotavailable.Forexample,the25

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dogteamshadnomeansofcommunicatingbetweenfieldsitesandtheEmbassy'sdisasteroperatingcenter,greatlyhamperingtheirworkwhenadditionalequipmentormedicalassistancewasneeded.Thelackofhand-heldradios,essentialtodisasteroperations,delayedbyminutesandhoursthecoordinationofequipmentandpersonnelnecessarytorescueoperations.TheTVcamerateamhadaradiosuppliedbytheEmbassy,butlackoftrainedcommunicationspersonnelattheEmbassymadeitdifficulttosendorreceiveinformation.Underconditionswheretimemeanslife,thelackofadequatecommunicationsfacilitiesbetweenparticipatinggroupsandorganizationsprovedseriouslylimitingtoeffectiveperformanceinsearchandrescueoperations.Theproblemwaspartiallysolved,daysintotherescueoperations,whenanEmbassyemployeediscoveredalong-forgottenboxofhandheldradiosintheEmbassybasementandwonderediftheymightbeusefulinthedisasteroperations.49Oifferingtechno1ogiesandtechniquesofrescueoperationsconflictedinfieldoperations.ThesensitiveseismicdetectionrequipmentemployedbythegroupofexpertsfromtheU.s.OfficeofMineHealthandSafetyrequiredsilenceforeffectiveoperation.Yet,stoppingthejackhammersandcuttingsawsoftheotherrescueteamstoallowtheseismicteamtoworkwoulddelaythepossiblerescueofothervict.ims.Recognizingthedilemma,membersoftheteamsusingdifferenttypesofequipmentconferredandagreedtoscheduletheirworksothattheseismicteamwouldworkatnightwhenitwasquiettoidentifypossibleleadsfor26

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livevictims.Theseleadswouldthenbefollowedupbytheteamsthatcouldcutthroughthedebristoreachsurvivorsduringdaylight hours.50 Theseincidentsandotherscompelled'themembersoftheu.s.teamtore-examinetheiroperatingconditionsandprocedures.Severalstepsweretakentoimproveperformanceinthefield.Oneofthemembersoftheu.S.team,experiencedinemergencymanagementoperations,establishedaseparateofficeintheu.S.Embassytoprovideadministrati supportspecificallytotheu.S.dogteams,butalsoprovidedinformationandcoordinationtootheru.S.expertsinthefield.51Duringtheday,theadministrativecoordinatorwouldmeetwithMexicangovernmentofficials,securemapsofthedamagedareaswithbuildingsitesmarkedthatwereknowntohavepeopletrappedinside,checkthestatusofthesebuildingsforcurrentinformationregardingsignsoflife,identifythetypesofstructuraldamagetothebuildingandthesupposedlocationofthesurvivorstoassessthelikelytypesofequipmentnecessaryforrescueoperations,andassigntheteamsaccordinglyformaximumutilizationoftimeandskills.52clearlyapparentintheAproblemforadaptationwasoperationoftheu.S.searchteamsinMexico.Thelimitstotheiractionsweretheveryrealconstraintsoftime,lackofcoordination,1ack0fcommunicationfaci1itiesand1ack0fsystematicinformation.TheenvirOnmentwaschaoticintermsofadministrativeoperations,difficultandriskyintermsofthe27

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work settingamongcollapsedbuildingsinanunfamiliarcity.The criterionforperformance wasobvioustoallparticipants.Whatmatteredwasthesuccessfuldiscoveryand rescue ofhumanlife from thedebris.Awareoftheobstaclesthathinderedtheireffortsatsearchandrescue,membersoftheu.s.teamreexaminedtheiractivitieswithinthisenvironmentinordertoimprove theirperformance, giventherelentlesslimitsoftimeandcomplexity.Anadaptivesystemisalsoidentifiableinthissequenceofevents.The structures engagedinoperations were thesUb-groupswithdifferingskillsandusingdifferenttechnologiesoftheu.s.teamthedogteams,theseismicteam,thevideocamerateamandtheminesafetyexperts. -The operatorsthatmodifiedtheperformanceofthesestructuresweretheinformalpatternsofcommunicationthatdevelopedamongthemembersoftheu.s.team,astheymetintheeveningsintheirhoteltoshareinformationabouttheday'sactivitiesandtoreceiveinformation regarding thenextday'sassignments.Theinputstotheadaptingsystem were the direct observationsoftheindividualteammembersandthereportsfromrelevantorganizationsorMexicancitizensthatwerecollectedandsummarizedformembersoftheteamthroughtheevolvingoperationscenter(DogBase)establishedafterarrival.Theadaptiveplanisrevealedthroughtheinteractionoftheseinputsfromtheenvironmentthroughthecommunicationsprocesseswiththeactingstructures,thesearchandrescueteams.Again,thecriterionforfitperformancedrivesthegrowingawarenessof28

