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How to best communicate dynamic hazard and risk information?

Strengthening society’s resilience and enabling people to better handle natural disasters is a joint endeavor various international frameworks pursue (e.g., Sendai Framework, Paris Agreement). An important role in enhancing resilience plays the appropriate and effective communication of information before, during and after an event. To this end, one has to know its audiences, build relationships with involved stakeholders and iteratively develop and test different communication products and services. Good communication is tailored to its audiences and motivates them to take preventive and even life-saving actions.

This session aims at gaining a better understanding of how to best communicate dynamic hazard and risk information to various non-expert stakeholders in the respective field including the public, decision makers or critical infrastructure owners. Welcomed are submissions exploring different means for sharing hazard and risk information related to earthquakes and other natural or anthropogenic hazards taking into account different aspects (e.g. format, medium, stakeholders, cultural context, temporality, uncertainties). Of special interest are submissions that discuss the dynamics of hazard and risk information as crises evolve and different approaches might be needed at different stages. Of particular interest are contributions related to information supporting people in taking immediate actions as well as case studies or best practices at different stages of the hazard and risk cycle.

We invite everyone dealing with hazard and risk communication at any stage of the hazard and risk cycle to hand in a contribution, namely researchers, practitioners, journalists, educators, and policy makers. The diversity of participants will enrich the discussions of this session.

Convener: Irina DalloECSECS | Co-conveners: Michèle MartiECSECS, Laure FallouECSECS
| Mon, 23 May, 17:00–18:30 (CEST)
Room 1.14

Mon, 23 May, 17:00–18:30

Chairperson: Irina Dallo


Marina Corradini et al.

@LastQuake is the official Twitter channel (200k followers) of the Euro-Med Seismological Centre. When an earthquake strikes, real-time information on the seismic event is automatically published via a Twitter-robot. This robot was developed in 2012 and its automatic tweets range from scientific information about earthquake location and magnitude, to accounts of shaking felt by earthquake eyewitnesses and safety guidelines and tsunami warnings. Although efficient and reliable, over the years the robot has shown margins for improvement:

  • after a large magnitude event, the tweets related to the aftershocks overshadow the information about the mainshock – how should the robot cluster and prioritize earthquake information?

  • a non-destructive earthquake currently generates interactions on Twitter for only twenty minutes, while a destructive event attracts the interest of various audiences (i.e., the affected population, the seismologists, the media) for a much longer period of time – how should the robot regulate the duration of information depending upon the earthquake?

  • although used world-wide, @LastQuake is still not well-known in certain countries – how could Twitter be used to reach out to a much greater number of earthquake eyewitnesses and better assess the earthquake effects?

We renewed @LastQuake to better tailor the information to our different audiences and to make the most of the EMSC’s most recently-developed services. In order to cluster information on the same event, our new robot uses the Twitter-thread functionality, where information about the same event is gathered in a series of connected tweets. To regulate the duration of information, we classify earthquakes into five categories depending upon their magnitude, the interest they generate among the public, and their destructiveness potential:

  • small magnitude earthquakes with and without public interest;
  • larger magnitude earthquakes with and without public interest;
  • destructive earthquakes.

Each class has different information displayed, and hence a different length of the thread. To increase awareness of the LastQuake service in a region where we are not well-known, and potentially gather a much greater number of felt reports after an earthquake, the robot is now equipped with an ‘invitation tweet’, a feature that allows, in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation, to automatically respond to tweets from potential earthquake eyewitnesses in a specified region and invite them to report their experience in the case of an earthquake. During an earthquake, the affected population process information and act differently than they would do in times of non-crisis: our wording and tone are carefully chosen to provide reliable and empathetic communication, and we improved our illustrations to be accessible to users suffering from color-vision deficiency. To debunk misinformation and fake news, we prepared a series of educational tweets in collaboration with IRIS. The new robot is versatile, targeting not only the affected population, with urgent information, but also the seismologists, with technical information, and the general public and the media, with wrap-up information on what has just happened.

We will present to you the renewed @LastQuake Twitter-bot environment and discuss our strategy for tailoring earthquake crisis communications via Twitter. 

How to cite: Corradini, M., Chény, J.-M., Bossu, R., Roussel, F., Landès, M., Roch, J., Steed, R., Fallou, L., and Souty, V.: @LastQuake: automatic earthquake communications tailored to vulnerable communities, seismologists, the public, and the media., EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-663, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-663, 2022.

laure fallou et al.

On January 12th 2010, Haiti was hit by one of the largest seismic disasters known to date. At the time, seismic sensors, knowledge and risk culture were critically lacking. The dramatic social, political and economic consequences of the event revealed the importance of developing seismic risk reduction in Haiti.


We present here the communication components of a citizen-seismology project in Haiti.. The project called OSMOSE propose to contribute to risk reduction by in installing low-cost seismic sensors (Raspberry Shake) at volunteers’ houses to (1) collect seismic data and complement the national seismic network, and (2) engage with the population to understand their risk perception and the usage they could make of these tools. 


An international team of geoscientists, education specialists and social science researchers gathered to build an efficient communication strategy, which aimed at (1) informing the public about seismic risk and felt earthquakes, (2) establish a trust relationship with volunteers who host sensors, educate them about science and risk, (3) support the volunteers in their ambassador roles among their community.


