The concept of assisted management of large-scale disasters by horizontal organizations

Frederick M. Burkle, Robin Hayden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Management of large-scale disasters is impeded by inadequately designed organizational infrastructure. The vertical organizational structures of most agencies responding to disasters contribute to a poorly integrated response, especially when collaboration, information sharing, and coordination are required. Horizontal (or lateral) organizations have assisted traditionally vertical civilian and military agencies by enhancing their capacity to operate successfully in complex human emergencies and large-scale natural disasters. Because of the multiagency and highly technical multidisciplinary requirements for decision-making in chemical and biological disasters, similar horizontal management options must be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-137
Number of pages10
JournalPrehospital and disaster medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • centers of excellence
  • civil support
  • civil-military
  • complex emergencies
  • coordination and control
  • disasters biological and chemical
  • horizontal
  • information technology
  • large-scale disasters
  • lateralization
  • management
  • military
  • organizations
  • terrorism
  • vertical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency


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