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Disaster preparedness among
disaster management agency
oﬃcers: a study from rural and
urban areas in Aceh, Indonesia
Department of Medical and Surgical Nursing, Faculty of Nursing,
Universitas Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Faculty of Nursing, Universitas Syiah Kuala,
Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Department of Nursing Leadership & Management, Faculty of Nursing,
Universitas Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and
Syarifah Rauzatul Jannah
Department of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, Faculty of Nursing,
Universitas Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Purpose –The purpose of this study is to identify the preparedness of disaster mitigation agency ofﬁcers in
both urban and rural areas as high vulnerability zones in Aceh, Indonesia, in dealing with disasters.
Design/methodology/approach –This cross-sectionalstudy adopted a conceptual framework from the
Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and United Nations of Educational, Scientiﬁc, and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO)/International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) (LIPI-UNESCO/ISDR, 2006),
explaining the study of community preparedness in anticipating earthquake and tsunami disasters. The
framework of the study consists of ﬁve disaster preparedness parameters, namely, knowledge and attitude to
face disasters, policies and guidelines, emergency response plans, disaster early warning systems and
mobilization of resources. This conceptual framework was developed after the 2004 tsunami through an
analysis study in the three provinces in Indonesia (Aceh, Padang and Bengkulu) experiencing earthquakes
and tsunamis. This conceptual framework serves as a guideline and is in line with the objective of the regional
disaster management Agency to reduce disaster risk through increasing community preparedness, especially
providers or ofﬁcers in anticipating disasters.
Findings –There was a signiﬁcant difference in disaster preparedness among ofﬁcers from the urban and
rural areas. The area size, location accessibility, the communication network and disaster detection and
warning facilities could associate with the results.
The authors are grateful to the Head of the Disaster Management Agency in both areas for their
willingness to facilitate the study process. Furthermore, the authors would like to express sincere
thank you to all respondents in both DMAOs for their participation in the study.
Author contributions: Concept and design (CH), data collection (RF), analysis and interpretation of
data (CH and DM), manuscript draft (CH, EW and RF), critical revision of the manuscript (CH, EW
and SRJ), ﬁnal approval of the manuscript (CH, RF, EW and SRJ).
Conﬂicts of interest: None declared.
Received 7 February2021
Revised 25 March 2021
7 May 2021
Accepted 11 May 2021
International Journal of Disaster
Resilience in the Built
© Emerald Publishing Limited
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Research limitations/implications –The respondents were selected from only two districts in Aceh
Province, Indonesia, which are vulnerable to disasters. The study only identiﬁes the disaster preparedness
among disaster management agency ofﬁcers (DMAOs) adopted from LIPI-UNESCO/ISDR about community
preparedness in anticipating disasters particularly tsunami and earthquake. Therefore, the results of this
study may have limited generalizability to other areas in Indonesia and beyond.
Practical implications –The results of this study could possibly serve as recommendations for
policymakers and disaster management agencies, particularly in rural areas to prepare contingency plans
that involve both internal and external institutions to arrange the regulations related to community-based
emergency response plans and disaster early warning systems. Such programs of education, training and
disaster drill needed to be in place and conducted regularly for the ofﬁcers in a rural area. Finally, the other
sub-scales showed no difference in disaster preparedness, however, collaboration and support to each other in
disaster risk reduction plan by improving the capacity building, policy enhancement and disaster
management guidelines are required. Also, attempts to optimize logistics adequacy, budget allocations and
disaster preparedness education and training for both DMAOs are strongly recommended through the lens of
the study. The results of the study might useful for further research that could be developed based on this
Originality/value –The emergency response plans and disasterearly warning systems were signiﬁcantly
different between the rural and urban ofﬁcers in disaster preparedness. Attending disaster management
programs, experiences in responding to disasters and the availability of facilities and funds could be
considered in ascertaining the preparedness of ofﬁcers to deal with disasters.
