Positive experiences of first responder action in the recovery phase of a disaster outweighs negative ones
Generally, participants’ descriptions of positive experiences with authorities outweighed by far the recount of negative experiences. These positive experiences mostly referred to Civil Protection and the fire brigade, and in these descriptions the participants frequently drew a connection between their trust and the respective unit’s speed of response, perceiving a speedy intervention as a sign for qualification and preparedness: “I called the fire brigade, they were on the way back from a fire, and on their way back they passed by my house. Their intervention [removal of a pole that had fallen on the participant’s car] was fast and effective, and they didn’t want anything back. This is a sense of trust and readiness” (G8-P5). “I was in Sardinia, it was a beautiful day, but around 5pm a hailstorm arrived […] it damaged all the roofs of the houses in the village, cars, windscreens, animals died […] in the same night the fire fighters intervened to verify which roofs were ok and which weren’t. I trust them because they arrived immediately” (G9-P8). “I experienced a patrol by fire fighters a couple of days after the earthquake. We had a lot of cracks in the wall and we called them. They arrived on time and were very precise. This reassured us and instilled trust” (G2-P9).
Disaster Phases: Response
- Engage in activities and develop strategies aiming to improve trust between citizens and authorities
- Inform citizens about the risk they may face and about possible actions and measures, they can take to reduce vulnerability and better prepare themselves
- Use cultural factors to improve the effectiveness of disaster communication