Risk Communication

By Sharyn Devereux-Blum, Director.

At a June conference with a group of like-minded people, we explored the use of language during an emergency response.  The question we discussed in depth was – is it appropriate to use ‘fear appeal’ if inaction/action would cause great injury to individuals and communities?

Canadian Fires
Canadian Fires

The different angles we looked at were based on a tornado coming.  70% of the people thought yes it is appropriate to use ‘fear appeal’ under these circumstances, 6% said no and 24% were undecided.  An example of a ‘fear appeal’ message to the communities was given by the agencies involved in the Canadian fires earlier this year.   The message was – “Move from your home now or you will die”.  Fear can lead to hopelessness so ‘framing’ the message is important.  Worth thinking and developing further in readiness with your Communications people in the Incident Management Team.

We are keen to run a webinar with an expert in this area to share further information with you so if you would like to join us please get in contact.