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theneedtochangetheoperatingproceduresandorganizationalstructureofsearchand"rescueoperations.Theadaptiveplanrepresentsthelearningcapacityoftheindividualparticipantsengagedinsearchandrescueoperations,astheyassimilatedinformationfromtheirenvironment,usedthatinformationtoguidetheirownchoicesforaction,giventheresources,constraintsandoperatingformsavailable.AvitalelementstoredinthecollectivememoryoftheU.S.searchteamregardingtheseinteractionsisthesignificantimprovementtheywereabletoachieveintheirperformanceinthefieldwithsystematiccollectionofinformationregardingtheoperationssites,readilyavailableandaccessiblecommunicationsbetweenfieldandadministrativeoperationsandappropriateallocationoftasksandtechnologiesamongthedifferentmembersandgroupsofthesearchandrescueteam.Equallyapparent,however,wasthefactthattheobstaclestoeffectiveperformanceencounteredbytheU.S.teamwerealsohinderingtheoperationsofothernationalteamsengagedintheinternationalsearchandrescueprocess.CoordinationAmongtheInternationalSearchandRescueTeamsGiventhe lack ofcoordination,informationandcommunicationamongthedifferentnationalteamsengagedinsearchandrescueoperations,itisnotsurprisingthatconflictswouldemergeoverdifferingtechnologiesanddifferentapproachestoreachthesameobjective--thelocationandrescueoflivevictims.Participationinrescueactivitiessurfacedthe29

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dilemmasinvolvedintheprocessandresultedindifferingjudgmentsaboutappropriatetechnicalandadministrativerequirementstosupportinternationalsearchandrescueoperations.Severalincidentsillustratethesedilemmas.AtJuarezHospital,dangerouslyunsafestructurallybutwithknownvictimstrappedinthedebris,theFrenchandtheu.S.rescueteamsworkingindifferentareasofthesamesitesharplydisagreedoverthemostappropriatemeansofreachingthevictims.TheU.S.team,mindfuIthateachhourofdeIayreducedthechancesofgettingthevictimsoutalive,advocatedtheuseofheavyequipmenttoclearaccesstothevictimsmorequickly.TheFrehchteam,mindfuloftheriskoftheunsafebuildingcollapsingaltogetherandcrushingthevictimsintheprocess,favoredaslower,tunnelingapproachthatmightdelaytherescuebutbelesslikelytoprecipitatefurtherstructuralcollapseofthebuilding.Unabletoresolvethedispute,theFrenchteamleftthesiteandleftMexicoCitythenextday.53AsimilardilemmaemergedintheuseofBritishmilitaryhelicoptersintherescueoperations.Thecollapseofmultistoriedbuildingsrequiredtheremovalofheavyconcreteandsteelsectionsofdebristoreachthevictimsunderneath.Onemeansofaccomplishingthistaskwastousehelicoptersthathadthecapacitytoliftheavyobjects.TheBritishhadmilitaryhelicopterswiththiscapacitystationedinBelize,onlyafewhoursaway.TherequestcarnefromtheMexicangovernmenttotheBritishEmbassyfortheuseofthosehelicopters.TheBritish 30

