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Session 5 Communicating Risk

Session 5 Communicating Risk

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Session 5 Communicating Risk

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  1. Session 5Communicating Risk Ute J. Dymon, Professor Nancy L. Winter, PhD Kent State University

  2. PURPOSE OF A RISK ASSESSMENT • The major aim of risk assessment is: • To quantify a risk through its probability of occurrence and consequences in order to help manage it. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  3. DEFINITION OF RISK ASSESSMENT • A scientific process of evaluating theadverse effects caused by a substance, activity, lifestyle, or natural phenomenon Session 5: Communicating Risk

  4. UNAVOIDABLE UNCERTAINTY • With uncertainty unavoidable, theimplication is that a statement of risk is not necessarily a statement of absolute fact. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  5. DEFINITION OF RISK PERCEPTION • Humans perceive risk as the degree of imminent danger they feel they are in. • Risk Perception: • is the study of the bases for these human insights. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  6. DEFINITION OF RISK COMMUNICATION • Risk Communication: • is the process of developing and delivering a message from the risk expert to the general public. • (Cutter 1993) • Or in the words of Ortwin Renn "an intentional transfer of information." Session 5: Communicating Risk

  7. QUANTITAVE DEFINITION OF RISK • RISK = P x C • RISK = PROBABILITY times CONSEQUENCE Session 5: Communicating Risk

  8. RATING A RISK • HIGH PROBABILITY (Common occurrence) • LOW CONSEQUENCE (with few serious outcomes or consequences) • Example: A hiker stumbles slightly while walking a wooded trail. • LOW PROBABILITY (rare happening) • HIGH CONSEQUENCE (with very serious outcomes or consequences) • Example: A large tree falls and crushes a hiker walking a wooded trail. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  9. DEFINITION OF A HAZARD • Threats to humans and what they value (Kates,1985). Session 5: Communicating Risk

  10. WHAT MAKES A TRUE* RISK MAP? • A. Mathematical calculation of the risk • B. A method for depicting the calculated range of probabilities of the risk • C. Legend with range of probabilities shown as calculated numbers ranging from zero to one. • D. View Interactive Earthquake Probability Maps at http://equint.cr.usgs.gov/eq/cgi-bin/eqprob.cgi • *True risk maps are rare. In most cases the range of probabilities is shown with coarse rankings such as high, medium and low. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  11. NATURAL HAZARDS SUMMARY RISK AREAhttp://www.csc.noaa.gov/rvat/hazid.html Session 5: Communicating Risk

  12. COMPARING RISK TO VULNERABILITY • RISK is usually tied to a factual event or condition. • VULNERABILITY often pertains to a system such as power supply. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  13. HAZARD ANALYSIS • Locate, gather and process data • Assign scores to risk areas with higher rankings indicating higher risk • Identify high-risk locations by finding areas with the highest scores • Focus your vulnerability assessment on areasand/or structures located in the highest risk locations. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  14. "PUBLICS" • For convenience we refer to the citizenry as the "public" or the "general public". • However, in real life there are many different groupings that could be called "publics". • In risk communication there are many different audiences or "publics" to consider when shaping a message .. • Victims • public officials • the elderly • the media • etc. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  15. RISK CHARACTERISTICS AFFECTING RISK PERCEPTION • OUTRAGE = the level of public anger and fear about an environmental risk issue. • OUTRAGE FACTORS are those characteristics of a risk situation which cause, • Fear • Anger • Defensiveness • Frustration • OUTRAGE, or these emotional responses to risk news, play a bigger role in public reaction than the scientific information. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  16. TEN OUTRAGE FACTORS • People have an emotional response when they perceive a risk to be: • INVOLUNTARY • INCONTROLLABLE • IMMORAL • UNFAMILIAR • DREADFUL • UNCERTAIN • CATASTROPHIC • MEMORABLE • UNFAIR • UNTRUSTWORTHY Session 5: Communicating Risk

