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Report on trip to Charleston County, SC after Hurricane Hugo

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Material Information

Title:
Report on trip to Charleston County, SC after Hurricane Hugo
Series Title:
Quick response research report ;
Physical Description:
7 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Rubin, Claire B
University of Colorado, Boulder -- Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center
Publisher:
Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, University of Colorado
Place of Publication:
Boulder, Colo
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Disaster relief -- South Carolina -- Charleston County   ( lcsh )
Hurricane Hugo, 1989   ( lcsh )
Genre:
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 7).
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.
Statement of Responsibility:
Claire B. Rubin.
General Note:
Cover title.
General Note:
"Institute of Behavioral Science #6."

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:
aleph - 001985174
oclc - 39329484
usfldc doi - F57-00053
usfldc handle - f57.53
Classification:
lcc - HV553 .R24
System ID:
SFS0001134:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text
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Report on trip to Charleston County, SC after Hurricane Hugo /
Claire B. Rubin.
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Boulder, Colo. :
Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, University of Colorado,
1990.
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7 p. ;
28 cm.
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Quick response research report ;
v #33
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Cover title.
"Institute of Behavioral Science #6."
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Includes bibliographical references (p. 7).
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Also issued online as part of a joint project with the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) Research Librarys disaster mental health initiative.
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Disaster relief
z South Carolina
Charleston County.
Hurricane Hugo, 1989.
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University of Colorado, Boulder.
Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center.
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NaturalHazardsResearchandApplicationsInformationCenterCampusBox482UniversityofColoradoBoulder,Colorado80309-0482REPORTONTRIPTOCHARLESTONCOUNTY,SCAFTERHURRICANEHUGOCLAIREB.RUBIN1990QUICKRESPONSERESEARCHREPORT#33This publication is partofthe Natural Hazards Research&ApplicationsInformation Center's ongoing Quick Response Research Report Series. http://www.colorado.edu/hazardsTheviewsexpressedinthisreportarethoseoftheauthorandnotnecessarilythoseoftheNaturalHazardsCenterortheUniversityofColorado.InstituteofBehavioralScience#6 (303) 492-6818TELEFAX:(303)492-6924

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1/4/90ReportonTriptoCharlestonCounty,SCAfterHurricaneHugobyClaireB.RubinTheGeorgeWashingtonUniversityObjectivesOriginally,IplannedtofocusonthebeginningoftheintergovernmentalprocessesafteramajordisasterwasdeclaredinSCafterHurricaneHugo,inOctober1989.ItwasnotpossibletogetintotheCharleston,SCareaimmediatelyafterthedisasterandpursuethatresearchplanforseveralreasons:(a)themagnitudeofthestormandwide-spreaddestructionleadtomassive,lengthypoweroutages;(b)tensofthousandsofpersonsweredisplacedfromtheirhomesandinneedoffoodandshelter;and(c)thepublicofficialswhom Iwouldwanttointerviewwouldbetoobusywithoperationalneedstotaketimetotalkwithme.Therefore,itdidnotmakesenseforaresearchertogoinrightawayandaddtotheburdenintheimmediateaftermath.On-siteSituationIwasabletovisittheCharlestonCountyareafiveweeksafterHurricane hit.Therevisedobjectivesofmyon-sitevisitweretoobtaininformationabouttheearlyplanningforrecoveryandabouttheefficiencyandeffectivenessoftheintergovernmentalrelationsprocessasrecoveryplanninggotunderway.Goingon-sitefiveweeksafterHugostruckprovedtobegoodtiming.ThedowntownCharlestonareawasrecoveredenoughformetofindlodgingsandmeals;andpublicofficialsandcitizenswerewillingtoreflectabouttheirexperiencesofthelastseveralweeksandtotalkwithme.Ispentthreedaysonsite.Owingtotheearlyreportsbythemediaaboutdelaysinstartingthereliefandrecoveryeffortsandwhosefaulttheywere,andtothefulminationsofSenatorHollingswhowasquicktocallFEMAa"bunchofbureaucraticjackasses,"itwasespeciallydifficulttofindoutwhatreallywasgoingonintheCharleston area.BasicFactsandFiguresHurricaneHugohitSConOctober21-22.registeringwindsupto135mphandspawningsometornadoesaswell.Whilethe1

