Dennis Mileti

Dennis Mileti
University of Colorado Boulder | CUB · Department of Sociology

Ph.D.

About

114
Publications
47,134
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
6,669
Citations
Additional affiliations
June 1994 - May 2004
University of Colorado Boulder
Position
  • Director, Natural Hazards Center; Chair Dept. of Sociolgy

Publications

Publications (114)
Article
Full-text available
Given the potential of modern warning technology to save lives, discovering whether it is possible to craft mobile alerts for imminent events in a way that reduces people’s tendency to seek and confirm information before initiating protective action is essential. The purpose of this study was to examine the possibility of designing messages for mob...
Article
Research examining whether visuals improve publics’ crisis and disaster information comprehension is scarce despite the increasing popularity of infographics and visual-based social media in public relations practice. One disaster communication platform that is ideal for testing the potential effects of visuals on helping publics protect themselves...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates how people interpret Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) and Twitter-length messages (‘tweets’) delivered over mobile devices for an unfamiliar hazard. Specifically, through four (N = 31) focus groups and 31 think-out-loud interviews, participants’ understanding of, belief in and personalisation of WEAs and tweets were assessed...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Natural scientists, like many other experts, face challenges when communicating to people outside their fields of expertise. This is especially true when they try to communicate to those whose background, knowledge, and experience are far distant from that field of expertise. At a recent workshop, experts in risk communication offered insights into...
Article
In 2011, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began authorizing emergency management officials to broadcast Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) to cellular phones and other mobile devices to help notify people of imminent hazards. WEAs are 90-characters long, geographically targeted emergency messages sent by government alerting authori...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores and specifies the impact of risk perception on household preparedness for terrorism based on a representative sample of households in the United States. This was done by constructing a path model, which included factors that both predict risk perception and others that mediate its effect on preparedness behaviors. An unweighte...
Article
The National Survey of Disaster Experiences and Preparedness (NSDEP) examined whether households in the United States have engaged in proactive preparedness and avoidance activities since September 11, 2001, and whether the activities reported were done because of terrorism, natural disasters, other reasons, or any combination of reasons. Reported...
Article
We propose a shift in emphasis when communicating to people when the objective is to motivate household disaster preparedness actions. This shift is to emphasize the communication of preparedness actions (what to do about risk) rather than risk itself. We have called this perspective "communicating actionable risk," and it is grounded in diffusion...
Article
An earthquake planning scenario document was recently released by the USGS and California Geological Survey that hypothesizes the occurrence and effects of a MW7.8 earthquake on the southern San Andreas Fault. It was created by more than 300 scientists and engineers. Fault offsets reach 13m, and up to 8m at lifeline crossings. Physics-based modelin...
Article
This paper describes a hypothetical scenario of public response to a large regional earthquake on the southern section of the San Andreas Fault. Conclusive social and behavioral science research over decades has established that the behavior of individuals in disaster is, on the whole, controlled, rational, and adaptive, despite popular mispercepti...
Article
The government and people of the United States were profoundly affected by the terrorist events of September 11, 2001. Despite the rapid succession of surveys and polls focused on people's reactions to 9/11 that were conducted shortly after the event, much remains unknown about the details of how it affected people's behavior and readiness for futu...
Article
The terrorist events of September 11, 2001 were followed by a dramatic increase in public education and information efforts to improve preparations for disasters across our nation. Using the State of California as a case study, this article provides an overview of existing public education campaigns intended to enhance readiness; identifies shortco...
Article
On September 11, 2001, two airplanes hit World Trade Center (WTC) 1 and 2 sixteen minutes apart, which forced one of the largest evacuations from high-rise buildings in US history. Path analysis is used to analyze telephone data obtained from WTC survivors to empirically determine if the theories from community evacuation hold true for building fir...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, the associations between international students' socio-demographic and personal characteristics and their views about problems at a variety of levels; world, country, and as sojourners at Boulder, were examined. A brief, web-based questionnaire was administered to 1199 students through a special edition of an electronic newsletter fr...
Conference Paper
Background: Public education efforts to enhance disaster preparedness have been increasing. These education campaigns often deliver the same basic messages but use different typologies or do not use any organizational structure at all, which may confuse the audience. The goal of this study was to integrate recommended preparedness actions from vari...
Article
Each of the following authors brings his own distinguished viewpoint on the history and future directions for [seismic] risk assessment. Robert Whitman focuses on the lessons learned from regional seismic risk assessments, including the need for clearly defined objectives for successful outcomes; accounting for user needs in loss estimates; assessi...
Article
This presentation summarizes the findings from previous research in the social sciences regarding the factors and processes that enhance the effectivenss of public education efforts for household mitigation and preparedness actions for earthquakes. The conclusions from this research base include that the most effective efforts are those that are de...
Article
Full-text available
A model facilitating the prediction of organizational persistence or dissolution is presented through a series of propositions. Environmental change, community demands for service, organizational capacity, formalization, and task orientations are identified as important dimensions in determining the probability of organizational emergence, maintena...
