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Improving communication during volcanic crises on small, vulnerable, islands

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Increased exposure to volcanic hazard, particularly at vulnerable small islands, is driving an urgent and growing need for improved communication between monitoring scientists, emergency managers and the media, in advance of and during volcanic crises. Information gathering exercises undertaken on volcanic islands (Guadeloupe, St. Vincent and Montserrat) in the Lesser Antilles (eastern Caribbean), which have recently experienced – or are currently experiencing – volcanic action, have provided the basis for the compilation and publication of a handbook on Communication During Volcanic Emergencies, aimed at the principal stakeholder groups. The findings of the on-island surveys point up the critical importance of (1) bringing together monitoring scientists, emergency managers, and representatives of the media, well in advance of a volcanic crisis, and (2), ensuring that procedures and protocols are in place that will allow, as far as possible, effective and seamless cooperation and coordination when and if a crisis situation develops. Communication During Volcanic Emergencies is designed to promote and encourage both of these priorities through providing the first source-book addressing working relationships and inter-linkages between the stakeholder groups, and providing examples of good and bad practice. While targeting the volcanic islands of the eastern Caribbean, the source-book and its content are largely generic, and the advice and guidelines contained therein have equal validity in respect of improving communication before and during crises at any volcano, and have application to the communication issue in respect of a range of other geophysical hazards.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-75
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Volume183
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2009

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