Risk Communication for Action: Motivating People at Risk to Stay Safe and Protect Their Property

Hanscom, Donald H., Jr.

Risk communicators face many and diverse challenges in ensuring that individuals have sufficient knowledge of preparedness actions to enhance their resilience. However, the growing threats we face as individuals, communities, and a nation mean that we can accept no less than a future in which we are all prepared for disasters. That future requires that we know and appreciate the risks we face; have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to take actions that will protect us and safeguard our property; and encourage everyone around us to do the same. To move audiences toward this future, risk communicators must gauge their constituents’ awareness, knowledge, and attitudes toward relevant disasters and use effective risk communication practices to create effective messages and initiatives.

Local emergency managers, elected officials, and federal officials must continue the drumbeat of shared responsibility for safety and preparedness in the face of the growing threats that confront us all.