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Best practices in risk and crisis communication: implications for natural hazards management

Author(s): Toddi A. Steelman, Sarah M. McCaffrey
Year Published: 2013

As societies evolve, often the most appropriate response to the hazard must also evolve. However, such shifts in appropriate response to a hazard, whether at the individual or at the societal level, are rarely straightforward: Closing the gap between desired practice and current practice requires effective communication. Although there is a significant literature on how to encourage adaptation before an event and how to communicate during an event, there is less work tying the two together or on how to communicate shifts in larger scale societal response to a natural hazard. In this article, we bring together the best practices and theoretical literature from risk communication and crisis communication and empirical literature on wildfire communication to derive the key characteristics associated with best communication practices. We then use this framework on three case studies of wildfires in California, Montana, and Wyoming, each of which used a different strategy for managing the fire, to understand whether approaching communication more holistically can lead to more desired natural hazard management outcomes.

Citation: Steelman, Toddi A.; McCaffrey, Sarah. 2013. Best practices in risk and crisis communication: implications for natural hazards management. Natural Hazards. 65(1): 683-705.
Topic(s): Fire Communication & Education, Crisis Communication
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 8359
FRAMES RCS number: 13579
Record updated: Apr 9, 2021