- This tweet covers the history of aviation accidents around the globe. I chose it because it is an interesting study and may bring some relief to those who are paranoid about flying or may add to the paranoia of those who don’t understand that even the most airline deaths in a year, 2,375, is less than 1/10th of 1% of the world population. Interestingly, the infographic includes very specific detail regarding the most dangerous place to sit on an airplane and the most dangerous attitude to be at.
- This infographic was created based on secondary research. The creators Jane Pong and Adolfo Arranz credit sources such as “Aviation-Safty.net,””Boeing,” “Greenwich University,” and “Aerointernational.de.” Pong and Arranz took the information they got from these sources and the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Center’s “Annual Safety Calculations which include hull loss accidents and incidents in the past 30 years in relation to revenue passenger kilometers.” The creators of the info graphic looked at the number of airline deaths a year, and averaged out where in the airplane those deaths occurred and what altitude those deaths occurred at to create the infographic.
- I have two questions in regard to the infographic.
- Does this include private airlines or just commercial airlines?
- How do these death rates compare to other modes of transportation? i.e. Trains, busses, cars, and boats.
The word resilience is defined as a process linking a set of adaptive capacities to a positive trajectory of functioning and adaptation after a disturbance. Since reading that gives me a minor headache, it can be more simply defined as the power or ability to return to an original form after being altered. So, this is to say, how quickly can a community recuperate after a devastating tornado? Or how much success can an airline have after a plane crashes do to a preventable technicality? Therefore increasing resilience would increase stability. According to the assigned article,
resilience can be described as a set of networked adaptive capacities.
This involves information and communication, community competency, social capital, and economic development. These include details such as responsible media, skills of infrastructure, community action, flexibility and creativity, perceived social support, sense of community, and fairness of risk and vulnerability to hazards.
Many of the action steps that we have discussed in class are viewed in the reading as ways to increase community resilience. All in all, preventing, reacting, and planning must be taken into consideration in a hazardous situation in order to increase the likelihood of resilience. Without planning for possible events of crisis, proper techniques and resources will not be at the hands of organization, cities, etc. Reacting efficiently and activating clear and relative communication immediately after a crisis and in the aftermath of a crisis allows the public and members directly effected to feel that normalcy can once again be achieved. Finally, taking learned lessons from the hazardous events and acting upon them will help to instill a since of preparedness that will ultimately complete the cycle of resilience.
Applying an example to a situation from the statements above, we can look at the crisis of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Many felt that the
planning by the government was insufficient and had much to do with the ease in which the terrorists were able to enact their plans. Whether or not this is actually true, the media portrayed it to be so in many situations, and therefore the idea was put in the mind of the public eye. The immediate aftermath of the attacks included a vast amount of reactions to the situation. The government started to make plans of war, acts of security, public apologies etc. Organizations and media began to spread messages and feelings of community via radio and TV ads, as well as donations and aid to the relief. In the later aftermath, prevention tactics were enabled throughout the United States, many of which we use still use today. Airport security was heightened immensely after the attacks, and is still at a much higher level today then it was previously to the attacks. We are still involved in war a decade later, which has the overall goal to keep us safe and prevent the ability for any other attacks.
From this example as well as all other examples of resilience, it is apparent that a lot of work often must go into creating normalcy after a hazardous event. While this can be achieved by planning, reactions, and preventative steps, it is important to remember that though resilience is strived for, the community, organization, etc. effected by the event must gain knowledge and grow from it, or the point of resilience would not exist.
Resilience is the ability for a community to come back from a crisis. For example, when 9/11 occurred, the United States had to come together as a country and recover from the incident. If Americans did not unite after 9/11, the country would have basically fallen apart. According to The American Psychological Association there are ten ways to build resilience:
- Make connections
- Avoiding seeing crisis as insurmountable problems
- Accept that change is a part of living
- Move toward your goals
- Take decisive action
- Look for opportunities for self-discovery
- Nurture a positive view
- Maintain a hopeful outlook
- Take care of yourself
- Additional ways of strengthening resilience may be helpful
Although these steps are meant for individuals, they can easily be applied to communities. For example, if people in a community do not have connections with one another, they will not feel compelled to work together and solve whatever issues they may be facing. Another step says to take decisive action. We all have been in a situation where no one will make a decision. It become counter productive and nothing ever gets solves. People need to be willing to make hard choices, while keeping in mind what is good for the community. A third step says to maintain a hopeful outlook. It is important for the people involved in the tragedy to keep their hope. Without it, people begin to give up.
Above is a list of six important steps in maintaining resilience. By having these six domains, a community should be able to come together and recover. Community members need to remember all the above mentioned steps to keep increase resilience. A community that keeps these steps in mind will be better prepared to come back from a disaster or crisis.
