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Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication - Term Paper Example

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Communication is particularly important during times of crisis or emergency, especially during cases related to health and wellbeing. Through effective crisis and emergency communication, the community or group in question can aid in the dissolution of problems, but a failure of communication during a crisis can compound the problems. This is because sound crisis communication is necessary to the process of intervention planning (CDC 11). Well-planned and executed emergency risk communication, which is blended into the different phases of the crisis response continuum, can increase the potential of addressing the crisis, particularly where the resources available for risk resolution are limited and should be channeled to areas where they are critically needed (CDC 13). Crises necessitating groups or organizations’ to employ effective risk communication Crises include national, multi-state investigations on disease outbreak, or the exploration of environmental crisis (CDC 14). Examples of these crises include waterborne, airborne, food borne, vector borne, chemical, toxic material, natural disaster, infectious agent, and radiological-related risks (Coombs 242). One example is the case of a natural disaster that requires the immediate attention of the government and other authorities. The agents of crisis communication could include the relief organizations that respond and provide aid to those affected by the crisis, or the NGOs that come to offer aid. The aid may entail retrieving the victims that are most vulnerable to the risks arising from the crisis situation. The second form of crisis is triggered by an unknown infectious compound, which has the potential to spread to other parts of the country or region. Examples include water-related and large-scale ecological crises. The third form of crisis, which requires effective risk communication, is site specific crisis, where the crisis takes place at a given area, and the crisis can be controlled at the site (Coombs 242). Examples include laboratory incidents, the death of an employee or a student at the campus grounds, hostage event at campus, bomb threats and a fire or explosion incident. The last form of crisis, which calls for effective crisis communication, includes terrorist attacks – whether chemical or biological – after the terrorist activities are suspected or declared (Combs 165). The risk of disaster or emergency is worsened by a number of factors that come into play within the society with each requiring effective crisis communication, and in a timely manner, in order to avoid the expansion of the threat to a larger group. These factors include the global increase in population density, the increment of settlements at risk-prone locations, the increment of technological risks in the society, and the emergency of infectious illnesses. Other factors include the increment of international travel and the escalating threat posed by terrorism globally (Coombs 241). Due to the increase in the risk factors that contribute to the development of a crisis in society, risk communication is required at any site of emergency or risk. Crisis communication – for this context – is defined as the process of communicating about the situation facing the given organization or setting, to the stakeholders of the organization and the public (Combs 164). Crisis or emergency communication is initiated after the incidence of an emergency, crisis or a disaster. Emergencies, crises, and disasters have one thing in common, which is that they all relate to the incidence of an adverse event, which has either taken place or which is taking place. After any event, which is adverse or unexpected happens, it is possible to refer to the given incidence as an ...Show more


Communication is a highly imperfect art and a broad science, which is applicable in everyday life. However, it is often used inappropriately, which leads to problems or the compounding of the problems being communicated (CDC 10). …
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Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication
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