Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication

image of a clock Ambulance image of a reporter during an interview
risk communications

Crisis and emergency risk communication encompasses the urgency of disaster communication with the need to communicate risks and benefits to stakeholders and the public. Crisis and emergency risk communication differs from crisis communication in that the communicator is not perceived as a participant in the crisis or disaster, except as an agent to resolve the crisis or emergency. Crisis and emergency risk communication is the effort by experts to provide information to allow an individual, stakeholder, or an entire community to make the best possible decisions about their well-being within nearly impossible time constraints and help people ultimately to accept the imperfect nature of choices during the crisis. Crisis and emergency risk communication represents an expert opinion provided in the hope that it benefits its receivers and advances a behavior or action that allows for rapid and efficient recovery from the event.

Communication is a broad science and an imperfect art. There is no implied promise that a population or community faced with an emergency, crisis, or disaster will overcome its challenges solely through the application of the crisis and emergency risk communication tools. However, an organization can compound its problems during an emergency if it has neglected sound crisis and emergency risk communication planning.

Well-planned and well-executed crisis and emergency risk communication, fully integrated into every stage of the crisis response, can give the organization the critical boost necessary to ensure that limited resources are efficiently directed where truly needed.

Information, tools and resources provided to assist those who are involved in crisis and emergency risk communication planning, preparedness and response:

Last updated April 19, 2011