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APPENDIX A ADMINIS THAT IVE DE TAILS OF THE S T UDY $: The p roj e ct was initially sugge sled by Harry Williams ~ e ch - nical Dir e cto r of the Committe e f or Di s as ter Studie s, National Council, after he read a New York Herald Tribune story de scribing "panic" in flooded Port Jervis following the rumor of a dam-break. Pr eliminary Survey National Re search . Before a large scale study was projected, the accuracy of the story was checked to determine whether, in fact, perceived and acted on by a large number of people. Of the staff of the Institute for Research in Human Relations went to Port Jervis five days after the false report had spread through the city. Key officials in the city were interviewed. These included the Chief of Police, the Civil Defense Director, and the Chief of the Fire Department. a thee at had be en Three members The inve stigator s carried with them a letter from the NRC Disaster Committee stating that the project director and his staff were qualified research people. It further testified that the investi- gators were collecting information to satisfy the needs bow of the Disaster Committee and the Federal Civil Defense Administration. This letter was favorably received and prover} valuable in introducing the investigators. It was also used at later stages of the project with good effect whenever the purpose of the study was questioned by re- spondent s . The investigating team was well received at local Civil De- fense Headquarters. One of the officials there provided us with a room adjoining the Civil Defense office. This office was used as field headquarters for the entire period of study, and appeared to pro- vide a kind of official stamp to the project in the eyes of the local citizens. The detailed description of the problems encountered in the field are presented here at the specific request of late Committee on Disas- ter Studies. 81
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The survey made clear the seriousness of the false report as perceived by inhabitants of the city, and convinced the investigators of the value of proceeding with a study of the events which followed its di s s emination. Training Interviewers The interviewers, all trained social scientists with a min- imum of a master's degree, were given a half-day of intensive train- ing. They were first briefed concerning the nature of the Port Jervis disaster from information we had obtained regarding the evacuation situation. They were given orientation information about the town: its geography, history, principal industries, etc. They then received a de scription of the kinds of hypothe se s we wished to te st, and of our sampling methodology. We took them through the interview form question by question. The usual criteria for estimating socio-economi, status were supplied: possession of telephone and automobile, condi- tion of residence, single or multiple dwelling unit' etc. Using our secretary (a Port Jervis public stenographer) in the role of an inter- viewee, we gave the staff an opportunity to observe a complete inter- view. At first glance, it might appear preferable to keep the inter- viewers ignorant of the hypotheses. However, the need for providing them with a proper basis for deciding when to probe made it essential that they understand the major objectives of the study. The alternative, the preparation of detailed instructions re- garding clas se s of re sponse s demanding probing, require s consider - able time, more than was available in this situation. Also, such instructions undoubtedly give definite cues to the interviewer as to the hypotheses under study. A review of the interviewing and coding pro- cedures reveals no systematic bias. Each interviewer was then sent out to conduct a trial inter- view, which was reviewed with him before he was allowed to continue. From time to time, the protocols were examined to make sure that interviewers were getting the requisite information. We met period- ically with each interviewer to discuss problems encountered in the field. 82
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A checklist was printed and clisplayed at headquarters. Each interviewer was instructed to check off the material which he was to take win him before leaving on his assignment. This material in- clucled assignment cards, giving the name and address of each of his respondents, a map of the city with the locations marked on it, a writ- ing board, interview forms with the questions in record} form, an interviewer's identification carcI, and a thank-you letter. At no time did an interviewer find himself in the field without all the materials he needed. The Interv, ew Form On an intuitive basis, we hac3 decided that defensiveness on the part of the respondent could best be handled if he were allowed} to tell the story in his own way. Because of this, only a simple card listing major items was developed for use in conducting interviews. After a few trials with re sponclents not include] in the sample, it be - came apparent that important data were being omitted from the proto- cols. A second, more detailed, interview form was designed, but found to be inadequate because it was not flexible enough to permit re- cording relatively unstructured interviews. A thirc] revision combined the detail required by the interviewer with a format which simplified the job of re cowling re spouse s . This third form is included in this Appendix. A minor re- vision was made later on, as indicated on the sample copy. We col- lected the biographical data last, so that the respondent might feel more freedom from pressure while making the major responses. This change also simplified the subsequent coding and punching operations. A separate recording pad was provided, because the inter- viewers were instructed to record information verbatim as far as was possible, while following the outline of the questionnaire. The com- pletec} mimeographed questionnaire was attached to the written materi- al upon completion of the interview. Checks were made of interviewers in the field; these checks gave every evidence that the interviewers were consistently reliable and trustworthy. Because of the delay in getting a full team of interviewers into the field, we began to consider discontinuance of the time-con- suming proce s s of seeking specific respondents . The alternative was 83