According to Norris and our online reading, an overall disaster readiness strategy is created through the development of four “primary sets of adaptive capacities”. These capacities include, “Economic Development, Social Capital, Information and Communication, and Community Competence.” Now to me, this all looks like a bunch of mumbo jumbo so before we get into the communication techniques aspect of these capacities and how they might be used to create community resilience let’s first define what community resilience is. According to Norris,
“Community resilience is a process linking a network of adaptive capacities (resources with dynamic attributes) to adaptation after a disturbance or diversity.”
OR according to Norris, other individuals have their own way of defining community resilience as well. He references:
My favorite way to define community resilience comes from the document (also pictured in Norris’ work) by Egeland, 1993. They define it as,
“The capacity for successful adaptation, positive functioning, or competence…despite high-risk status, chronic stress, or following prolonged or severe trauma.”
So now with this basic understanding of making a positive recovery from a tragedy we can move on to what communication strategies might be used in doing so. Norris touches on aspects of communication that we have discussed in class in terms of getting a message across. He addresses the importance of correctly relaying correct information, using a trustworthy messenger who reflects the values of the community, and how to relay the information. Norris references September 11, 2001 in identifying strategies for communication. He writes,
“Communication infrastructure is also a valuable resource. On the basis of their experiences in New York City after the September 11th terrorist attacks, Draper et al. (2006) maintained that it is advantageous for a life-line (or hotline) system to be in place beforehand. These communication systems can be ramped up after the disaster to coordinate and deploy volunteers, and later they provide a central means for the pubic to learn about and access services (see also Norris et al. 2006). Media also can be engaged to publicize available services and educate the public about typical reactions to disaster (e.g., Gist and Stolz 1982; Norris et al. 2006).”
Norris calls attention to the common crisis communication theme of planning beforehand. This helps create order when everything appears to be out of place. Additionally, he references the media as a communication strategy. What better and faster of a way to disperse information than through the media. In class we have discussed television and radio usage but most importantly the use of social media as a communication strategy. Facebook and Twitter are phenomenal means to get a message to the public, and fast.
Now how do all of these add to community resilience? The answer is simple. Through the planning ahead communication strategies not only is restoration much easier to achieve but so is dictating how to restore, what resources are needed, and where to locate them. The strategy of media and more importantly social media enhances these objectives. Additionally, social media can serve as a network to establish advocates in the community, a mean for volunteers to be in the loop, and for those affected by the disaster to find comfort and hope. It is through these strategies that community resilience is able to and can be fully achieved.
Community Resilience refers to the adaptation that the population undergoes following a disaster.
There are many important communication strategies that need to be implemented in order to reach this sense of resiliency:
- One of the most important concepts of communicating to stakeholders during and after a disaster is to make sure that they are going to trust and listen to the source of information. It has been found that audiences are more likely to listen to a familiar source. Therefore, sometime it is better to send out information through a local source rather than and unknown national source.
- It is also important to keep messages short, simple, and easy to remember. Detailed plans are often less effective then short, direct ones.
- Community members need to understand their risks in order to collectively and flexibly get through and overcome disasters. Along with this, make sure members of the community are involved and understand each step of the adaptation.
- Make sure that those directly affected by the disaster have some sort of social support system directly after the disaster as well as in the months and even years to come. Many people may suffer from PTSD and will need this support to adapt to the “new normal.”
- Give members of the community a chance to help out and have a say in certain decisions. This empowerment will help members work together for the common good of the community and feel that they have a part in the adaptation.
- Allow members of the community to share their stories. This is a way for community members to relate to one another and understand that they are not alone. Members can reflect on what has happened and look forward to what is to come. An interesting case study on this specific strategy is September 11th. Many people have shared their stories over the years and now 10 years later there is a sense of resiliency and oneness.
- Finally, it is important to be prepared for uncertainty. You cannot have a plan for everything and therefore should have a plan to not have a plan.
Disasters happen all the time and it is important for communities to learn how to work together and communicate with one another in order to adapt to changes and learn to cope with the “new normal.”
The FEMA public information training fits very well with what we have been covering in this course. It repeated some things that were discussed in class so far and introduced some new ideas.
One thing that the course went over that we have been discussing is the importance of having a spokesperson. This was something that we have discussed several times, with the CDC module, textbook, and now with NIMS. It is important to have a key spokesperson to avoid confusion and to make sure the right message is getting out to the stakeholders. Another thing that we have gone over is staying on the same page. Ways of doing this include; speaking about your own program only, developing 1 or 2 key messages, and coming up with rhymes and acronyms.
Some things that FEMA went into detail on that we did not discuss as much in class were the PIO, JIS and JIC. The PIO (public information officer) is in charge of keeping track of messages by gathering, verifying, coordinating, and disseminating them.
The JIS (joint information system) is the actual system used to coordinate information and integrate all parties involved. The JIC (joint information center) is the actual location where parties come together to gather ideas and messages.
I think that the FEMA training was a helpful addition to this course and helped me realize that the things we’ve been going over in class are real and are used during “real life” disasters.