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Psychosocial Intervention

On-line version ISSN 2173-4712Print version ISSN 1132-0559


ACINAS ACINAS, M.ª Patricia. Information to population in emergency situations and collective hazard situations. Psychosocial Intervention [online]. 2007, vol.16, n.3, pp.303-321. ISSN 2173-4712.

This article reviews the process of public response to emergencies. A warning message must provide the public with information about the impending hazard that has precipitated the emergency warning. Informing the population about characteristics of the hazard will minimise the likehood of people misperceiving the hazard and making incorrect decisions about what to do, especially in protracted emergencies. Information does not lead to panic. Also, informing the public about risks can increase trust in local emergency authorities and it can prepare people to deal with all the risks as soon as possible. The human response to warnings for hazards is affected by many factors. If the people in charge know them they would make few changes in future evacuation plans. Although conventional wisdom is that false alarms reduce the public’s willingness to respond to future events, some research has obtained that it can show how humans respond to warnings and what have to do Emergency Managers about conducting an emergency.

Keywords : Information; Communication; Collective behaviour; Emergency; Hazard; Warning response.

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