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operationsofficerintheEmbassymadethearrangementsforsendingthehelicopterswithexperiencedtechnicalcrewstoMexicoCitytoassistintherescueoperations.Disagreementovertheappropriaterescuetechniquesamongthevariousrescueteamsemerged,andtheuseofBritishhelicopterswascriticizedbecausethepowerfulmachineswouldbetoonoisyanddisturbingtotheotherrescueefforts.TherequestcarnetocancelthedispatchofthehelicopterstoMexicoCity.TheBritishEmbassycomplied.Hourslater,therequestcarneagainfortheuseofthehelicopters.TheBritishEmbassyrenewedthearrangementstosendthehelicopterstoMexicoCity.Theyarrivedthenextday,andweresenttoasiteoutsidethecity.Thecrewswereadvisedtoawaitfurtherinstructionfortheiruse.Threedayslater,thehelicoptersandtheircrewsreturnedtoBelize,neverhavingparticipatedintherescueoperations.54Theconflictingviewsandindecisionovertheappropriateuseofdifferingtechnologiesintherescueoperationsillustratetheextentofuncertainty,complexityanddifferingperceptionsofthesameproblemamongthemultipleparticipantsintheinternationalsearchandrescueprocess.Awarenessofthecostoflackofcoordinationandc0mmunicationam0ngthedifferentinternationa1teamswasexpressedbyrepresentativesofseveraloftheparticipatingteams.TheheadoftheGermanrescuedelegationnotedboththelackofcommunicationbetweencentraloperationsandfieldoperationsandtheorganizationalproblemsinperformancedueto31

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alackofadequatepreparationfordisasteroperationsbytheinternationalrescueteams.55TheleaderoftheFrenchrescuedelegationacknowledgedthesamegenerallackoforganizationandplanforaction.56MembersoftheU.S.delegationalsoconfirmedthisobservation.Whilethesespokesmenrecognizedthetremendouseffort,generousgoodwillandprofessionalskillsthatindividualinternationalteamsdisplayedintherescueeffort,theyalsoacknowledgedthefrustratingdelaysandheartbreakinglossofvitalrescuetimeduetothelackofinformation,coordinationandnecessaryreciprocalsupportamongtheparticipatingteams.57Theprobleminadaptationinthissequenceofinteractionsisdefinedbythelimitcommontoallinternationalteams-time.Workingundertheextremeurgencyofdiminishinghoursavailableforlife-savingrescueofvictims,theinternationalteamsacknowledgedseparatelythedamagingconsequencesofconflictingtechnologies.andinadequateadministrativecoordination.Theworkingenvironmentoftheinternationalteams,however,wasfurtherconstrainedbythedetrimentaleffectsofnationalconcernsforreputation.Prideandcommitmenttospecifictechnologiesbyseparatenationalteamstendedtoobstructthegenuineexplorationofcooperativesolutionstotheextremelydifficultproblemsofsearchandrescuemidsttheurbanmountainsofcollapsedconcreteandsteel.Thecriterionoffitperformance,nonetheless,remainedthesuccessfulrescueoflivevictims.Thelowratioofvictims32

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foundtoeffortexpendedcompelledallparticipatingteamstoreflectsoberlyupontheircollectiveperformance.Anemergingadaptivesystemisidentifiableinthecontextoftheseinteractions.Thestructuresarethenineinternationalsearchandrescueteams,operatingindependentlyandinconjunctionwithassigneddepartmentsoftheMexicangovernment.Theoperatorsinfluencingthesestructuresarethemeansofcommunication,informalamongcolleaguesbetweenthenationalembassiesinMexicoCity,moreformalamongscheduledmeetingswithrepresentativesofthenationalembassiesandinternationalorganizations(UNDRO,PAHO),moreimportantly,interpersonalcommunicationamongmembersofdifferentinternationalteamssharingcommontasks.Theinputstothissystemarethereportsinthemedia,particularlytheinternationalpress,whichallowedmembersofthedifferentnationalteamstolearnhowothersperceivedtheiractionsincontrasttotheirownintent.Tentative,incomplete,abeginningadaptiveplanisrecognizableinthespontaneousactionsamongseveraloftheinternationalteams.Forexample,representativesoftheU.S.,GermanandSwissdogteamsbeganmeetingeacheveningtoshareinformationfromtheday'sactivities,tolearnofnewsitesforthepossiblelocationofsurvivorsandtocoordinate,jointly,theiractivitiesforthefollowingday.Inanotherinstance,representativesfromaJapaneseteamofstructuralengineers,visitingthesitesof.thecollapsedbuildingsandinvestigatingtheeffectsofthemagnitudeandintensityoftheearthquakeupon33

