The Core and Periphery of Emergency Management Networks

Scott E. Robinson, Warren S. Eller, Melanie Gall, Brian J. Gerber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Emergency planning and response increasingly involve close interactions between a diverse array of actors across fields (emergency management, public health, law enforcement, etc.); sectors (government, non-profit and for-profit); and levels of government (local, state and federal). This article assesses the temporal dynamics of emergency management networks in two moderately sized communities that have served as large-scale disaster evacuation hosting sites in the past decade. The paper uses two strategies for tracking the evolution of these networks across time. First, we develop a network roster using newspaper and newswire data sources across a decade. Second, we develop a view of the evolution of the networks by analysing emergency operations plans for each community.Analysis of data reveals a contrast between a core set of consistent (mostly governmental) actors and a peripheral set of rapidly turning over (mostly non-governmental) actors - though the account depends on the mode of data on which one focuses. The article concludes with a discussion of the advantage presented by having a two-tier network for evacuation hosting that mixes core and periphery across multiple sectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-362
Number of pages19
JournalPublic Management Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Emergency management
  • collaborative public management
  • disaster policy
  • evacuations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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