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eyeofthestormpassedoverdowntownCharleston,thebruntofthedamagewasfeltintheeastandnorthofCharlestoncounty.TheNationalHurricaneCenterwasabletogivetheSCareasignificantadvancewarning.Evacuationswerepromptlyorderedandlargenumbersofpersonsweremovedinland.Thankstoconsiderablepriorstudy,data,andcomputerizedprogramsforevacuationplanning,thelargescaleevacuationshelptominimizedeathsandinjuriesfromthehurricane.IntheaftermathofHugo,theoriginalPresidentialdeclarationwasamendedfourtimes,andfinallyincluded 24 countiesinSC.Inaddition,somecountiesinNCreceivedadeclaration.Estimatesvarywidely,butsomebasicworkingnumbersareasfollows:-damagecausedbyHurricaneHugototheAtlanticCoast=$5B.-9,000homesdestroyed-27,000homeswithmajordamage-20,500applicantsfortemporaryhousing292,000 unemployedpersonsinSCTheproblems,issuesandneedsfortherecoveryphaseareenormous--almostoverwhelming.Psychologically,itisunfortunatethattheSanFranciscoearthquakegarneredallthemediaattention,nottomentionahugefederalappropriationforrecovery.Ithinkthegovernmentalofficialsand,ofcourse,thecitizensofCharleston,wouldliketohaveremainedinthenationalspotlightandbeenthefocalpointforrecoveryforalongerperiodoftime.While 24 orsocountiesinSChavereceivedadeclaration,IfocussedmostofmyattentionontheCharlestoncountyarea,whichisasizeableareacontaining19entities--includingunincorporatedareas.ApproachIvisitedtheDisasterFieldOffice,setupbyFEMA,whichhousedthekeyfederalagencyrepresentatives,RedCrossandothervoluntaryagencies,StateOfficialsandleadersoftheInteragencyhazardMitigationTeam.Inaddition,Imetwithlocalofficialsandothersintheirofficesandelsewhere.Ihadformalinterviewswithaboutsixpersonsandinformallytalkedtodozensmore. 2

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IssuesWorthyofFurtherAttentionTherearemanymajorissuesandproblemsconnectedwiththelocal,Stateandfederalgovernments'plansandactionsintermsoftheirresponsetoandrecoveryfromHurricaneHugo.Intheinitialtripreport,preparedattheendofOctober,Iidentifiedanumberofissuesthatmightbeworthyofresearch.SincethenIhavelearnedofseveralresearcherswhowereinvolvedinQuickResponseand/orotherresearchefforts.As aconsequenceofmyQuickResponsevisit,Ipreparedaresearchprojectproposalthatfocussedon the intergovernmentalrelationsaspectsoftherecoveryfromHurricaneHugoinSC. SomeoftheissuesIidentifiedaftermysitevisitare:(a)Interaovernmenta1Relations:federal,State,countyandlocalcoordination.TheevacuationprocesspriortotheHurricaneIstouchdowninSCwasmainlyapositiveexample.Subsequently,interactionsamongtheemergencymanagementpersonnelateachlevelofgovernmentinvolvedgenerallydidnotgowell.TheDeclarationProcessdidnotgosmoothly.TheGovernorandtheMayorofCharlestonwerecriticalofFEMAearlyontheintheprocessofworkingtogether.(b)StateEmergencyManagementCapabi1ity.Theorganizationalarrangementandcapabilityofthestate'semergencyservicesdivisionanditsrelationshipswiththecountyemergencymanagementagenciesshouldbeexamined.ForreasonsIdonotknow,theGovernorchosetoby-passthischainofcommandandsetupaparallelprocessfromhisofficetolocalelectedofficialstogainintelligenceabouttheimpact of thehurricane.TheStatesabi1ity(orinabi1ity)toassessthedamagedoneandtoperformthestepsneededforaPresidentialdeclaration.(b)CityandCountyEmergencyManagementCapability.Evenwithinonecounty,CharlestonCounty,therewasawiderangeoflocalemergencymanagementcapabilityamongthe19entitiesinthecounty.(c)RequiredHazardMitigation.FEMA'sSections409requirementsandthemitigationgrantoptionunderSection404providetheopportunityandtheenvironmentfordoingnaturalhazardsmitigation.Whilethehurricaneeventwillgetprimaryattention,willfederal,Stateandlocalofficialsusethisrequiredmitigationreviewprocessasanopportunitytopressforattentiontoseismicsafetyduringtherecoveryperiod?(d)FederalHazardMitigationTeam.RoleandfunctionsofthefederalInteragencyHazardMitigationteamshouldbe3