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differentstructuralforms,filmedavideotapetorecordtheirassessmentsandsharedthistapewithmembersoftheU.S.team.58Cooperativeinquiryofthiskindcontributestothecumulationofofinternationaldataregardingtheeffectsofmassiveearthquakesinurbansettings.Actionssuchasthese,evolvingoutofthecommonrecognitionoftheneedforbettercoordinationamongsearchandrescueteamsandbetterinformationaboutthestructuraldesignofbuildingsbeingsearched,demonstratethesharedcommitmentoftheparticipatingteamstothecollectivegoalofrescueofthevictims.TowardstheFormationofProfessionalStandardsforInternationalSearchandRescueOperations--.Engagementintheinternationalsearchandrescueprocessprecipitateddiffering fromindividua1teams,buttheexperienceengenderedthoughtfu1ref1ectionontherequirementsforimprovedperformanceininternationaldisasterassistanceandgeneratedfreshcommitmenttodesignasetofprofessionalstandardsinsearchandrescueoperations.ThehandlersofsearchdogswiththeU.S.team,forexample,havedeveloped,attherequestofthethenU.S.AmbassadortoMexico,JohnGavin,anorganizationalformatandsetofoperationalprocedurestomobilizeanofficialU.S.DogTeamforsearchandrescueoperationsinanydisaster,nationalorinternational.59Otherconferences,nationalandinternational,havefocusedontheexperienceofsearchandrescueoperationsintheMexicoCitydisasterandhavegeneratedacontinuinginquiryintothedesign34

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ofaneffectiveprocessforinternationaldisasterassistance,drawingconstructivelyuponthelessonslearnedintheMexican experience.610 Theseeffortsaretentative,na.scentstepsinthedirectionofimprovedperformanceininternationaldisasterassistance.Theyarestillinprocessandhaveyettobetestedinactualperformance.Yettheseeffortsdoindicatethepowerfulcapacityofindividualparticipantstoselectfromtheirownperformanceinactualsituationsthosequalitiesthatdemonstrate'fitness'tothecomplexenvironmentofdisasteroperationsandtodiscardthosethatproveineffectiveorirrelevant.ThePerceptionofInternationalDisasterAssistance Y theAffectedMexicanPopulationAnimportanttestofthemodelofadaptationintheinternationaldisasterassistanceprocessintheMexicandisasteristheperceptionofthatprocessbytheintendedbeneficiaries,theresidentsofthedamagedareasinMexicoCity.Asurveyof728residentsoftheseareasrevealssomeinterestingfindingsinreferencetotheiractualexperiencewithinternationaldisasterassistance.61Thefindingsprovideausefulcheckagainstthereportedoperationoftheprocessasperceivedbythepress,membersoftheinternationalteamsandthegovernmentstheyserved.Especiallyinteresting was aseriesofquestionsthatappeartoshowadirectrelationshipbetweeninvolvementininternationaldisasterassistanceandinformationavailable.ThesefindingsarereportedinTables1-5.35

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AscitedinTable1,thelargemajority,563outof728respondents(77.3%)inthesurvey,perceivedinternationalaidtobeverybeneficialorbeneficialtoMexicoincopingwith.theproblemsgeneratedbytheearthquakes.Yet,whenaskedwhethertherewasinformationintheirdistrictabouthowtogetaccesstothisinternationalaid,theproportionrespondingpositivelydroppedto258,or35.4%,oftherespondentsinthesurvey.Whenaskedwhethertheinformationgivenintheirdistrictabouthowtoaskfor,andreceive,aidwassufficient,theproportionrespondingpositivelydroppedstillfurtherto167respondents,or22.9%ofthetotalnumberinterviewed.Thenumberofrespondentswhoreportedactuallyreceivingaid,eitherthemselves,theirfamiliesortheirimmediateneighborsdroppedagainto76residents,or 10.4% ofthetotalsample.Thosewhoreportedactualcontactwithaninternationalorganizationengagedindisasterassistance,eitherthemselves,theirfamiliesortheirneighbors,felltotheverysmallproportionof47respondents,or6.5%ofthetotalnumberofcasesinthesample.Thesefindingsindicatethat,althoughthelargemajorityofresidentsofthedamagedneighborhoodsinMexicoCitywereawareoftheinternationalassistancebeinggiventoMexicoandperceiveditpositively,veryfewresidentsactuallyreceivedsuchassistanceandevenfewerhadcontactwithinternationalorganizationsengagedinthedeliveryofsuchassistance.Giventhecomplexityoftheenvironment,theratioofassistancereceivedtoassistanceextendedisnotsurprising.Whatappears36

