Changing climate x changing communities = emergency communication challenges

Changing climate x changing communities = emergency communication challenges

Author: Craig Cormick – ThinkOutsideThe, Australia

Understanding how the values of different communities frame the types of emergency services messages they are most receptive to.

A key success factor for emergency service agencies in saving lives and property is being able to communicate effectively with communities at risk. But this is becoming harder and harder.

Agencies have to adapt not just to a changing climate, but to changing communities, and to understand the changing values of different communities and how they influence the types of communication messages they are receptive to.

A study was undertaken across four diverse communities across the Australian state of Victoria, to map their attitudes towards fire services, fire risk and fire minimisation strategies such as planned burning and then compare them with each communities’ values.

The communities included those who were homogeneous and long-established, and those with many newcomers or ‘tree-changers’ – with little fire experience or knowledge.

The research, presented as four case studies, showed that messages that were framed in accord with a communities’ key values, even from a position of low trust, were much more likely to effectively engage with diverse communities and enable emergency service messages to be conveyed.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Show, tell and talk
Theme: Stories
Area of interest: Investigating science communication practices