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Volume 29, Issue 4

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Ten Best Practices for Communication, Continuity During Mega-Disasters

Written by  DR. TIM L. TINKER, TONY DORSEY, DR. MARKO MOSCOVITCH & STEPHANIE WEHRHEIM Thursday, 13 October 2011 18:28

The recent nuclear crisis in Japan, triggered by an earthquake and complicated by the resulting tsunami, exemplifies the need for effective risk and crisis communication before, during, and after such an event. To cope with a disaster of this magnitude, a distrustful and resistant public needs more than an explanation of potential health and safety risks. It needs risk communication that indicates a solid understanding of stakeholders’ in-crisis and post-crisis needs. The public needs a multi-component strategy that addresses its concerns, establishes trust, and alleviates fear and the anger directed at the person or organization, as well as the government agency it considers responsible. The public also needs to be encouraged to participate in risk-reduction activities and in the decision-making process. These and other challenges and opportunities must be considered when assessing the threats, vulnerabilities, and consequences