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Natural Disasters and Evacuations as a Communication and Social Phenomenon

  • Douglas GoudieEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science Series book series (ECSSS)

Glossary

Community

A group of neighbors or people with a commonality of association and generally defined by location, shared experience, or function (Lichtenberg and Maclean 1991).

Community empowerment

Internally and externally nurtures a community to accept that residents live in a hazard zone, and they choose to do things as a group to maximize their safety.

Community safety group

Existing community groups (such as neighborhood watch) and individuals, working with formal response organizations, form a coherent affiliation in and near a hazard zone, to help maximize safety and care for all community members.

Disaster

The interface between an extreme physical event and a vulnerable human population (Skertchly and Skertchly 2000).

Disaster lead time

The time taken from first detection of a natural disaster threat to the likely time of impact on humans or human structures.

Disaster threat

A natural extreme event which may impact on a community.

Effective risk communication

That which...

Notes

Acknowledgments

I most thank my research guardian and mentor over 15 years, Prof. David King, director of both the Australian Center for Disaster Studies and of the Center for Tropical Urban and Regional Planning. David allowed me freedom to develop as an “evidence-based” scientist, to conceive core approaches to sustainability implementation research, productive in helping render positive change in both disaster management and sustainability planning. Thanks to Australian Bureau of Meteorology staff for their interactive support to improve risk communications, listening to what real people in real hazard zones experience, how they hear warnings, and how the medium and the messages can be and are optimized. The Bureau embraces the core goal to motivate safety-oriented action by people in hazard zones. The Bureau listens and improves the message and the delivery. The bushfire research of 2006 and 2007 was funded by the Australian Bushfire Cooperative Research Center, supported by the University of Tasmania. The 14 years of research reported in this article was not possible without the contributions of authorities and more than 1000 Australians, old and new, who opened their organizations or doors to myself or research team members and shared their hazard experiences and specific warning needs. Thanks all.

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Copyright information

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Earth and Environmental SciencesJames Cook University, Australian Centre for Disaster StudiesTownsvilleAustralia

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