Keywords Preparedness, Disaster, Mitigation, Agency, Ofﬁcers, Respond,
Disaster mitigation agency
Paper type Research paper
Indonesia is one of the most vulnerable and disaster risk countries in the world. Apart from
being the largest archipelagic country, the Indonesian islands are located on three tectonic
plates, namely, Australia, Paciﬁc and Eurasian plates, with more than 128 active volcanoes
and about 150 rivers across the regions. This condition makes the country vulnerable to
earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and landslides (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan
Bencana/National Board for Disaster Management, 2014;Febriana and Abubakar, 2015;
Husna et al., 2020a;Yanuarto et al., 2019). Disasters are a real threat to Indonesian society. It
has experienced many incidences, such as the 2004 Aceh Tsunami, the 2006 Yogyakarta
earthquake, the 2010 eruption of Mount Merapi in Central Java, the 2010 MentawaiTsunami
and various other disasters. These disasters are the evidence of the country’s high
vulnerability to such events (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana Aceh/National
Board for Disaster Management of Aceh, 2015). Disasters cause physical harm, injury,
disability, death of humans and economic problems, therefore, all elements of society have
an important role to play before, during and after an incident (Bazyar et al.,2020;Husna
et al., 2020b). However, Husna et al. (2020c) argued that even though such incidents occur
periodically, the preparedness of the community, government and disaster management
agencies in responding to a disaster remains inadequate.
Aceh is one of the provinces in Indonesia that is highly vulnerable to disasters (Husna
et al., 2011). Based on a report from the Aceh Disaster Management Agency, in 2018, this
province had been suffered from 294 natural disasters causing great losses of life and
properties. This number was signiﬁcantly higher by 64% from that recorded in 2017. Other
data related to disasters included 143 residential ﬁres, 93 tornadoes, 90 ﬂoods and 44 forests
or land ﬁres (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana/National Board for Disaster
Management, 2019). Banda Aceh city is an urban area and also the capital city of Aceh
Province, Indonesia. The city is about 1–3 km from the coastline and some of its areas are in
the lowlands. In 2019, the city had a population of 270,321 people, while Aceh Besar district
(rural area) had 425,216 people. Both urban and rural areas in Aceh are at risk and
vulnerable to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, tornadoes, ﬁres
and ﬂoods. Aceh Besar, a rural area district, consists of 23 sub-districts and 604 villages and
is located adjacent to Banda Aceh, the urban area consisting of 9 sub-districts and 90
villages. The rural area is larger than the urban area, but both areas have a similarity in
personnel, facilities and resources required for disaster risk reduction (Badan Pusat Statistik
Provinsi Aceh, 2020).
The 2004 tsunami seriously affected both of these areas in Aceh. Therefore, as an effort
to anticipate and prepare for future disasters, the Disaster Management Agency has
prepared ofﬁcers through various disaster preparedness training programs, such as disaster
management, rescue, handling and assistance in an evacuation, water rescue, simulation of
early warning systems and socialization of disaster resilient village. Meanwhile, the rural
area is also close to the coastline and has some areas in the lowlands. Based on the recorded
activities of Disaster Mitigation Agency ofﬁcers, their team regularly collaborates with the
Provincial Disaster Management Agency to conduct disaster preparedness training for
ofﬁcers, earthquakes and tsunamis drills and create villages and schools-based disaster
response teams. Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency Ofﬁcers play an important role for
every disaster management phase: mitigation, preparedness and response to disasters.
Disaster Management Agency was established to deal with disasters from a government to
community-oriented approach (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana Aceh/National
Board for Disaster Management of Aceh, 2015).
Preparedness is part of the disaster management phases. LIPI-UNESCO/ISDR (2006)
argued that government, community and individual are required to be prepared to respond
to disasters. Disaster preparedness includes preparation of disaster management plans,
maintenance of resources and personnel training. According to LIPI-UNESCO ISDR (2006),
there are ﬁve parameters used in assessing the level of preparedness in anticipating
disasters, namely, knowledge and attitudes to face disasters; policies and guidelines;
emergency response plan; disaster early warning system; and resource mobilization.
Disaster management agency ofﬁcer (DMAO) ofﬁcers’knowledge includes preparing a
disaster risk assessment area, how to control disaster impacts and understanding school
and community-based disaster risk reduction curricula (BNPB, 2008). Moreover, policies and
guidelines constitute substantial efforts to carry out disaster preparedness activities,
including public education policies, emergency response plans, disaster warning systems,
funding, organizational involvement, human resources and essential facilities for disaster
emergency responses. Furthermore, disaster emergency response plans are related to
techniques for evacuating disaster victims, providing ﬁrst aid and rescue to disaster victims
(Yanuarto et al.,2019).
