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Learn -9 (The five secrets of Crisis Communication)
The five secrets of Crisis Communication gracefully shared by Harvard's Neiman Foundation for Journalism is very important in Disaster and Crisis Management. All of the secret points coming to terms with uncertainty, covering risk, outbreak communication, managing panic in a pandemic and How do people react in a pandemic offers very essential information for the professionals like me dealing with social protection and can relate to the disaster management.
I have picked Managing Panic in a Pandemic as a favorite point right now to be shared with all the evoke members.
MANAGING PANIC IN A PANDEMIC:
Disasters often come un announced and majority of the times without giving warning alerts for preparedness. So it is always challenging to manage the fear and risk associated with the consequences of disaster. In this situation phchological first aid is even more important than the physical first aid. Developing public trust, relaxing general population, pushing technology, dealing different mindsets pose challenge and if not handled efficiently and effectively can impact adversely on recovery and rehabilitation phase of the disaster. It has been observed during the disaster phase that mainly there are three kind of people, 1) First who are mentally sound and even in disaster they have control on their senses and they start helping others, mitigating the disaster, look after other victims and forget about their own issues 2) Second type of category includes people who have only senses to look after themselves or their immediate relations and they see others guidance and help to change their situation, 3) Third type of people includes who have been attacked psychologically by the disaster and who have lost their senses, they are in continuous fear, fear of disaster repetition, fear of recovery, fear of everything and they have lost hope for recovery.
Managing these three type of people is always challenge and needs specific treatment during the disaster. Disaster Management Team has to be careful while dealing each one for reducing the fear and boosting the moral and hope in them.
People often loose trust and they don’t expect good any more during that phase. So Public trust has to be ensured through separate handling of each group so that at least they can take charge of themselves. Disseminating right kind of messages and information would have impact on gaining confidence in the disaster and ensure cooperation of all during disaster management process. If there is no confidence developed among the ma**** there is no chance of getting action on instructions for the recovery. In this situation there are five key words which can really move the process of recovery on i.e SAFETY, CALMING, CONNECTION, EFFICACY & HOPE.