Gather as much information as possible related to disaster management as it will help you manage your fear and act more efficiently in case of a disaster, which in return increases your probability to survive as well as to help others


Generally speaking, negative feelings such as fear and worry are associated with disaster preparedness, but they have to be considered in the context of several other factors. Negative emotions should be managed with special caution since if they are severely intense they could lead to sub-optimal disaster behaviour (e.g. panic turning to mass hysteria). Receiving information related to the risk in a way which makes people recognize it and be concerned about it, but not panic helps them behave in a more efficiently one.

Applicable to:

Implementation steps:

A. Inform yourself about the authorities responsible for assisting citizens for each particular disaster type in your culture and country and channel information through that authority (i.e. army for war, scientists for nuclear disasters, etc.).

B. Follow the instructions of authorities and coordinate the help that you wish to offer with them.

C. If you live in a risk prone region, familiarize yourself with information about those particular risks, as well as the guidelines you should follow in the event of a disaster and the location of relevant authorities.

D. Even if you are religious person you should partake in community’s efforts to prepare for the disaster and minimize its consequences. Related cultural factors: Ethnicity

E. Especially after man-made disasters (e.g. terrorist attacks) it is advisable to seek psychological counselling.


Further reading:

Helsloot, I., & Ruitenberg, A. (2004). Citizen response to disasters: a survey of literature and some practical implications. Journal of contingencies and crisis management, 12(3).

Siegrist, M., & Gutscher, H. (2008). Natural hazards and motivation for mitigation behavior: People cannot predict the affect evoked by a severe flood. Risk Analysis, 28(3).

Keller, C., Siegrist, M., & Gutscher, H. (2006). The role of the affect and availability heuristics in risk communication. Risk analysis, 26(3).