Disaster warning systems include disaster warning signs and distribution information
about disaster response. DMAO should be well-educated about disaster risk assessment
documents for high-risk disaster areas and evacuation procedures. The disaster warning
systems could apply the local wisdom and technological approaches. Furthermore, resource
mobilization is related to strengthening resources and facilities, including human resources,
funding and facilities for emergency response and disaster preparedness. Resource
mobilization requires support from communities, organizations, government and non-
government organizations to introduce promotion on disaster, information and disaster
simulations to the community (LIPI-UNESCO/ISDR, 2006).
Disaster preparedness is considered highly signiﬁcant to investigate because both areas
were severely affected by the 2004 tsunami. Besides, 15 years after the tsunami, DMAO had
been trained by the government and non-government organizations to reduce disaster risk
and improve community-based disaster response. Training programs increased knowledge,
skills and attitudes toward disaster management (Ahayalimudin and Osman, 2016). Such
competencies are useful in implementing relevant programs for disaster management and
ensuring disaster preparedness in communities. This is supported by Nilsson et al. (2013),
who underlined that disaster simulations, such as burn management, provided signiﬁcant
learning curve and positive outcomes in managing patients during simulation.
Furthermore, a study conducted by Tanesab (2020) revealed that the national and
regional disaster management authorities in Indonesia are ineffective due to a lack of
effective communication, coordination, collaboration and synchronization in disaster risk
reduction. Other constraining factors, such as limited leadership capability in decision-
making through vertical and horizontal negotiations and a lack of persuasive approaches to
involve the community in all disaster management cycles were also stated. In contrast, a
study by Febriana and Abubakar (2015) reported that DMAO in urban areas of Aceh was
well-prepared (82%) in facing the earthquake, but, on the other side, they were found to be
less knowledgeable toward disasters, and therefore, required further training programs and
dissemination on disaster preparedness. However, limited studies available that reported
DMAO preparedness in rural areas. It is expected that both areas are comparable in disaster
preparedness because they possess equal capacities and facilities provided by the Aceh
Government. The results of this study would be beneﬁcial in guiding the development of a
community-based disaster plan, community-based disaster curricula or drafting disaster
risk reduction regulations.
The objective of the study was to identify the preparedness of Aceh’s disaster mitigation
agency ofﬁcers in both urban and rural areas.
This cross-sectional study adopted a conceptual framework from the Indonesian Institute of
Sciences (LIPI) and UNESCO/ISDR (LIPI-UNESCO/ISDR, 2006), explaining the study of
community preparedness in anticipating earthquake and tsunami disasters. The framework
of the study consists of ﬁve disaster preparedness parameters, namely, knowledge and
attitude to face disasters, policies and guidelines, emergency response plans, disaster early
warning systems and mobilization of resources. The concept was developed after the 2004
tsunami through an analysis study in three provinces in Indonesia (i.e. Aceh, Padang and
Bengkulu). This conceptual framework serves as a guideline and is in line with the objective
of the Regional Disaster Management Agency to reduce disaster risk by increasing
community preparedness, especially providers or ofﬁcers in anticipating disasters.
The purposive sampling technique was conducted with the following criteria, namely,
ofﬁcers with a service period of 2 years, active in disaster management activities in the
past year and not on leave or free of duty. The samples were 43 respondents from each
DMAO in urban and rural areas, making up the total samples of 86 respondents.
The instrument for data collection was a questionnaire consisting of 49 dichotomous items
to measure the DMAO’s knowledge and attitudes in disaster preparedness, policies and
guidelines, emergency response plans, early warning systems and resource mobilization.