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TABLE 1PerceivedBenefitofInternationalAid"Mexicohasreceivedintheselasttwomonths(Nov.,1985),muchgratuitousinternationalaidtoalleviatetheproblemsgeneratedbytheearthquakes.Howbeneficial,inyouropinion,hasthisinternationalassistancebeen?"NTotal%Verybeneficial34146.8Beneficial222 310.5 So-So628.5Notsobeneficial476.5Nobenefit425.8Don'tknow141.9728 11010.10 ValidN=714TABLE 2PerceivedAvailabilityofInformationRegardingInternationalAidinDistrict"Wasthereinformationinyourdistrictabouthowtogetaccesstothis(international)aid,ifnecessary?"NTota'l%Yes25835.4No43359.5Don'tknow344.7Notapplicable3 4728 11010.10 ValidN=69137

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TABLE 3PerceivedSufficiencyofInformationRegardingInternatiopalAidinDistrict"Inyouropinion,wastheinformationgiveninyourdistrictabouthowtoaskforandreceiveaidsufficient?"NTotal%Sufficient16722.9Insufficient25334.8Don'tknow496.7Inapplicable25935.6728 HH1.0 ValidN= 420 TABLE 4ReceptionofInternationalAid"Infact,didyouoryourfamilyoranyofyourneighborsreceiveanyaidofthistype?"NTotal%Yes76 10.4 No64188.1Noresponse111.5728 100.0 ValidN=71738

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TABLE 5DirectContactwithInternationalOrganizationsDistributingAid"Didyouoryourfamilyoranyofyourneighborshavedirectcontactwithaninternationalorforeignorganizationthatwasdistributingaid?"YesNoDon'tknowIfyes,"What"Typeof Aid?" ShelterFoodstuffsWaterRescueeffortsBuildinganalysisMedicinesBlankets,clothingMessages,communicationOtherorNoResponseTotalcases:"Whatorganization?"N4766714728N18 212863 3 43 685728Total%6.591.61.9 HHL0 Total%11.131.61.18 4.4 5:8 94.199.9Nu.N.2RedCross13ForeignRescueTeams12PrivateClergy,Salvation2ArmyCatholicOrganization3Other6Don'tknow 690 TotalCases72839Total%31.81.63.45.294.8 100.0

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tobecritical,however,isthelevelofinformationavailabletocitizenstoinitiatetheirownactionstorequestandreceiveinternationaldisasterassistance.Furtheranalysisindicatesthateventhosewhodidreceiveaidorhadcontactwithinternationalorganizationsdidnotalwaysreportthatinformationaboutinternationalaidwaseitheravailableintheirdistrictorsufficienttogainaccess.Table6showsthatofthe252respondentswhoreportedthatinformationregardinginternationalaidwasavailableintheirdistricts,morethanone-third,36.9%,foundthatinformationtobeinsufficientinordertorequestorreceiveaid.Table7citesthatofthe75respondentswhoreportedactuallyreceivinginternationalaid,28,or37.3%statedtherewasnoinformationaboutaidintheirdistrict.Moretelling,nearlytwo-thirdsoftherespondents,65.8%,reportedtheydidnotreceiveinternationalaidandthatinformationaboutinternationaiaidwasnotavailableintheirdistricts.InTable8,23ofthe54respondents,42.6%,whoreportedreceivinginternationalaidperceivedinformationaboutaidtobeinsufficient.Itisalsointerestingthat22ofthe76respondentswhoreportedreceivingaid(28.9%)didnotrespondtothequestiononsufficiencyofinformation.Relatingthese totheoperationoftheinternationaldisasterassistanceprocess,itisclearthattherearemajordiscrepanciesbetweentheintentandeffortexpendedandtheactualreceiptofinternationalassistancebyresidents 40