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studied.Thereweresomeproblemsconnectedwiththeinitialmobilizationandcompositionoftheteam.Notyetknownarethenatureandqualityoftheteam'srecommendations.Worthwatchingwillbetheextentoffollow-throughbyalllevelsofgovernmentinvolvedinimplementingtherecommendations.(e)UseofHazardMitiqationTools.Regardinghazardmitigation,therelativelyrecentSec.404ofFEMA'senablinglegislationcreatedaprogramandearmarkedfundsforimplementinghazardsmitigationmeasures.Towhatextentwillthisprogrambeused,andhoweffectively,intheaftermathofHugo?(f)Multi-HazardMitigation.Acloselyrelatedquestioniswhetherseismicsafety willbemeshedwithfloodmitigationintheconductoftherequiredsec.409hazardmitigationplantobecompletedbytheStateandwiththeoptionaluseofSec.404program.TheIHMT'sroleandreportcouldserveasacatalystforincreasedlocalattentiontoandactionregardingseismicsafety.(g)LarqeNumberofDisplacedPersons.WhileIamnotsureoftheexactnumbers,perhapsasmanyas50,000personsweredisplacedfromtheirhomesbyHugo.ThisdisastermaypresentthelargestamountofresidentialdestructionseentodatebytheU.S.disastercommunity.Itraisesinterestingquestionsabouthowtodealwithlargenumberofhomelesspersonsafteracatastrophicearthquake.Thisshouldbestudied.(h)ThePoliticalSetting.Inthe ofHugo,FEMAmeetwithahighlypolitically-chargedenvironmentinCharlestonareaandatthestatelevel.ThelocalandCongressionalpoliticalfiguresandalsothemediaseemedtodoadisservicetotheFEMAefforts.(i)Training,Education,andPreparedness.Itappearsthatrecoveryplanningisnotbeingadequatelyfactoredintoemergencypreparednessactivities,notonlyinSCbutinmanyotherstates.Planningforrecoveryiseithernotbeingdoneorisbeingdonepoorly.Why?Recoveryplanningisnotbeingtaughtorisnotbeingtaughtwell;-Itisnotbeinglearnedorunderstood;and/or-Itisnotbeingappliedatalloreffectively4

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Acolleagueinvolvedinemergencypreparednesstrainingforlocalofficialscommentedthatemergencymanagersfocusontheoperationalaspectsofresponseandlackeithertheinterestorabilitytodocomprehensive,long-termrecoveryplanning.TheStateofSCdidnothaveanystafferinvqlvedinhazardmitigationpriortoHugo.AtthetimeofmyvisitthestaffofficialtemporarilyfillingthatjobwasanoperationspersononloantotheDFO.WillthestatecreateandfillthepositionofStateHazardMitigationofficerinthepostHugoenvironmentandwhatwillbetheresults?(j)CoastalZoneManaaement.Thereareahostofissuesconnectedwithcoastalzonemanagementandwiththerebuildingofcoastalstructures.IdidnotgetintotheseissuesbecauseIknewthatotherQuickResponseResearchandper-hapstheNationalAcademyReconnaissanceTeamhaddoneso.AdditionalInformationPost-VisitManagerialDeficienciesatFEMA.TheorganizationalproblemsatFEMAarecompoundedbythenumberofvacanciesinkeypolitically-appointedpositions.TenmonthsintotheBushadministration,virtuallyallmajorleadershippositionsarevacantorarebeinghelpbyholdoverappointeesfromthelastadministration.ThereisnotoneBushadministrationappointeeinplaceattheagency.[DemocraticStudyGroupReport.]CrucialTiming.InSC,thereisawindowofopportunityforimprovedemergencypreparednessandemergencymanagement.InthewakeofHugo,ahighdegreeofattentionfromeachlevelofgovernment;theexpectationofsignificantsumsofpublicassistance(aswellasindividualandfamilyassistance)payments;themandatedrequirementsofthestate'shazardsmitigationplan(Sec.409ofFEMA'sregulations)andtheavailabilityofSec404.Hazardmitigationimplementationmonies.Further,therehavebeensignificantseismicsafetyplanningactivitieson-goinginthestate,supportedbyFederalmoney.Whatchanges,ifany,willbemadeintheorganizationarrangementsforstateandcountyemergencymanagement?Whatpersonnelchanges,staffsincreased,officelocationschangedoreffortstoincreasetheprofessionalismofemergencymanagementservices?Willthepressurestodealwithseismicsafetyprocesssuceed?Willadoptio.nandimplementationofstate-wideseismicsafetybuildingcodesoccurinthecomingyear?5

