Convergence Phenomenon



Unnecessary and low-priority emergency relief items offered to those who have suffered a natural or man-made disaster have been a perpetual problem across the globe. The spontaneous and often unsolicited flow of supplies to disaster-affected areas from non-affected locations pose a serious obstacle for effective emergency relief operations. This chapter deals exclusively with three types of post-disaster convergence phenomena: personal, informational, and material. The advantages and disadvantages of each type of convergence, along with typology and effects of each phenomenon on disaster relief activities, are discussed. Among the three types, convergence of material has a relatively long history compared to the other two. Material convergence has four overlapping categories which are examined before providing several recommendations to either slow or completely stop the flow of unwanted and unnecessary emergency items to disaster sites.


Convergence of personnel Returnees Anxious Curious Mourners Convergence of information Rescue dogs Social media Ushahidi Google maps Convergence of materials High-priority items Low-priority items Non-priority items Climatic insensitivity items Cultural/religious insensitivity items Food quality Redundant relief items Entry points Exit points Acceptable list of necessary relief items 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

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