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ofthedamagedneighborhoods.Whilethereisevidenceofadaptationoccurringamongtheparticipatinginternationalorganizationsforthemobilizationanddispatchofassistancetothedisasterenvironment,thatprocessisnotyetcomplementarytotherequirementsforrequestingandreceivingaidbytheneighborhoodresidents.Yet,incontrasttothetheoryoforganizationalanarchyincomplexenvironmentswhereorganizationsareperceivedasmakingdecisionsonlybychance62,datafromtheinternationaldisasterassistanceprocessintheMexicancaseshowanevolvingcapacitybytheinternationalsystemtomodifyitsformofoperationsinadisasterenvironmentbaseduponaclearcriterionoffitperformance,specificallytheTABLE6TheRelationshipBetweenAvailabilityandSufficiencyofInformationRegardingInternationalAidSufficiencyofInformationAvailabilityofSufficientInsufficientInformationinDistrictTotalYes1599325263.136.9 60.7% 95.837.334.322.4No7156 1634.345.74.262.71.737.8 39.3Total166249415 40.060.0100.0 ChiSquare=142.592Sig.= .000 OF=141

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TABLE 7TheRelationshipBetweenAvailabilityofInformationandReceptionofInternationalAidAvailabilityofInformationinDistrictReceptionofYesNoTotalInternationalAidYes47287562.737.318.56.6 6.94.1 11.0 No 207 399 606 34.265.881.593.4 30.4 58.6 89.0 Total25442768137.362.7 100.0 ChiSquare=23.193Sig.= .000 OF=1 TABLE 8TheRelationshipBetweenReceptionofInternationalAidandSufficiencyofInformationReceptionofInternationalAidSufficiencyofInformationSufficientInsufficientTotalYes3118.857.47.5239.342.65.65413.1No13481.237.332.422590.762.754.535986.9Total165 40.0 248 60.060.0 413 100.0 ChiSquare=7.89Sig.= .005 42OF=1

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rescueofhumanlife.Anadaptiveplan,ratherthanchance,appearstobeinfluencingdecisionsmadebyparticipantsintheinternationalsearchandrescueprocess.Extendingthisadaptiveplantothelargerenvironmentoftheintendedrecipientsofinternationaldisasterassistanceisastillmorecomplexanddifficulttask.Themostpromisingmeansappearstobethroughincreasingthelevelofinformationavailabletotheintendedrecipients,sothattheymayalsoaddtheirenergyandcapacitytotheevolvingadaptivesystem.43

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NotesManypeoplecontributedtime,effortandknowledgetofacilitatetheresearchonwhichthisarticleisbased.Iwishtothank,inparticular,FernandoEstrada,FedericoEstevez,RosarioMolinero,TimothyBroughton,SamuelTaylor,PaulBell,LeeJohnson,HarryIceland,GeorgeNatansonandVictoriaFunari,whoassistedmeintheconductofthisresearchinMexicoCity.IalsothankJoyceValiquette,JanJernigan,MariaKlyver,RichardGreeneandMarcelDennertfortheirassistanceattheUniversityofpittsburgh.1.Excelsior,MexicoCity,23September-T985,p.4A.September1985,p.5A;262.Excelsior,MexicoCity,25September1985;26September1985;27September1985,p.lA;29September1985,p.lA;TheNews,MexicoCity,26September1985;pp.3-4;27September1985,p.5.Interviews:LindaWallace,U.S.DogTeam;22November1985;WilliamPierce,AdministrativeCoordinator,U.S.DogTeam;9April1986.3.FinalDisasterSummaryReport,"Mexico-1985Earthquakes",U.S.Embassy-MexicoCity,OfficeofForeignDisasterAssistance-Washington,January,1986,pp.47-55.4.Excelsior,MexicoCity,23September1985,p.23A.5. MexicoCity,21September1985,p.4A;23September1985,p.5A;27September1985,p.19A;LaJornada,MexicoCity,21September1985,p.11;22 September 1985.6LaJ0 d ,2 0 September1985,P23;Exce1si0r,23September1985,p.23A;Excelsior,3October 19S5;--p':-lA; 5October1985,p.5.7.Excelsior,28September1985.ThispositiveperceptionofinternationaldisasterassistancewasalsodocumentedinstudyfindingsfromthesurveyofresidentsofthedamagedneighborhoodsconductedjointlybyresearchersfromtheUniversityofPittsburghandInstitutoAutonomodeMexico,MexicoCity,November,1985.IwishtothankmycolleaguesinMexico,FedericoEstevezandDoraSchaelLehman,fortheirprofessionalskillandsupportintheconductofthisstudy.8Exce1si0r,27September1985,p.1A;30c,t0ber1985,P1A R. G.Peluso,J.H.Kravitz,V.R.GomezandJ.F.Hartman,ReportofMexicanEarthquakeDisaster,UnitedStatesDepartmentofLabor,MineSafetyandHealthAdministration,Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania,May,1986.44