This questionnaire was developed based on the conceptual framework of LIPI-UNESCO/
ISDR (2006) concerning the study of community preparedness in anticipating earthquakes
and tsunamis. There has been an existing questionnaire to measure disaster preparedness
among the community in anticipating earthquakes and tsunamis. However, some of these
items are less relevant for measuring DMAO preparedness. Hence, they must be revised to
suit the context under study. Therefore, this questionnaire was re-tested for its validity and
reliability. It was tested for content validity by three experts at the Faculty of Nursing,
Universitas Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh, Indonesia and the reliability score showed by
Cronbach alpha (9.74). Based on these tests, the questionnaire was declared valid and
reliable. Written informed consent was sought before data collection, and all respondents
were willing to involve in the study.
This study respect to the principles in nursing research. This study was approved by the
Ethics Committee Team of the Faculty of Nursing, Universitas Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh,
Indonesia with No. 11290319019 dated April 2, 2019.
Descriptive statistics were conducted in data processing and the data normality was
determined by the Kolmogorov Smirnov test (p<0.05). The test is the most widely used
method to examine the data normality. The parametric independent sample t-test was used
to examine the mean differences in disaster preparedness among DMAO in both areas.
Statistical data analysis was conducted using the SPPS version 12, with p<0.05 as the
Respondent data include age, gender, highest education, marital status, years of service,
disaster training attendance, experience in dealing with disasters and income. The results of
demographic data for the ofﬁcers in both urban and rural areas are presented in Table 1.
Table 1 showed that the respondents’age is mainly 46–55 years old (51.2%) in the urban
area, and 23–25 years old (53.5%) in the rural area; ofﬁcers in both areas are dominated by
male with 79.1% and 76.7% in the urban and rural areas, respectively. Most ofﬁcers in
urban and rural areas have the bachelor’s education, 79.1% and 67.4%, respectively. The
working experience of most ofﬁcers in urban areas is 16–20 years (39.5%), while it is 1–
5 years (44.2%) for rural areas. In terms of disaster training attendance, training in disaster
management is mostly attended by the ofﬁcers in both areas, 25.5% and 14% for urban and
rural areas. Also, they are most experienced in dealing with disasters for ﬂoods, earthquakes
The results of the disaster preparedness among DMAO in urban and rural areas facing
the disasters are shown in Table 2.
The results showed a signiﬁcant difference in disaster preparedness among DMAO in
both urban and rural areas, with the mean 6SD (40.7764.202) and (38.40 66.060),
respectively (p-value = 0.038). This result means that urban area ofﬁcers are well-prepared
to anticipate disaster than those in the rural area.
Table 3 showed that of the six sub-scales for disaster preparedness parameters among
DMAO, only the emergency response plan and disaster early warning system had
signiﬁcant differences between urban and rural areas, with p-values of 0.042 and 0.048,
respectively. These results indicate that urban area has been well-anticipated for disaster
(DMAO) (n= 86)
Urban area Rural area
(f) (%) (f) (%)
1. Age (year)
23–35 5 11.6 23 53.5
36–45 16 37.2 8 18.6
46–55 22 51.2 12 27.9
Male 34 79.1 33 76.7
Female 9 20.9 10 23.3
3. Highest education
High school 9 20.9 14 32.6
Bachelor 34 79.1 29 67.4
4. Marital status
Married 43 100 28 65.1
Single 0 0 15 34.9
5. Length of work (year)
1–5 1 2.3 19 44.2
6–10 4 9.3 4 9.3
11–15 7 16.3 7 20.9
16–20 17 39.5 4 9.3
>21 14 32.6 7 16.3
6. Disaster training attendance
–Never 11 25.6 23 53.5
–Rescue 9 20.9 ––
–Disaster management 11 25.5 6 14.0
–Quick reaction team training 1 2.3 ––
–Logistics management 4 9.3 ––
–Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation 1 2.3 ––
–Quickly assess emergency and disaster evacuation
–Disaster health crisis 5 11.6 3 7.0
–Post-disaster needs assessment
–Mitigation planning 4 9.3 ––
–– 6 14.0
–– 5 11.6
7. Experience in dealing with disasters:
–Flood 14 32.6 18 41.9
–Tornado 1 2.3 ––
–Fire 1 2.3 5 11.6
–Earthquake 13 30.2 12 27.9
–Tsunami 14 32.6 8 18.6
8. Monthly income
#IDR 2,900.000 8 18.6 23 53.5
IDR 2,900.000 35 81.4 20 46.5
preparedness in terms of emergency response plans and disaster early warning systems
than rural areas.
