Date: December 2015
Creator: Manandhar, Rejina
Description: Within risk communication, much is understood about pre-event warning related to evacuation and sheltering; however risk communication during the return-entry phase when ending evacuations has been largely under-studied in the disaster literature. Understanding of the return-entry risk communication process is important because returning early or prior to issuance of the all-clear message can make returnees susceptible to post-disaster risks, and also hamper post-disaster activities such as debris removal, traffic management, utility restoration and damage assessments. Guided by the Warning Components Framework and the Theory of Motivated Information Management, this dissertation focuses on risk communication as it pertains to organizational behavior during the return-entry process by examining how local emergency management organizations develop, disseminate and monitor return-entry messages. The data is collected through semi-structured telephone interviews with local emergency management organizations that managed return-entry following Hurricane Sandy. The findings of the study indicate that local emergency management organizations required information on post-disaster threats, damages, and utility and infrastructure condition in order to develop return-entry strategy for their community. Organizations improvised to their existing risk communication measures by adopting creative ways for information dissemination to the evacuees. They also utilized active and passive approach to monitor public response to the return-entry messages.
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