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9.C.E.LindblomandD. K.Cohen,UsableKnowledge:SocialScienceandSocialProblemSolving(NewHaven: -YaleUniversityPress, 1979);L.K.Comfort,"ActionResearch:.AModelforOrganizationalLearning",Journalof AnalysisandManagement,Vol.5,No.1, 100-118 (1985);GregoryBateson,"MenareGrass:MetaphorandtheWorldofMenta1Process",TheLindisfarneLetter,WestStockbridge,MA,LindisfarnePress,June9, 1980; JohnH.Holland,AdaptationinNaturalandArtificalSystems(AnnArbor:UniversityofMichiganPress,1975). 10. Williampierce,administrativecoordinator,U.s.DogTeam,interview,9April1985;OperationsOfficer,BritishEmbassy,MexicoCity,interview, 10 October1985.11.Excelsior,27September1985,p.lA;LindaWallace,U.S.DogTeam,interview,22November1985;WilliamPierce,AdministrativeCoordinator,U.s.DogTeam,interview,9April1986.12.Ibid.13.JohnKirlin,"APoliticalPerspective"inTrudiC.Miller,(ed.)PublicSectorPerformance,(Baltimore,MD:Johns Hopkinsuniversity Press,1984.)DanielMazmanianandPaulSabatier,ImplementationandPublicPolicy.(Glenview,Ill:ScottForesmanandCo.,1983.)14.wi11iamPierce,Opecit.;AgostinCentroInteramericanodeEstudiosdeMexicoCity,interview,9October1985.BarbabossaSeguridadKub1i,Social,15.JohnH.Holland,Ope.cit.Iwishtothankmyson,NathanielComfort,forintroducingmetothetheoryofevolutionaryprocessthroughhisstudyofbiology.16.Similarprocessesaredescribedinbusinessorganizationsoperatingunderconditionsofuncertaintyandcomplexity.Seethediscussionofthemaxim,"Ready,Fire,Aim",byThomasH.PetersandRobertH.Watermanintheirbook,InSearchofExcellence,(NewYork:HarperandRow,Inc.,1982.)17.JohnH.Holland,Opecit.,p. 18.Ibid.19.Ibid. 20. Ibid.,p.2.21.ThissetoftermsisadaptedfromHolland'ssetoffundamentalquestionsregardingadaptation,citedabove.45

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22.JohnH.Holland,Opecit.,p.5.23.Excelsior,23September1985,p.lAo24.Excelsior,28September1985;TheNews,26September1985,1October1985;GeorgeNatanson,CBSNewsCorrespondent,MexicoCity,interview,29September1985.25.See,forexample,ThomasE.Drabeketal.,Managing iiulti.::. organizationalEmergencyResponses(Boulder,CO:TheInstituteofBehavioralScience,UniversityofColorado,1981);ClaireRubinetal.,CommunityRecoveryfromaMajorNaturalDisaster(Boulder,CO:InstituteofBeha-vioralScience,UniversityofColorado,1985).E. L. Quarantelli(ed.)Disasters:TheoryandResearch(BeverlyHills:SagePublications,1978).26.Thissurvey,undertakenjointlybyresearchersattheUniversityofpittsburghandtheInstitutoTecnologicoAutonomodeMexico,wasconductedinMexicoCityinmidNovember,1985.27.NationalAssociationofSearchandRescue, Guidelines,Washington,D.C.,1985.28.TheseprofessionalstandardswereacknowledgedseparatelybyrepresentativesoftheU.S.,BritishandGermanEmbassiesindescribingtheoperationsoftheirrespectivenationalteamsinMexicoCity.InterviewswithSamuelTaylor,DisasterOperationsOfficer,U.S.Embassy,29September1985,2October1985;DerekF.Milton,CounselMinister,BritishEmbassy,9October1985;MatthiasWalter,PressAttache,GermanEmbassy,11October1985.29."SummaryofRescueActivitiesinMexicoCity",byJesse L. Craft,OfficeofSurfaceMining,TechnicalCenterEast,pittsburgh,PAandHarryDobroski,BureauofMines,BrucetonResearchCenter,Pittsburgh,PA.,October,1985.Dr.CraftandMr.DobroskiweremembersoftheU.S.TeamsenttoMexicoCity.Theyoperatedthevideocamerainsearchandrescueoperations.Theirreportincludesadetailed,dailyaccountofthedisasteroperationsenvironment.3 (0. GeorgeNatanson,CBSNewsCorrespondent,MexicoInterview,29September1985.City,31.SamuelTaylor,DirectorofDisasterOperations,U.S.Embassy,MexicoCity,Interview,29September1986.32.FinalDisasterSummaryReport,DisasterAssistance,Opecit.46U.S.OfficeofForeign

