Resilient Communication : A New Crisis Communication Strategy for Homeland Security

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Authors
Watson, Sharon L.
Subjects
crisis communication strategy
emergency communication plan
resilient messaging
resilient communication
Greensburg tornado
Advisors
Bellavita, Christopher
Date of Issue
2012-03
Date
Mar-12
Publisher
Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
Current crisis communication plans and guidance at all levels of government focus almost exclusively on communication during a crisis, rather than a comprehensive approach that also addresses the timeframe well before and well after a disaster. Furthermore, existing crisis communication strategy does not include approaches to enhance resiliency in individuals and communities affected by disaster. A case study of the 2007 Greensburg, Kansas tornado assessed the crisis communication strategy surrounding the disaster to assist in the development of a new comprehensive crisis communication strategy for homeland security. The case study revealed the need for homeland security leaders to reframe crisis communication by considering disasters as the norm, not a rarity. The case study also found significant benefits to utilizing a complex systems approach in crisis communication strategy, specifically the pragmatic complexity model. New crisis communication approaches were recommended including a public partnership approach and a resilient messaging/survivor psychology approach. The research recommendations also included specific before and after message themes to engage the public and help them become more resilient. The case study and research concluded a state-level strategy would be most beneficial and would allow specific messaging to be delivered by leaders familiar to the community affected.
Type
Thesis
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Department
Security Studies
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
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Copyright is reserved by the copyright owner.
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