Disaster preparedness is part of disaster management and is carried out systematically to
reduce the risk and impact of disasters on the community. To reduce the impacts of a
disaster, the community and institution must be prepared (Mawarni et al.,2020). In this
study, the disaster preparedness framework was adopted from LIPI-UNESCO/ISDR (2006),
consisting of six parameters, namely, knowledge and attitude toward disaster preparedness,
policies and guidelines, emergency response plans, early warning systems and resource
For the sub-scale of knowledge in disaster preparedness, the mean 6SD of DMAO in an
urban area was 9.21 61.807 and 8.42 61.95 in a rural area. Furthermore, the t-test indicated
no signiﬁcant difference in the ofﬁcers’knowledge about disaster preparedness between
urban and rural areas (p= 0.163).
The knowledge on disaster preparedness of the DMAO was comparable in both urban
and rural areas. These were likely related to several factors, such as experience with disaster
management, participation in disaster training and alertness with disasters. Based on
demographic data, 52 respondents (60.5%) had attended various disaster training and
seminars, which may have increased their knowledge about disaster management. Also,
DMAO in urban and rural areas have extensive working experiences in handling disasters
of 16–20 years (39.5%) and 11–15 years (20.9%), respectively, which may have inﬂuenced
the way they manage disasters. This is in line with a study by Husna et al. (2011), who stated
that an individual with limited experience potentially would be lacking of sufﬁcient skills, to
cope with the impact of disasters. Authorities’knowledge sufﬁciency is very important in
disaster preparedness. This is supported by Chondol et al. (2020), whom argued that the
perceptions, understanding and knowledge of ofﬁcers play an important role in decision-
making in disaster mitigation, increasing capacity building and dissemination of awareness
on disaster risk reduction. Another supporting factor is that Aceh province is a disaster-
prone area. Therefore, the DMAOs already dealt with several disasters, for example, the
2004 tsunami, ﬂoods and landslides in various areas in the region.
Sub-scales of disaster
ofﬁcers (n= 86)
Urban area (n= 43) Rural area (n= 43)
No. Sub-scales Mean 6SD SE Mean 6SD SE p-value
1 Knowledge in facing disasters 9.21 61.807 0.276 8.42 61.955 0.298 0.163
2 Attitude toward disasters 4.47 60.909 0.139 4.56 60.854 0.130 0.628
3 Policies and guidelines 4.44 60.090 0.139 4.56 60.854 0.330 0.184
4 Emergency response plan 8.35 61.689 0.258 7.42 62.575 0.393 0.042
5 Disaster early warning system 6.72 61.420 0.258 6.12 61.880 0.393 0.048
6 Resource mobilization 6.72 61.420 0.216 6.12 61.880 0.387 0.778
DMAO (n= 86)
Area Mean SD SE p-value alpha
Urban area 40.77 4.202 0.641 0.038 0.05
Rural area 38.40 6.060 0.924
This study results also are supported by Rachmalia et al. (2011), who stated that people
living in areas affected by disasters (tsunami) have higher knowledge about disaster
preparedness than those in non-affected areas. However, research conducted by Fauzi et al.
(2017) reported that the community’s knowledge about disasters was moderate, meanwhile,
community preparedness toward earthquakes was found to be low. Therefore, there was a
relationship between the community’s knowledge about disasters and the moderate level of
earthquake preparedness. Disaster knowledge is a key factor in community preparedness.
Furthermore, experience from various incidents provides valuable lessons about the
importance of knowledge on disaster management that every individual should possess,
especially DMAOs in prone disaster areas. Such knowledge is powerful mean for increasing
positive attitude and awareness among ofﬁcers to educate and prepare community alertness
on the occurrence of disasters.
DMAO and communities living in earthquake-prone areas required to have sufﬁcient
knowledge in disaster management as these ofﬁcers may play an important role in reducing
the risk of disasters, carrying out disaster preparedness and coping with the incidents.
Knowledge may further foster understanding, awareness and improved knowledge about
disasters in communities resided in high-risk areas, so that disaster management could be
developed in a systematic, integrated and coordinated manner (Fauzi et al.,2017).
