Monday, June 23, 2014

Material Convergence: Important and Understudied Disaster Phenomenon

HOLGUIN-VERRAS Jose, JALLER Miguel, VAN WASSENHOVE Luk, PEREZ Noel, WACHTENDORF Tricia
Access the publisher's website
Natural Hazards Review 15, 1 (2014) 1-12

This paper reports the research conducted on material convergence, which is one of the most important and, ironically, one of the most understudied disaster phenomena. This spontaneous flow of supplies, equipment, and general donations to the impacted area brings much-needed relief and major complications to the operations. The paper reviews empirical evidence from disaster literature and complements it with lessons learned from fieldwork to identify the problems created by the nonpriority component of the material convergence. The paper ends with policy suggestions regarding the use of appropriate material convergence management and control strategies.