[Conference abstract] Effective communication during disasters: What effects community decision making & action?

Tippett, Vivienne, Mehta, Amisha M., Greer, Dominique, Dootson, Paula, Duncan, William D., Christensen, Sharon A., Stickley, Amanda P., & Baker-Jones, Melanie (2015) [Conference abstract] Effective communication during disasters: What effects community decision making & action? Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 30(1), s83.

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  • This paper describes a program of research examining emergency messaging during the response and early recovery phases of natural disasters. The objective of this suite of studies is to develop message construction frameworks and channels that maximise community compliance with instructional messaging. The research has adopted a multi-hazard approach and considers the impact of formal emergency messages, as well as informal messages (e.g., social media posts), on community compliance.


  • In recent years, media reports have consistently demonstrated highly variable community compliance to instructional messaging during natural disasters. Footage of individuals watching a tsunami approaching from the beach or being over-run by floodwaters are disturbing and indicate the need for a clearer understanding of decision making under stress. This project’s multi-hazard approach considers the time lag between knowledge of the event and desired action, as well as how factors such as message fatigue, message ambiguity, and the interplay of messaging from multiple media sources are likely to play a role in an individual’s compliance with an emergency instruction.


  • To examine effective messaging strategy, we conduct a critical analysis of the literature to develop a framework for community consultation and design experiments to test the potential for compliance improvement.


  • Preliminary results indicate that there is, as yet, little published evidence on which to base decisions about emergency instructional messages to threatened communities.


  • The research described here will contribute improvements in emergency instructional message compliance by generating an evidence-based framework that takes into account behavioural compliance theory, the psychology of decision making under stress, and multiple channels of communication including social media.

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ID Code: 84052
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: disasters, decision-making, community, compliance
ISSN: 1945-1938
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > MARKETING (150500) > Marketing Communications (150502)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Studies (200101)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 13 May 2015 05:13
Last Modified: 23 May 2016 09:42

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