What do emergency services and authorities need from society to better handle disasters?
Over the last 20 years, disaster events have been increasing with 3.25 billion people affected. The public are not only affected by these incidents but also, they are the first on the disaster scene. To fully utilize the public's potential and define their role in assisting in disaster management, we need to hear the voice of the main responsible for handling a disaster, the authorities, and emergency personnel. Therefore, this paper aims to identify and prioritize their needs through conducting a survey and interviews with members of authorities and emergency organizations in several European Union countries, namely; France, Israel, Italy, Norway, Romania, Spain, and Sweden. The highest-ranked needs identified are getting credible information as soon as possible from the disaster scene as well as following authorities' recommendations. Additionally, this study identifies some barriers associated with the engagement of society in disaster management. An example of such a barrier is that citizens could hurt themselves or others and hamper the intervention efforts through their interference. Despite the barriers, the emergency organizations are in favor of engaging the society in the response and recovery phases. The identified needs and barriers help to define procedures and policies that can improve the engagement of citizens and consequently, social resilience.