Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Disaster Science


Disaster Science

First Advisor

Janice L. Thomas


As a Licensed Funeral Service Provider, I am aware of the special issues which surround mass fatalities. A study of numerous mass fatality plans yielded identification of two missing elements from most plans which are critical to mass fatality management. The first missing element is ritual used in the respectful treatment of the dead. The second missing element is religious precepts regarding caring for and final disposition of the dead based upon the particular belief system of the deceased, their family, surrounding community, and culture. Specific qualitative methods of research used were a review of the professional literature, identification of a benchmarking model, comparative analysis using the model, and reporting my own professional observations. The results yielded no. inclusion of ritual or religious precepts in the plans studied; therefore, recommendation is made to include ritual and religion in mass fatality plans.