  17. TEN OUTRAGE FACTORS • INVOLUNTARY - People don't like to be forced to face a risk such as trace chemicals in tap water, • BUT...they will VOLUNTARILY take risks such as drinking diet soda. • UNCONTROLLABLE - People feel helpless to change the situation when someone else such as government or industry has the power to prevent a risk, • BUT...citizens find a risk more acceptable if “THEY” can prevent or reduce it, such as using household chemicals properly. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  18. TEN OUTRAGE FACTORS (continued) • IMMORAL - Pollution is seen as an evil, • THEREFORE...people find it unethical for government and industries to claim that a risk is acceptable based on cost-benefit analysis or because there is "only" a low incidence of harm. • UNFAMILIAR - An industrial process making a strange chemical is a much less acceptable risk than something more everyday, such as driving a car or eating junk food. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  19. TEN OUTRAGE FACTORS (continued) • DREAD - A risk that could cause a much-feared or dread disease (such as most cancers) is felt as more dangerous than a risk that could cause a less-feared disease. • UNCERTAIN - People become uneasy when scientist are not certain about the risk posed by: • a hazard • its exact effect • its severity • its prevalence. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  20. TEN OUTRAGE FACTORS (continued) • CATASTROPHIC - A risk resulting in a large-scale disastrous event (plane crash, nuclear plant meltdown) is more dreaded than a risk affecting single individuals (auto crashes, radon). • MEMORABLE - If a potential risk is similar to a hazardous event imbedded in everyone's memory, such as Three Mile Island, Bhopal or the Southeast Asian Tsunami of 2005, it is perceived as much more dangerous than the risk of some unheard-of or little-known disease. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  21. TEN OUTRAGE FACTORS (continued) • UNFAIR - People are outraged if they feel they are being wrongfully exposed to a risk, such as.. • being exposed to a risk that a neighboring community or people in a different economic bracket are not being exposed to • being exposed to a risk with no benefit from it, e.g., living next to a nuclear waste dump but getting no electricity from nuclear power. • In contrast, people will risk being exposed to medical X-rays because they perceive a benefit that outweighs the risk. • UNTRUSTWORTHY - People are outraged if they have no confidence in the industry or government that is the source of a risk. • They will accept risks from what they view as a reliable risk source, such as a doctor. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  22. VALID EMOTIONAL REACTIONS vs. A TECHNICALLY BASED VALUE SYSTEM • Conflicts around risk issues result from groups with vastly different values opposing each other. • Emotional responses to risk are based on psychologically valid factors. • When humans become aware of a threat they naturally: • fear the unknown • want to keep control • protect home and family • are alienated by their dependence on others (government, industry officials) • protect their belief in a just world. • Technically trained officials trust scientific analysis, engineering solutions and contingency plans and believe that experts know best. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  23. MUTUALLY ACCEPTABLE SOLUTIONS • The valid psychological emotional needs of people are often ignored or condemned by those with technical training. • Outrage factors must be recognized and met by those trying to communicate scientific facts about a risk before a mutually acceptable solution to a risk problem can be found. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  24. GUIDELINES FOR COMMUNICATING RISKS WITH MAPPING • SIMPLICITY • know your audience • choose appropriate vocabulary • TRANSPARENCY • explain uncertainties in data • CLARITY • keep map uncluttered • don’t do too much with one map Session 5: Communicating Risk

  25. ROLES OF MAPS AND MODELS IN RISK COMMUNICATION • The broad roles maps and models can play in risk communication: • Hazard maps • locate threats • Risk maps • depict the range of probabilities in the occurrence of a hazardous event. • Models • reveal paths and processes in nature and in hazard management. • Visualization • offers exploration of the data available on a given hazard Session 5: Communicating Risk

  26. HUMANS OPERATE BY MENTAL MODELS • Mental models are diagrams and maps people have stored in their heads from their past experiences and from learning how the world works. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  27. LOCATION • …is a key concept in the perception of risk. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  28. ABUNDANT MAPPING THAT ANSWERS • Where is it? • What do we know about it? • What might happen if we did nothing? • What are we doing? • What should you (local officials, the public, newspaper readers) do? Session 5: Communicating Risk

  29. http://www.husdal.com/gis/images/CatMapUS_8inch.gif Session 5: Communicating Risk

  30. VISUALIZATION • A tool for: • Searching through enormous volumes of data. • Analysis to find hidden relationships. • Communicating complex patterns. • Providing a formal framework for data presentation. Session 5: Communicating Risk

  31. VISUALIZATION IN PRACTICE TODAY • Geospatial data such as vector and raster maps are being used to generate new cartographic products for visualization over the Internet. • Digital elevation models (DEMs), orthomosaics and 3D animations are replacing traditional techniques for the display of geospatial information and geographical phenomena. • Compelling presentations of rendered landscapes with animated fly-throughs are powerful tools for decision-making in fields such as hazard identification, environmental protection, safety and security, and natural resource management. • Cartographic Visualization on the Internet can the found on the website • http://maps.nrcan.gc.ca/visualization/results/terrain_visual.html Session 5: Communicating Risk

  32. MODEL OF STEPS IN VISUALIZATION MIRROR THE GOALS OF MAP USE Session 5: Communicating Risk

  33. RISK ASSESSMENT MAPS Session 5: Communicating Risk

  34. http://www.husdal.com/gis/images/p2.gif Session 5: Communicating Risk

  35. VOLCANIC HAZARD MAPShttp://eqhazmaps.usgs.gov/html/map_graphic.html Session 5: Communicating Risk

  36. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=10784http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=10784 Maps of West Nile Virus Risk Session 5: Communicating Risk