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Linda Plotnick, Elizabeth Avery Gomez, Connie White, & Murray Turoff. (2007). Furthering development of a unified emergency scale using Thurstone's Law of Comparative Judgment: A progress report. In K. Nieuwenhuis P. B. B. Van de Walle (Ed.), Intelligent Human Computer Systems for Crisis Response and Management, ISCRAM 2007 Academic Proceedings Papers (pp. 411–418). Delft: Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, ISCRAM.
Abstract: In disasters, local civilians on or near the scene, are often first to respond and give aid. Therefore, the public needs to be well-informed with accurate, time critical information. However, a primary information source is event-specific scales that are inconsistent in their categorization and measurement, adding confusion to public responsiveness. These scales are not extendable to new emergencies in a changing world. We argue for development of a unified emergency scale to facilitate communication and understanding. This scale will inform local communities with regional community-specific information, and will be extendable for further use by professional responders. Research in progress elicited 15 dimensions of an emergency using a Delphi-like process and then ranked the dimensions by importance utilizing Thurstone's Law of Comparative Judgment. Contributions of this paper are to highlight the need for an unequivocal, unified scale and further its development.