Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Urban & Regional Planning


Urban and Regional Planning

First Advisor

Damian Pitt


This thesis explores the expectation gap and how it relates to the field of emergency management. As disasters become more commonplace, many citizens have high expectations of their governments, which results in a lack of individual disaster preparation. This thesis analyzed the current state of community education and engagement programs, use of best practices by governments and inter-agency cooperation and partnerships. The research consisted of fifteen interviews with emergency management professionals representing local, state, and federal government as well as the private sector. The results show limited public participation, as well as issues with crisis communications systems. Over 80% of research participants noted lack of disaster education programs as a serious issue. The results also show differences between expectation levels across demographic groups, limited educational program accessibility for minority populations and a difference in expectations between urban and rural residents.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

January 2014