An emergency preparedness framework for Sand and Dust Storms (SDSs) in Kuwait

Al qattan, MHAAA 2021, An emergency preparedness framework for Sand and Dust Storms (SDSs) in Kuwait , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Background The current literature suggests that there is a lack of preparedness framework for Sand and Dust Storms (SDSs) globally and regionally and the existing disaster response strategies are not fit for purpose. Evidence suggests that research is warranted in this area. Thus, this research aims to investigate and develop the emergency preparedness framework for SDSs in the state of Kuwait. Methods: In this research an initial framework was designed to inform further research. Consequently, to understand what the current level of preparedness for SDSs within Kuwait is, and what is the possible method to integrate community-based approaches within existing disaster mitigation frameworks. Two studies using different methods were planned and conducted in Kuwait City. The first study was a questionnaire-based study that was distributed to 700 members of the community, of which only 398 responded. The second study involved interviewing 26 members of the emergency services. The results of the two studies were used for the development of the emergency preparedness framework. This in turn was used in the discussion held in the form of focus group study with 12 top emergency managers for framework validation. Results The findings showed that people in Kuwait consider SDS to be very severe and are aware of SDS related to health issues. However, when it came measures that need to be taken due to SDS the Kuwait community were unaware on what needs to be done. The respondents accept that there is more to be done by emergency departments during SDSs. Surprisingly, health organization was not significant in any preparedness plans according to members of the community. The findings also showed that SDSs responders need to change their approaches to improve their reaction time during SDS events. The Kuwaiti community was not satisfied with the information that was published on SDSs or with the support that was provided by civil defense, fire department, emergency services, red cross, and health organization. The Kuwaiti community did not attend or get involved with aspects related to SDSs, such as sharing knowledge and responsibility through attending meetings, developing emergency plans, preparing emergency supply kits, or training others. Interviews with experts showed that the challenges that faces SDSs preparedness were slow warning system, pressure on financial resources and on emergency agencies, need to coordinate efforts and develop a disaster management framework, improve communications, training and research and allocate the proper resources. The framework resulted from the first two studies suggested different measures to control SDSs including long-term measures such stabilizing the soil and improving warning system. Global cooperation was also lacking at the moment in Kuwait response to SDSs according to some experts’ views. In the focus group 5 themes were identified. These were the need to improve preparedness, the need for education at all levels, better coordination between agencies, improve warning system and communication and implementing long-term solutions. Conclusion The results suggest that the preparedness plan in Kuwait should be improved and the main point raised is the need of establishing an authority to coordinate the effort of the different departments to deals with SDSs. There is also a need for a broad and specific education programme and training plan to improve both the governmental and the community-based response. The final emergency preparedness framework, presented here, is a starting point to increase the maturity level of emergency preparedness XIV and to undertake further research. Recommendations • Through SDSs bespoke governmental regulations and the relevant legislations the response to SDSs must be improved according to research findings and expert views and recommendation from global organizations of concern such as WHO. • Education of the community on SDSs must be part of a campaign to raise the readiness of the community. • A central coordinating authority to deal with SDSs should be created and coordinate all actions on the preparedness plan as per the framework. • Continuous feedback and dissemination of information between different Ministries and Departments is essential. • Provide training for all emergency departments to enable them to act swiftly when SDS events are happening. • Global and regional cooperation is also essential. • Active research targeted at improving preparedness should be prioritised and disseminate findings. • All media outlets should be activated when early warning system provide information about an SDS event. • The community at large, including nomads and marginalised groups, should engage in the SDSs preparedness plan.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Aziz, ZUH (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Funders: State of Kuwait
Depositing User: MUSAED H A A A Al qattan
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2021 09:15
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2021 02:30

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