DMAO and the community should also be obligated to understand the types of disasters
that may occur in their area. Sufﬁcient knowledge about the incidents may affect the quality
of their preparedness before, during and after an incident (Veenema, 2012). Disaster
preparedness is a pre-disaster activity manifesting the level of effectiveness of various
responses in reducing the impacts of emergency and disaster conditions through proactive
disaster risk reduction (Fauzi et al., 2017;Labrague et al.,2016;Lestari and Husna, 2017).
This study was in accordance with Adri et al. (2020) stating that knowledge about disasters
and community preparedness was necessary to reduce the impacts of disasters. A large
number of casualties in the 2004 tsunami was related to a lack of knowledge and
preparedness about the tsunami disaster. Therefore, among efforts to reduce the disaster
risks was to increase the knowledge of the community and institutions of disaster
management, especially the related agencies.
Learning from the past incidents alarmed the urgency for Aceh province to develop
capacity building and resources on disasters. This has been stated earlier by Pakjouei et al.
(2020), arguing that the effects of disasters required several important supports that
involved efforts in promoting preparedness, increasing knowledge, involving structures,
improving socio-economy and optimizing the role of non-governmental organizations from
both national and international organizations.
The second sub-scale in this study is the attitude toward disaster preparedness. The
results showed that the mean 6SD for this sub-scale in both DMAO of urban and rural
areas were 4.47 60.909 and 4.56 60.854, respectively. In addition, the t-test indicated no
signiﬁcant difference in the attitudes of DMAO in urban and rural areas toward disaster
preparedness (p= 0.625). Attitude is a reaction or response from an individual because of a
stimulus or object involving thoughts, feelings, concerns and other psychological symptoms
(Notoatmodjo, 2012). Furthermore, this reaction (affective) relates to values, feelings,
emotions and the degree of acceptance or rejection of an object. There are two tendencies
regarding attitudes, namely, positive and negative. Positive attitudes include tendencies to
approach, like and expect something, while negative attitudes are tendencies to stay away,
avoid, hate and dislike certain objects (Hartono, 2016).
The attitude of DMAO in both urban and rural areas might be associated with their
knowledge about disasters obtained through periodical education and training programs.
Exposure to knowledge and efforts to reduce disaster risk was likely associated with the
ofﬁcers’positive attitude and responses on disasters. This was supported by the
demographic data of respondents, such as two years of average working experience,
participation in training or disaster drills and experience in dealing with earthquakes,
tsunamis and ﬂoods. Therefore, ofﬁcers in this area were tended to develop a more positive
attitude toward disaster preparedness. This was also in line with the study by Iizuka (2020),
which reported that disaster training positively associates with the reduction in disaster
risks; its activities are tailored to the needs of local communities. Other supporting opinions
by Luo et al. (2013) stated that the ability to respond to disasters is inﬂuenced by several
factors, such as experience in disaster management, disaster training attendance, age and
length of working experience. Further, Ghanbari et al. (2011) speciﬁed that carrying out
disaster training has a signiﬁcant effect on people’s knowledge, attitudes and performance
in disaster preparedness and response.
Both the urban and rural areas have a high frequency and intensity of natural disasters
because, geographically, they were located on vulnerable earth plate, which putting the
regions on high risk for earthquakes and tsunamis. Furthermore, both areas were proximal
to the coasts, causing them to be at risk of coastal abrasion, tornadoes, tsunamis and
landslides. The existence of an unstable and vulnerable geographical condition along with
the lethal occurrence of natural disasters resulted in the creation of disaster management
regulations and contingency plans by the Indonesian Government. In response to this, the
Aceh Provincial government established a task force and the DMAO in both areas as an
effort to reduce disaster risks through effective mitigation programs for the community.
This is supported by Iizuka (2020), who mentioned that capacity building is important for
reducing the risk of disasters. Furthermore, the Sendai Framework for disaster risk
reduction 2015–2030 emphasizes the need for effective support through the capacity
building from developed to developing countries in disaster management.
The third sub-scale was disaster preparedness policies and guidelines. The results
showed that the mean 6SD of the availability of policies and guidelines from DMAO in
urban areas was 4.47 60.909 and 8.42 60.854 in rural areas. Furthermore, the t-test
indicated no signiﬁcant difference regarding policies and guidelines for disaster
preparedness in both areas (p= 0.184).
