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Identifying Attributes for a Virtual Community-based Disaster Preparedness Hub: Examples from two coastal communities

Abstract
Remote tourism-dependent communities are particularly vulnerable to crises and disasters. Using the ORID (Observe, Reflect, Interpret, Decide) method, we identified key attributes for a virtual disaster preparedness hub by conducting focus groups with a variety of stakeholders in both Ocracoke and Hatteras. Participants were asked to ‘observe’ different types of online hubs from other communities, ‘reflect’ on the pros and cons of these hubs, ‘interpret’ ways to create a hub that would be most beneficial to their community, and ‘decide’ on the best management practices of implementing an online hub. Throughout this process, it became clear that when planning and implementing a disaster hub, it is important to focus on the user experience, allowing for ease of access to information during times of crisis. Additionally, it is important for communities to use a hub to facilitate their disaster preparation and recovery, rather than to replace current infrastructure.
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