Question

In a paragraph or so, answer the following:
1. Janoske, Liu, and Sheppard (2012) discuss proximity to risk, severity of risk, and tolerability of risk as factors that affect risk communication. From each of these three factors, pick an item and provide your thoughts on it. (That is, discuss 1 factor for proximity, 1 factor for severity, and 1 factor for tolerability.)

Reference:
Janoske, M., Liu, B. & Sheppard, B. (2012). Understanding risk communication best practices: A guide for emergency managers and communicators (Report to Human Factors/Behavioral Sciences Division, Science and Technology Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security). College Park, MD: START.

2. Chapter 5, p. 140, in Disaster Resilience (2012) makes several key points about risk communications. For example, people will prepare and take actions if…

- They understand what impacts a disaster may have
- They understand what they can do to mitigate the impacts and believe the actions will be useful
- They are asked to be ready to help others

Provide an example of risk communication to the public. In what ways is it effective in getting people to take protective actions? Where does it fall short? How could it be improved?

Reference:
National Academy of Sciences. (2012). Disaster resilience: A national imperative. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

3. In your reading of Chapter 11 of Lindell, Prater, and Perry in the Emergency Management Institute Textbook, what interesting point did you learn about recovery for each of the following, and why do you think it is interesting?

- About households?
- About businesses?
- About government or communities?

4. If you are the owner / operator of one of the following, what key recovery activities (not response activities) do you have to undertake when there is a major disaster? What challenges might you face when it comes to:

- Hospital
- Telecommunications company (wired and wireless)
- Electric company
- Water / wastewater company
- Public transportation (bus, rail, subway)
- Major local bank

Solution Preview

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1. Proximity to risk

I found it particularly interesting that studies have found that people that live closer to risk-causing institutions, such as chemical plants, are usually supportive of the institution. The report states that the information shared between the organization and the public, as well as the benefits that the organization provides to the community affects the public perception and can be seen as causative of this support. This is logical, due to the fact that most large, risk-producing institutions are located in more rural areas, by necessity. Therefore, using a chemical plant as an example, the movement of a chemical plant to an area most likely led to the development of the area. Most of the homes and businesses that exist in the area most likely depend on the chemical plant, either for employment or for the general economy of the area; many citizens in the area probably work in the plant, and businesses in the area depend on those employees spending money for their survival. Since the area is so dependent on this source of economic activity it is only natural that the residents will be very supportive of it. In addition, since many residents are likely employed at the facility, their family and friends will naturally feel a certain sense of ease regarding the risk. Also, a large risk-factor producing...

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