What Disaster Response Management Can Learn From Chaos Theory

Conference Proceedings
May 18-19, 1995

Edited by
Gus A. Koehler, PhD.

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FRACTALS AND PATH DEPENDENT PROCESSES:
A THEORETICAL APPROACH FOR CHARACTERIZING EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONSES TO MAJOR DISASTERS

Gus Koehler



DIGEST

Managing a state's medical response to a major medical disaster involves tracking the relationships between various dynamic processes that occur between one city's or county's emergency medical service's (EMS) response and an emergent macro or disaster area wide pattern involving many cities and counties. In this paper I try to show that fractal and path dependent theories are useful for understanding such events, derive hypothesis that, upon computer simulation testing, may predict the optimal size and cost of an efficient EMS disaster response system.

The opinions and viewpoints expressed in this paper are the authors and should not be attributed to the California Research Bureau or the California State Library.

Published as a chapter in Chaos Theory in Psychology and the Life Sciences, Eds. Robin Robertyson and Allan Combs (Mahway, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1995), pp. 199-216.

Reprinted with permission.

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