Lack of trust hampering risk-adapted behaviour


Trust is difficult to gain by outsiders “because trust establishment is a long-term process that includes a history with a specific audience”. Gultom (for literature reference see original source document) describes how this can result in inaction, as follows: “people… are unlikely to pay attention and act on information provided by someone in whom they have a lack of trust; this will prevent the transformation of the information provided into usable knowledge”. Instead, those affected tend to look for alternative information, from people they do trust. Warner and Engel (for literature reference see original source) believe this is due to differing cultural frames of reference: “…different communities reach for their own sub-cultural reservoir and network and find it difficult to co-operate with external networks characterized by different sub-cultures”. This is an important point for communicating evacuation information or warning levels, for example. It means, essentially, that although DMAs may believe they have informed communities of the risks and actions to be taken, citizens may not believe it or act on it.

Applicable to:

Cultural Factors: Norms/values, Customs/traditions/rituals, Local knowledge, Communication

Hazards: Natural hazards, Man-made non-intentional hazards or emergency situations, Man-made intentional hazards

Disaster Phases: Preparedness, Response

Types of Actors Concerned: National civil protection body, Local authorities, Non-active citizens, Government, Red Cross, NGOs, Military, Law enforcement agencies, Healthcare and emergency services, European Civil Protection Mechanism, UN and other international organisations