Our observation data showed that both DMAOs had written regulations, guidelines and
policies on disasters, such as disaster manuals and policies regulated by the Government of
Aceh. The data also revealed that these two agencies often collaborate, coordinate, provide
the necessary personnel and organize meetings on disaster management. This is supported
by a study from Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana Aceh/National Board for
Disaster Management of Aceh (2015), which speciﬁed that there were policies in the Aceh
province serving as guidelines for disaster risk assessment and policies for disaster risk
reduction, assessment and administrative and technical policies toward disaster
The positive supports from these two regional governments in disaster management
through the policies and guidelines for reducing the risk of disasters were in line with the
results of this study. The two regions have sufﬁcient policies and guidelines for managing
the incidents. Furthermore, the support and role of institutions in disaster management are
important in implementing good governance to create a culture of disaster awareness as
part of disaster preparedness development for the community.
The fourth sub-scale was an emergency response plan. Based on the results, the mean 6
SD of the emergency response plan for the disaster preparedness of DMAO in the urban area
was 8.35 61.689 and 7.42 62.575 for the rural area. Furthermore, the t-test indicated a
signiﬁcant difference in the mean of emergency response plans in both areas (p= 0.042).
The difference might occur due to location differences between urban and rural areas.
Among the indicators affecting the preparedness of a city in providing emergency response
in the case of a disaster is the region’s layout. The urban areas in this study have an orderly
urban/regional layout in accordance with disaster-prone areas because they were built
during the reconstruction period after the 2004 tsunami. Furthermore, the area is relatively
narrow. In contrast, rural areas are wider, unevenly zoned and their regions are located far
from each other. From the study’s observations, it was found that in terms of the disaster
risk assessment documentation, the urban areas outperformed the rural areas regarding
updating data periodically and documenting events. Meanwhile, the rural areas required a
longer time to update the risk assessment document due to the region’s size. This study was
in line with a study by Febriana and Abubakar (2015), stating that the preparedness of
DMAO in the urban area was at a good level in dealing with earthquakes (82%).
An emergency response plan is critical because disasters may occur at any time. It can be
caused by natural factors, such as ﬂoods, earthquakes, tornadoes or human causes, such as
ﬁre, chemicals, toxic substances or structural failure (Undang-Undang No 24, 2007).
Therefore, ISO 45001 ensures an organization to be well-prepared to handle any emergency
situation by providing an adequate response plan. The steps for emergency response
planning are: identify of the situation and the supplies/resources needed to respond to it,
create a response plan, communicate and train relevant workers/stakeholders on emergency
response, evaluate and review the emergency response procedures (Intenational standard
ISO and 45001, 2014).
The next sub-scale was the early warning systems in disaster preparedness. The results
of the study reported that the mean 6SD of the readiness of the early warning system of
DMAO in the urban areas was 6.7261,420 and 6.12 61,880 in rural areas. Furthermore, the
t-test indicated a signiﬁcant difference in the early warning system of disaster preparedness
in both areas (p= 0.048).
The differences might be due to the provision of disaster early detection facilities. The
early warning system is an integrated system of hazard monitoring, forecasting and
prediction, disaster risk assessment, communication tools and preparedness activities,
which enables individuals, communities, governments to take appropriate actions to reduce
the risk of disasters (World Meteorological Organization, 2018). In this study, urban areas
were found to be more effective than in rural areas. A disaster early warning system along
the coast was available in urban areas to detect signs of a tsunami, while the rural areas still
applied conservative systems of “sound a sign of disaster,”such as announcements in
mosques or other places of worship. In addition, the quality of internet networks in rural
areas was inadequate, and this could interfere with or hinder the system from receiving
information, coordinating and carrying outsimulations or disaster drills.
An early warning system is a major factor in reducing the risk and negative impacts of
disasters. Furthermore, this system is useful in preventing casualties in the case of such
incidents. To be effective, the system needs to actively involve the community, facilitates
education and community awareness efforts about the disaster risks, disseminate messages
and early warnings effectively and ensure that the community is prepared. This statement is
supported by Said and Chiang (2019). They reported that the Hyogo and Sendai framework
emphasizes the importance of an early warning system as one of the key elements for
disaster risk reduction. The Sendai framework has recommended this system as a multi-
hazard approach for countries in disaster-prone areas until 2030.