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33.DerekF.Milton,Counselinterview,9October1985;interview,29September1985.Minister,BritishSamuelTaylor,U.S.Embassy,Embassy,34.GustavoSilvaAranda,CountryRepresentative,MexicoCity,UnitedNationsDisasterReliefOrganization,Interview,8October1985;Lic.GloriaE.CandidaGonzalez,DirectoraGeneral,CruzRojaMexicana;Interview,7October1985;Dr.AlvaroYanez,DeputyDirector,MexicoCity,PanAmericanHealthOrganization,Interview9October1985;PalmieriH.DeLucerna,Director,CatholicReliefServices,CostaRicaOffice,Interview,8October1985.35.WilliamPierce,AdministrativeCoordinator,U.S.DogTeam,interview,9April1986.36.LindaWallace,U.S.DogTeam,interview,22November1985;interview,22January1986.37.Excelsior, 20 September1985-11October1985.38.WilliamPierce,AdministrativeCoordinator,U.S.DogTeam,Interview,9April1985;OperationsOfficer,BritishEmbassy,Interview, 10 October1986.39.GeorgeNatanson,CBSNewsCorrespondent,MexicoCity,Interview,29September1985;Excelsior, 20 September198529September1985. 40. Excelsior,26September1985;TheNews,26September1985.41.LouiseComfort,"SynthesisinDisasterManagement:LinkingReasonwithActioninLearningSystems,"ManagingDisaster,Strategiesand polic Perspectives.Forthcom.ing,1987.GregoryBateson,OpeClt.;JohnH.Holland,OpeClt.42.Excelsior,21September1985.43.JohnH.Holland,Opecit.,p.28.44.LindaWallace,U.S.DogTeam,interview,22November1985.45.Ibid.46.CBSNews, 20 September1986,Excelsior, 20 September1986.47.FinalDisasterSummaryReport,DisasterAssistance,Opecit.,p.U.S.24.OfficeofForeign48.LindaWallace,U.S.DogTeam,Interview,22November1985.49.Ibid.47

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50. JefferyH.Kravitz,Member,SeismicDetectionGroup,U.S.SearchandRescueTeam,interview,22January1986.51.WilliamPierce,AdministrativeCoordinator,U.S.DogTeam,interview,9April1986.52.Ibid.53.TheNews,26September1985.54.DerekF.Milton,CounselMinister,BritishEmbassy,MexicoCity,Interview 10 October1985.55.TheNews,26September1985.56.Ibid.57.Ibid.Theseobservationswereconfirmedbyinterviewsw'ithmembersoftheU.S.SearchandRescueTeam.58.AcopyofthistapewasgiventoJefferyH.Kravitz,memberoftheseismicdetectiongroup,U.S.SearchandRescueTeam.Mr.KravitzmademadethetapeavailabletotheUniversityofpittsburgh.59.LindaWallace,U.S.DogTeam,interview,22November1985;22November1985;22January1986.6 0. See,forexamp1e,Mary1andInstitute0fEmergencyMediea1SystemsandServices,AnnualConference,Baltimore,Maryland,April3-5,1986;AnnualResearchConference,NaturalHazardsResearchandApplicationsInformationCenter,Boulder,Colorado,July 20-23, 1986.61.JointUniversityofPittsburgh-InstitutoTecnologicoAutonomodeMexicoSurvey,Opecit.62.MichaelD.Cohen,JamesG.MarchandJohanP.Olsen,"AGarbageCanModelofOrganizationalChoice",AdministrativeScienceQuarterly,Vol.17(1),March,1972,1-25.48


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