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Inthecontextofdisasterpreparednessactivities,planningforrecoveryiseithernotbeingdoneorisbeingdonepoorly.Why? -Recoveryplanningisnotbeingtaughtorisnotbeingtaughtwell;-Itisnotbeinglearnedorunderstood;and/or-Itisnotbeingappliedatalloreffectively.possibleexplanationisthatemergencymanagersfocusontheoperationalaspectsofresponseandlackeithertheinterestorabilitytodocomprehensive,long-termrecoveryplanning.]PoorRecovervPerformance.TherecentHurricaneHugowascatastrophicintermsofitswide-rangingdestruction.DamagetostructuresIlifelinesandpublicpropertywerethemostcostlytodateintheU.S.ThehurricaneimpactedtwoU.S.territoriesandtwoStatesseriouslyenoughtowarrantPresidentialdisasterdeclarations.AboutoneweekafterHugohitthemainlandU.S.,theLornaPrietaearthquakeoccurred.Whilethefederalgovernmentwasreadywithacatastrophicearthquakeplan,FEMAdecidednottotriggerthatplan.Intermsofdisasterresponse,boththeAmericanRedCrossandtheFederalEmergencyManagementAgency(FEMA)wereseriouslyover-extendedintermsofpersonnelandfinancialresourcesandtheirabilitytomeetthe'needsof victims stretchedthin.TheLornaPrietaEarthquakehadtwoimportanteffectsontherecoveryeffortsfromHurricaneHugo:(1)itmadelargedemandsonfederaldollarsandpersonnelresourcesand(2)itremindedpeopleoftheknownvulnerabilityoftheVI,PRandcoastalSCoftheirownvulnerabilitytoearthquakes.Forresearchersandpractitionerswithmanyyearsofdisasterexperience,itispainfultoseehowpoorly,thatusefulinformationbasedonresearchandexperientiallearningisbeingtaughtandorretainedbythoseresponsiblefordisastermanagement.SpecialattentionwillbepaidtogaininginsightintowhytheeducationandtrainingprogramsarebeingabsorbedinsuchanunevenmanneracrosstheU.S.6

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SOURCESOFINFORMATIONPeriodicalsNewsclippingsonHurricaneHugointheWashingtonPost,theNewYorkTimes,andtheCharlestonNewsandCourier,andtheCharlestonEveningPost.SpecialdisasterissueoftheCharlestonPost-Courier,includes ofdisastercoveragefromSept.22-26,1989."IntheEyeoftheStorm:IsGovernmentPreparedforDisaster?"inGovernmentExecutive,December,1989.InterviewsFEMAPublicInformationOfficers(2)RedCross/PrivateVo1uhntaryOrganizationLiaisonFederalHazard.MitigationTeamLeaderState/Governors'sAuthorizedRepresentativeProf.JoyceBagwell,BaptistCollege(phone)Prof.CharlesLindbergh(phone)CharlestonCountyEmergencyManagementCoordinatorCitizensMediaReportsFEMA,"InteragencyHazardMitigationTeamReport,"HurricaneHugo,FEMA843-DR-SC,October1989.7