Crisis communication during an air pollution event

Hayward, Anna, Peters, Kate, Van Bockxmeer, John, Canyon, Deon, McKitrick, D., and Seow, J. (2010) Crisis communication during an air pollution event. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 25 (1). pp. 42-46.

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During an emergency air pollution crisis, two options exist for potentially exposed residents: shelter-in-place or evacuate. The effectiveness of public health communication in guiding this decision is thus critical. This survey collected data on the 2004 Bayswater Scrap Metal Fire relating to perception of risk, type of communication authorities, method of communication, nature of advice, decision in response to advice, most trusted advice provider, and likelihood of behavioural change. 101 surveys were obtained after visiting 983 premises. Results indicated that 35.6% perceived risk, 85% recalled receiving shelter-in-place advice primarily from loudspeakers, phone/SMS and other media providers, 91% actually sheltered-in-place. When making their decision to comply, intuition ranked highest followed by information from media. Participants ranked FESA and Police as being the most important communication authorities. While 45% of responders felt that they had been fully informed about the fire, only 25% indicated that they would change their response and 8% indicated that they would be non-compliant by evacuating. Sheltering in place thus appears to be the compliant response.

Item ID: 16657
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1324-1540
Date Deposited: 06 May 2011 06:23
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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