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Emergent disaster response during the June 2007 floods in Kingston upon Hull, UK

Bell, S.; Neal, R.; Wilby, J.


S. Bell

R. Neal

J. Wilby


There is a growing body of research that suggests much of the behaviour that occurs during a disaster response effort is emergent, meaning it is produced as a result of complex non-linear factors at work both within and between the affected communities, responding organisations, and the environment. This paper uses the pluvial floods of June 2007 in Kingston upon Hull as a case study to investigate to what extent emergence was apparent during the disaster response effort, as well as identifying certain systemic features that facilitate or inhibit this emergence. Results show that emergent behaviours corresponding to each of the types identified in the literature (emergent groups, networks and activities) were present in the response to the June 2007 floods; and that these behaviours contributed positively to Kingston upon Hull's community resilience. Both altruism and the relative rate of information transfer were key drivers for emergent actions. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Flood Risk Management © 2011 The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management.


Neal, R., Bell, S., & Wilby, J. (2011). Emergent disaster response during the June 2007 floods in Kingston upon Hull, UK. Journal of flood risk management, 4(3), 260-269. doi:10.1111/j.1753-318X.2011.01110.x

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jul 27, 2011
Publication Date 2011-09
Electronic ISSN 1753-318X
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 3
Pages 260-269
Keywords Complexity; Disaster response; Emergence; Kingston upon Hull; Social impacts
Public URL