Workshop Report/Summary

How Communities Can Use Risk Assessment Results: Making Ends Meet: A Summary of the June 3, 2010 Workshop of the Disasters Roundtable (2011)

During and after a disaster, text messages, tweets, Smartphone apps, and social networks, along with 24-hour cable news and other media, deliver relevant information to emergency responders, decision-makers, and the general public. Participants in the workshop "How Communities Can Use Risk Assessment Results: Making Ends Meet" identified ways to use these technologies to communicate the risk associated with an emergency or disaster event, identify and assess real-time conditions in impacted areas, and inform the efforts of responders. This workshop was one session in the World Bank's conference on "Understanding Risk: Innovation in Disaster Risk Assessment."

Workshop participants emphasized three core messages: (1) the need to integrate bottom-up communications from citizens to keep emergency responders and managers informed of changing conditions; (2) the need to prepare people for disaster and emergency situations, including expected emotional reactions, developing and practicing emergency plans, and improving communications and preparedness; and (3) the importance of virtual and personal social networks in increasing resilience and connecting the technological risk assessments with increased resilience to emergency and disaster events.