Article
An integrated conceptual framework acceptable across different disciplines and theoretical perspectives is presented. The scheme promotes one aspect of organizational environments, the cultural context, as crucial to explaining organizational structure or behavior. By crosstabulating member consensus and community consensus consistent predictions r...
Chapter
This paper presents the findings of the NIST World Trade Center Investigation describing the occupant evacuation of WTC 1 and WTC 2 on September 11, 2001. The egress system, including stairwells and elevators, is described along with the evacuation procedures. The population in WTC 1 and WTC 2 on September 11, 2001 at 8:46 a.m. is enumerated and de...
Article
A model of public perception and response to communication about natural hazards risk was constructed. It was estimated on data from samples of households in three communities at risk in the Parkfield earthquake prediction experiment. Estimated model parameters revealed consistent conclusions. Communicated risk information that was reinforced throu...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes the evacuation of the population of Cancun, Mexico during Hurricane Gilbert, and identifies some of the correlates of their evacuation behavior. The information was collected during a post-disaster visit conducted one week after impact (September 13, 1988) and as part of a survey a year later of a random sample of 431 persons 1...
Chapter
It has become clear that natural and related technological hazards and disasters are not problems that can be solved in isolation. The occurrence of disasters is a symptom of broader and more basic social problems. Since 1994, a team of over 100 expert academics and practitioners — including members of the private sector — have assessed, evaluated,...
Article
This chapter focuses on the sociological dimensions of earthquake mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Social scientists have identified several “natural” societal groupings (or “units of analysis”) by which they can organize their research in the field: the individual, family, organizations, and communities. Individuals and families a...
Article
In this paper we examine the effects of different components of corporate culture on two different categories of action in both routine and jolted environments. Data were collected on a heterogeneous sample of 54 corporations in the San Francisco Bay Area. We examined how the values, knowledge, and practices dimensions of corporate culture influenc...
Article
It has become clear that natural and related technological hazards and disasters are not a problem that can be solved in isolation. Rather, the occurrence of a disaster is a symptom of broader and more basic problems. Since 1994 a team of over 100 expert academics and practitioners—including some from the private sector—have assessed, evaluated, an...
Article
Full-text available
This article reviews the process of public response to warnings of an impending nuclear power plant emergency. Significant evidence exists to suggest that people engage in protective action in response to warnings based upon the substance and course through which emergency warning information is disseminated. The three basic components of a warning...
Book
Full-text available
Disasters by Design provides an alternative and sustainable way to view, study, and manage hazards in the United States that would result in disaster-resilient communities, higher environmental quality, inter- and intragenerational equity, economic sustainability, and improved quality of life. This volume provides an overview of what is known about...
Article
The United States of America is experiencing a staggering increase in property losses and human suffering caused by natural hazards, despite the nation's scientific knowledge and technical capability to understand the causes of natural hazards and measures to reduce damages from them. To analyze this seeming paradox, the nation recently completed a...
Article
Full-text available
We assessed public response to an earthquake prediction for the San Francisco, Bay Area on a sample of households from eight Bay Area counties. Descriptive findings suggested that an earthquake culture exists in the study population. We tested criticisms of interactionist theory - its failure to take motives for behavior and social position into ac...
Article
The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
Article
Arguments presented in this paper are intended to initiate the discourse needed to link natural hazards with the sustainability concept while striving to expand the current natural hazards paradigm in the US., Natural hazards losses are primarily the consequence of unsustainable development. A progressive natural hazards paradigm calls for broader...
Chapter
Warnings systems for floods are defined from a public response viewpoint. The factors that influence public response to flood warnings are then reviewed and synthesized. Finally, how to use what is known about public response to flood warnings in planning and practice is presented.
Chapter
Efforts in the United States continue to communicate information about earthquake risk to the public. These efforts fall into two categories. First, risk is communicated to inform and educate citizens about general earthquake risk. Second, risk is communicated in reference to the prediction of warning of a specific impending earthquake. Central to...
Article
Ever since 1985, when the U.S. Geological Survey issued a formal earthquake forecast for the region surrounding Parkfield, California, area residents have been receiving a steady stream of information about the nature of the predicted earthquake and about preparations they could make to reduce the quake's potential damage. A recent survey of area r...
Article
The theory of risk communication was tested with data on public perception of risk and response to aftershock warnings during the post-impact Loma Prieta earthquake emergency. Findings from samples of households in Santa Cruz and San Francisco Counties were consistent, confirm established propositions, and suggest theoretical refinement. It was con...
Article
The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
Chapter
As the diversity of themes in this volume suggests, risk communication covers a broad range of activities. Some of these activities have been developed under the rubric of risk communication programs. Others have existed prior to the development of the risk communication concept. One such activity is providing information and education to the publi...
Chapter
In the spring of 1988 the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services disseminated a brochure announcing the Parkfield Earthquake Prediction to residents of a six-county area expected to be affected by the next Parkfield earthquake. This research employed a quasi-experimental research design for determining the impact of damaging earthquake...