Finally, the last sub-scale is resource mobilization. Based on the results, the mean 6SD
of the readiness of the DMAO in urban areas to carry out resource mobilization was
6.72 61.420 and 6.12 61.880 in a rural area. Furthermore, the t-test conﬁrmed no statistical
difference in the mean score of resource mobilization preparedness in both areas (p= 0.077).
According to LIPI-UNESCO/ISDR (2006), a well-trained team is needed for resource
mobilization during a disaster. Meanwhile, to create this team, training in disaster
preparedness is necessary. Disaster management agencies have an important role in
mobilizing resources during a disaster. Furthermore, resource mobilization, including
human, equipment and material resources, is carried out by considering the available
resources. Human resources with professional skills are needed in disaster management
activities. Furthermore, resources (equipment, materials and funds) could be provided and
allocated to support disaster management.
The results of this study reported 60.5% of the ofﬁcers in these two areas have attended
disaster management education and training programs to improve the quality of their
resources. The interview also found a budget allocation sourced from the Aceh Special
Autonomy Fund/Dana Otonomi Khusus Aceh in the two areas for disaster management.
However, more facilities, infrastructures and equipment were still needed in these two areas,
especially for community-based efforts to reduce the risks of disasters. This was in line with
Lestari and Husna (2017), stating that the development of human resources in an
organization has a strategic role in improving the quality of performance in achieving set
goals. Human resource development may be conducted formally and informally by
attending education and training programs.
The development of resource mobilization as part of disaster preparedness is a step in
dealing with disaster. Resource mobilization has six parameters, including safe buildings,
the number and type of equipment, supplies and basic needs after a disaster, disaster
preparedness groups, cooperation between the government, DMAO and the community and
monitoring and evaluation of disaster preparedness and security. The succession key to
effective disaster risk reduction is adequate preparation prior to the disaster occurrence
(Lesmana and Purborini, 2019). On the other hand, to achieve the proper functioning of these
agencies, a command, monitor and control system is necessary in place and it should be
synergized with the policies and other government institutions (Tanesab, 2020).
Disaster preparedness is a systematic, effective and measurable effort to reduce the risk and
impact of disasters that damage property and cause injury, disability and death. In this
study, this preparedness consisted of six parameters, namely, knowledge and attitude in
disaster preparedness, policies and guidelines, emergency response plans, disaster early
warning systems and resource mobilization.
The location accessibility, the availability of facilities, infrastructures, equipment,
allocation of funds and participation in disaster education and training programs are main
important in disaster management. The results showed signiﬁcant differences in the sub-
scales of emergency response plans and disaster early warning systems among DMAO in
urban and rural areas. Meanwhile, there were no differences for the sub-scales of knowledge
on disaster preparedness, attitudes to disaster preparedness, policies and guidelines and
resource mobilization on both DMAOs. The results of this study could possibly serve as
recommendations for policymakers and disaster management agencies, particularly in rural
areas to prepare contingency plans that involve both internal and external institutions to
arrange the regulations related to community-based emergency response plans and disaster
early warning systems. Such programs of education, training and disaster drill needed to be
in place and conducted regularly for the ofﬁcers in a rural area. Finally, the other sub-scales
showed no difference in disaster preparedness, however, collaboration and support to each
other in disaster risk reduction plan by improving the capacity building, policy
enhancement and disaster management guidelines are required. Also, attempts to optimize
logistics adequacy, budget allocations and disaster preparedness education and training for
both DMAOs are strongly recommended through the lens of the study. The results of the
study might useful for further research that could be developed based on this current study.
The respondents were selected from only two districts in Aceh Province, Indonesia, which
are vulnerable to disasters. The study only identiﬁes the disaster preparedness among
DMAOs adopted from LIPI-UNESCO/ISDR about community preparedness in anticipating
disasters particularly tsunami and earthquake. Therefore, the results of this study may have
limited generalizability to other areas in Indonesia and beyond.
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