“Integrating experience, education, and perception for effective risk communication: applying lessons learned from Cork’s flooding past towards the development of emergency management systems”
Dr Karen Neville and Dr Sheila O’Riordan of S-HELP gave the third talk in the 2016 Quercus Lecture Series on 1st February.
Abstract: Emergency management is a complex process that involves a number of phases before, during, and after an emergency situation. Such emergencies include large-scale disasters (e.g. mass flooding, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, etc.) that come with high risks and unpredictable outcomes. The phases of emergency management include the mitigation and preparation activities undertaken by the health services and other agencies based on known vulnerabilities and threats before an event occurs, followed by the need for rapid response and long-term recovery once an emergency actually hits. These events are extreme in nature, and as a result, it is important that the public are provided with the most relevant and up-to-date information concerning a known situation. This activity is known as “risk communication” and it plays a vital role in the management of emergencies. Experts and officials provide information, advice, and opinions to the public, so that informed decisions can be made to help mitigate the effects of a threat. For example, during heavy rainfall, the citizens of Cork receive flood warnings so that necessary measures can be taken in the event of a flood to help reduce any negative effects where possible. This lecture focuses on the integration of experience, education, and perception in the design of effective risk communication strategies and seeks to illustrate the importance of learning from past events coupled with a firm understanding of the public’s perception of emergency situations to inform appropriate training and public awareness approaches. This work is done as a part of the EU-funded project titled S-HELP (Securing - Health Emergency Learning Planning), which seeks to develop a decision support system (DSS) for cross-border emergency incidents.
For more information about the Quercus Lecture Series and to see the full presentation, click here