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Effective Communication of Natural Hazards in the Era of Information Explosion

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The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) in southwestern BC is prone to various natural hazards due to its unique geological and meteorological conditions. In response, local governments, NGOs, and academic institutions have implemented programs to mitigate these risks. However, the effectiveness of these programs and their alignment with community needs remain uncertain due to limited research. To address this knowledge gap, the Centre for Natural Hazards Research at SFU conducted an online survey from November 2021 to March 2022.
The survey had three objectives: 1) establish a baseline understanding of the community's knowledge and preparedness for natural hazards, 2) identify factors influencing community behavior, and 3) assess the effectiveness of communication methods. Our results indicate that while SLRD residents have a general awareness and reasonable preparedness, there is room for improvement. More than half of participants expressed dissatisfaction with current risk communication approaches and mitigation plans. Challenges in comprehending government-provided emergency maps were also identified.
The findings from this survey have been compiled in this report, which provides valuable guidance for governments in natural hazard management and education.
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Effective Communication of Natural Hazards in the Era of Information Explosion
Centre for Natural Hazards Research Department of Earth Science, Simon Fraser University
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