Knowing that the start of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season is just around the corner, June 1st, the recent release of FEMA’s “Improving Public Messaging for Evacuation and Shelter-in-Place” report couldn’t come at a better time.
“The report,” says FEMA, “includes research findings and recommendations emergency managers can use to frame messaging to provide effective warnings, help community members understand risk, and increase compliance with recommended evacuation or shelter-in-place protective actions.” It also “includes strategies to help emergency managers understand complexities in individual and household decision-making,” which are crucial to preparing for, responding to, and recovering from emergency situations such as hurricanes and other potentially life-threatening events.
Specifically, five key questions (drawn from the Protective Action Decision Model) are addressed within FEMA’s “Improving Public Messaging for Evacuation and Shelter-in-Place” report. They are as follows:
- How do environmental and social cues affect individuals’ attention and response to evacuation and sheltering-in-place guidance?
- How do warning messages, information sources and channels affect the message receiver’s beliefs and behaviors?
- What individual and family characteristics affect beliefs and behaviors relative to evacuation and sheltering-in-place guidance?
- How do awareness and perceptions of different threats and hazards affect decision-making?
- What are the impediments to positive behavioral response? What situational factors tend to support public response to evacuation and sheltering-in-place guidance?
The answers to these important questions are offered by FEMA (and shared by BOLDplanning) to enhance the guidance provided by FEMA’s “Planning Considerations: Evacuation and Shelter-in-Place, Guidance for State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Partners” publication. Download your copy of the April 2021 report, “Improving Public Messaging for Evacuation and Shelter-in-Place by visiting https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_improving-public-messaging-for-evacuation-and-shelter-in-place_literature-review-report.pdf today. It’s an interesting, informative, and very timely read with the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season just ahead.