Article
This article emphasizes practical lessons from the Loma Prieta Earthquake regarding socioeconomic impacts and the emergency response of local, State and Federal authorities and makes recommendations to improve seismic safety and earthquake awareness in California and other parts of the country vulnerable to earthquakes.
Article
Full-text available
More than 200 studies of warning systems and warning response were reviewed for this social science perspective and state-of-the-art assessment of communication of emergency public warnings. The major findings are as follows. First, variations in the nature and content of warnings have a large impact on whether or not the public heeds the warning....
Article
Over 200 studies of warning systems and warning response were reviewed. The major findings are presented in this paper.
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we address five questions that are frecuently asked in the context of emergency planning for various accidents and disaster. The questions are as follows. First, how long does it take to warn a population about a crisis? Second, how many people evacuate in an emergency situation? Third, when do people evacuate? Fourth, do people evacu...
Article
attempts to encourage the adoption of actions that increase protection against natural hazards and disasters specific programs designed to influence human behavior and response to natural hazards are described (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
This research assesses issues and criticisms of evacuation planning for all hazards under an integrated emergency management concept and reviews research that addresses those issues. The work identifies gaps in knowledge about evacuation planning issues and research that can address these gaps. Over 300 documents were reviewed and abstracted, and k...
Article
Sumario: Organizational effectiveness in disaster warnings -- Organizational effectiveness in disaster impact -- Interorganizational effectiveness in disaster warnings -- Interorganizational effectiveness in disaster impact -- Organizational and network effectiveness: a theoretical integration.
Chapter
The phenomenon of stress in disasters and emergencies has been examined in a variety of ways over several decades. Results are not cumulative, and a wide range of opinion exists as to the stress impacts of disasters and emergencies on psychological stress. At the same time, stress does have a variety of meanings. Stress--as fear and anxiety versus...
Article
For natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornados, prediction systems and public warning programs have been operational for many years. Earthquake prediction, however, is only an emerging technology. Given the potential for catastrophe in a large earthquake and the great difficulty in specifying time, location and magnitude of impact, certain s...
Conference Paper
The siting of hazardous waste facilities has been, and will likely continue to be, both an important societal need and a publically controversial topic. Sites have been denounced, shamed, banned, and moved at the same time that the national need for their installation and use has grown. Despite available technologies and physical science capabiliti...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose was to describe the processes of evacuation decision-making, identify and document uncertainties in that process and discuss implications for federal assumption of liability for precautionary evacuations at nuclear facilities under the Price-Anderson Act. Four major categories of uncertainty are identified concerning the interpretation...
Article
Efforts by social scientists to investigate behavioral aspects of earthquakes are few when compared to other disasterinducing natural phenomena. Nevertheless, completed studies reveal patterns of findings similar to those found in other disaster investigations; and social scientific earthquake investigations promise to be more frequent in the futur...
Article
A model combining structural and interorganizational causes of the decentralization of decision-making was constructed to investigate the merits of intra versus interorganizational determinants of decentralization in organizations. Relationships in the model were estimated with data from a sample of American corporations. The estimated parameters o...
Article
The utility of heterogeneous versus homogeneous samples in comparative organizational research is appraised through a path analytic comparison of the relationships between organizational size, spatial, vertical and horizontal differentiation established with samples representing different degrees of homo-heterogeneity. A causal model is estimated o...
Article
Interface between human and natural environments typically involves adjustments made by social systems to the routine of nature. Extremes in the natural processes which comprise the physical environment impose disaster when they interact with social systems that have emphasized adjustment to the physical world on the basis of the routine of nature...
Article
Two models of organization-environment relations are examined. One postulates organizational structure or behavior as contingent on environments; organizations are viewed as adapting to environmental changes. Conversely, the second model postulates environments as dependent upon organizations; organizations are viewed as actively manipulating envir...
Article
A path model of structural change and growth for complex organizations was constructed to investigate relationships between organizational size and spatial, vertical, and horizontal complexity. It was estimated using data from a heterogeneous sample of federal and state agencies located in California. The findings alter and extend the explanatory s...
Article
"Technology" has been elusively defined, reified, treated solely as an independent variable, applied wholistically to organizations, confused with structure, crudely measured, and studied mainly in manufacturing firms. Some conceptual and methodological problems associated with the concept can be reduced by a heuristic scheme, which suggests variab...
Article
Full-text available
Earthquake prediction is a new technology soon to be added to the other adjustments which can be used by a community to cope with the earthquake hazard. Governmental and business organisations will be faced with new challenges when a specific earthquake prediction is issued for their area. Research on organisational response to such a prediction in...
Article
A formal model is developed facilitating (1) an integration of theories dealing with organization-environment interaction, and (2) an explanation of how an organization's boundaries become increasingly permeated by the environment. It is argued that rates of change per se represent the principal impetus in promoting adaptive exchanges between an or...