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to take any resident at the assigned address. It was obvious that with increased passage of time, there was likely to be a decrease in the validity of the responses. However, we decided to continue with the original technique in order to ensure a statistically unbiased sample, and we completed the required number of interviews as rapidly as we could. A comparison of some of the last interviews with those ob- tained almost two weeks before failed to disclose any differences which we could attribute to the difference in tissue. 84
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DATA SHEET Name Addr e s s Soc-Econ A B Occupation of Respondent Di saster -r elated Job Total No . in Household Length of re sidence in P. J e Evacuated befor e Saturday night ? Y N P roperty damage by flood ? IRHR PROJECT DAM PJNY AUG 55 M F Age Date Ward 1 2 D Car Y X sts. N Phone Y N Of Spouse No. children under 10 at home Last school grade Y ~Spe city: Any relatives or close friends who suffered flood loss? Y N Specify: Any flood victims staying with you before or during this report? Y N Who (relationship) & _ When . Any previous experience similar to this situation? perience with flood, combat, etc. ~ Specify (probe for prior ex . . . Leave Saturday night? Y N Interviewer Interview # Random # 85
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INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH IN HUMAN RELATIONS PJNY A. SITUATION 1. On the Saturday night after the flood, did you hear the report that He dam had broken? What happened to you at the time ? (a) Where? (b) What doing? (c) With whom? (Number and relationship) B. NATURE AND SOURCE OF REPORT - 1. What did you hear and see? (exactly) 2. Whom did you hear it from? 3. What time was it? C. REACTION TO REPORT . 1. What did you think at first when you heard report? 2. How did you feel? 3. Did you feel you or your family were in danger? What did you think would happen? (If the dam had broken) (Specify which dam) 4. How long did you think it would be befo re the wale r got her e ? 5. What did you do ? (Trace action sequence) ( a) Did you c ontact anyone ? (1) Who? (2) How? (3) Why? (4) What was said? (b) Did you le eve place wher e you we r e ? (c) Where did you go ? (Spe cify) (d) What did you have in mind? (e) Who waswithyou? (f) Did you take anything with you? 86
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D. REACTIONS OF OTHERS TO REPORT 1. What did people around you do at time you heard report? 2. How were they acting ? (Probe) 3. What were people in your neighborhood doing? (Probe for how many stayed home) E. NATURE AND SOURCE OF COUNTER INFORMATION 1. When did you hear r eport was false ? 2. Who told you? 3. How? (Exactly - and medium) 4. How many times did you hear He report was false ? (Probe for sources and content) F. REACTIONS TO COUNTER INFORMATION . . 1. What did you think when you heard the report was false ? (Belief) 2. What did you do when you first heard it was false? Then what? (Trace action and communication sequence) 3. When did you finally return home (if left) 4. When were you finally sure that everything was all right? G. BACKGROUND FACTORS 1. Had you heard ably previous rumors that the dam might break? (Describe) 2. What sort of people did an especially good job during the flood? (Probe for agencies or persons respondent looked to for aid or information) 3. Ar e there any who should have done more ? 4. How did the Civil Defens e do ? H. RESULT OF EXPERIENCE . . 1. After the flood, did you Intake any preparations for future emergencies ? 87
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Z. Do you think you could do anything different if you heard a threaten ing repor! again? (~robe for specific differences) 3. Did you use We telephone? Who ? Where ? When ? In a similar emergency Mom would you call? Why? 4. no you think you learned anything from this that gill be helpful to others? 88
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Thank You fo r Your Help ! Your interviewer and the Institute for Research in Human Relations want to thank you for your help and time. The knowledge which we gained in talking with you about your experience during the flood will be of great value to other p eople who may have to face si milar eme rgencie s in the future. Perhaps you would like to have a written statement concerning some of the questions that people often ask about the study we are doing. WHY IS THIS S T UDY B KING MADE ? The purpose of this study is to get a true picture of what happens to people in a disaster, so that '~'ore effective plans can be made for meeting the problems which emergencies bring. WHO IS SPONSORING THIS STUDY? . . The Institute for Research in Human Relations has been asked to make the study by the Federal Civil Defense "Administration and the Committee on Disaster Studies, National Research Council, Washington, D. C. WHAT IS THE INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH IN HUMAN RELATIONS ? The Institute is a private non-profit scientific organization, that maintains offices in Philadelphia and conducts field research in many cities throughout our country. WHO ARE THE INTERVIE WERS ? _ . . The interviewer s worldng on this study are profe s signal re search people who have had sp e cial tr aining in inter viewing . They ar e s ele ate ~ f o r the j ob because they are easy to talk to. The statements you make will not be revealed to anyone by the interviewer or by the organization. Each interviewer carries an identification card signed by the Director of the Institute. HOW WILL THE THINGS I SAY BE REPORTED? Your answers and statements will be strictly confidential. Your name or other identification is never used. Only summaries of statements will be pub- lished -- such as, "one person out of ten reported Hat . . . " HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS STUDY? If you have any other questions, we will be glad to answer them for you. Mr. Elliott Danzig, the study director, and his assistants, Mr. Paul Thayer aunt Mr. James Keenan maintain offices at Room 1 in the Health Center and will be happy to talk with you. The telephone number is 4-4072. 89
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