S3.15: Creating “volcano-ready” communities: communicating for resilience and response


Angela Doherty

Auckland Emergency Management, New Zealand

Beth Bartel

UNAVCO, United States of America

Mylene Villegas

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, the Philippines

Wendy K. Stovall

USGS, United States of America

When it comes to volcanoes, Readiness is as important as Response. Our greatest tool in both is communication — whether online or in person. There is important work to do during both quiescence and crisis to promote awareness; provide timely and accurate information; and build trust and relationships with at-risk communities, decision makers, and emergency responders. In this session, we aim to share communication knowledge, experience, and, where possible, research results within the international volcanological community. Half of the session will be dedicated to oral presentations from practiced communicators. The second half will be an open forum discussion led by invited guests. Attendees should feel free to bring examples of effective ways to help create “volcano-ready” communities!
Submissions may explore, but are not limited to, the following topics:
  • Raising awareness and building resilience in our communities, while avoiding sensationalism or warning fatigue during quiescence.
  • Effective communication during a crisis, with limited resources.
  • Using social media as a tool to engage during quiescence and alert during crisis.
  • Understanding our diverse communities and their different communication preferences and needs.
  • Conveying complex topics in simple terms.
  • Addressing misinformation without feeding the frenzy.
  • Helping mainstream media to report on volcanic hazards more responsibly.
  • Building partnerships for stronger communication.
  • Evaluating effectiveness of communications efforts.
With a better understanding of our international community’s successes and challenges, we can both learn from and better support each other in a global media landscape. Perspectives from all sectors of volcano communication, including emergency response, academia, scientific agencies, and media, are welcome.
Core connection between the proposed session and societal risk mitigation: Communication is our greatest tool in building resilient, “volcano-ready” communities, and helping inform and protect them during times of volcanic crisis. But communication needs vary between countries and communities. Coming together to learn from each other and better support each other in a global media landscape, can help build our global capacity and develop networks of effective communicators to support our communities living with volcanic risk.
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