"Structural Network Analysis of Disaster Response" (MS Word DOC: 137KB)
Author: Peter A. Simon

Immediately after a major disaster, such as the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, there is a vacuum of leadership. Through either accident or design, a leadership structure arises to take over the task of coordinating the rescue and restore operations. This emergent integrated crises management unit ICMU becomes the focal point of a vast network of rescue workers. The details of the structure and dynamics of this network can be studied using theories from social network theory and graph theory (Wasserman and Faust, 1994). A better understanding of the network can lead to a more rapid coalescing, hence, increasing effectiveness of a rescue effort.