In order to establish a communication strategy that was inclusive and suitable to the local cultural context (including scientific literacy level, vodou culture, risk culture, past trauma, trust in the authorities etc), we first led a quantitative survey among the general public and a series of sociological semi-structured interviews with Raspberry Shake hosts who volunteered for the project. This enabled us to assess information expectations in terms of content and medium. 

Working with geoscientists, we then designed a first set of tools to respond to these needs, when possible. For instance, a website (https://ayiti.unice.fr/ayiti-seismes/) enables the public to know in a few minutes where an earthquake occurs and what its magnitude is, thanks to seismic data collected by the citizen network. It also displays educational information about seismology. The LastQuake app which crowdsources seismic data was translated into Creole for better access in the country. Finally, a WhatsApp group gathering volunteers and scientists has also been created given the importance of the messaging app in daily communication and information practices in Haiti. The group enables them to exchange information about the technical and scientific aspects of the Raspberry Shake they host and data they collect. During the August 14th 2021 earthquake, the group was used to share information about damage and rumors.


Yet, this communication strategy is still incomplete and requires improvements. For instance, volunteers requested pedagogical support to better play their ambassador role among their community. Communication towards the general public also needs to gain visibility and accessibility. As part of an iterative process, additional interviews and assessment will help us improve the communication strategy. We will also include additional partners (such as schools, disaster management institutions, etc.) and test other methods such as a Virtual Reality tool. 


We argue not only that assessing the public needs is essential to build an inclusive and efficient communication strategy but also that the citizen-science approach is a strong asset to achieve this goal.

How to cite: fallou, L., Corbet, A., Calixte, N., Hurbon, L., Calais, E., Theodat, J.-M., Courboulex, F., Bossu, R., Guerrier, K., Etienne, G., Monfret, T., Ampuero, J.-P., Symithe, S., Cheze, J., Peix, F., Paul, S., and Deschamps, A.: Building an efficient and inclusive communication strategy for risk reduction in Haiti through a citizen-seismology approach, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9942, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-9942, 2022.

Sarah Dryhurst and Alexandra Freeman

Communicating a risk is far more than ‘getting a number across’ – it’s communicating likelihood and impact in such a way as to allow each member of the audience to make decisions based on their understanding of that risk. This means helping put that likelihood and impact into an appropriate context, and helping the audience weigh up in their mind the costs and benefits of different actions. In this presentation we will illustrate some of our work on communicating personalised risks from Covid-19 and Covid vaccinations, and how these findings might apply to the communication of seismic hazard and risk. For example, is it appropriate to compare the likelihood of someone dying from Covid-19 (if they catch it) with the likelihood of that same person dying from another cause? Our research suggests that people don’t find this as helpful as comparing their likelihood of dying from Covid-19 against the likelihoods of other people with different, familiar risk factors (such as older people, younger people, people with a pre-existing health condition etc). Does the same apply for seismic hazard and risk, such as operational earthquake forecasts? Would it help people to show the chances of their local area experiencing a seismic event compared to the chances in a range of other cities that they know (with high and low hazards)?  We will discuss the pros and cons of such an approach in communicating operational earthquake forecasts.

How to cite: Dryhurst, S. and Freeman, A.: Communicating risks: the problem of putting numbers into context, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-13311, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-13311, 2022.

Michèle Marti and Irina Dallo

Immediately after the shaking of an earthquake has stopped, people want to know what has happened. This concern is not only sensational; those affected seek for advice on what to do next, want additional information they like to share it with their friends and family. This is also true for first responders, who welcome every available insight to plan their emergency response. Rapid impact assessments, automatically generated after an event to locate the affected area and estimate the impact of a specific earthquake in terms of human, infrastructure, and economic losses, can provide such information. Therewith, the information rapid impact assessments contain is of interest for professionals with and without a specific expertise in earthquake risk management, the media, and the interested public. To make use and take meaningful decisions based on this information, rapid impact assessments must be well accessible, clearly structured, useful, and understandable, and meet the needs of different user groups. Based on primary results of the first seismic risk model for Switzerland, we tested rapid impact assessments outputs designed following the state of the art in risk communication. From the feedback of different user groups, we derived recommendations on how to best design useful rapid impact assessments for Switzerland.

How to cite: Marti, M. and Dallo, I.: Designing rapid impact assessments for Switzerland, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-7795, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-7795, 2022.

Maria Vittoria Gargiulo et al.

Risk perception is a concept of fundamental importance for the resilience of societies. An important effort to raise the level of risk awareness must be made by the scientific community, which must adopt innovative communication techniques to get closer to the local community. A striking example of how crucial scientific communication is to risk perception was and still is Covid 19. Which allowed us to appreciate how important, if not necessary, it is to focus the energies of the scientific community not only on pure research, but also on how its outputs are communicated to the public.

It is therefore of fundamental importance for the scientific and civil community to disseminate information on the subject to create greater individual awareness and sensitivity, and to enable all citizens to make a tangible contribution to environmental protection through virtuous behaviour in everyday life, even outside the school/work context. The possibilities of risk mitigation, in fact, depend not only on the scientific community but also on how well prepared and informed society is about the risk itself. It is, therefore, crucial to train the local population to increase disaster risk preparedness and resilience of the society.

The younger generation plays a key role in the scientific awareness of society, representing both the future of society and a conduit to reach and educate their families.

In this perspective, the use of Serious Games, which is certainly an innovative practice in science communication, is gaining momentum since it favours participants' learning through their active involvement in the activities.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we developed, using serious games, two didactic experiences, one dedicated to seismic risk (ALARM) and the other dedicated to climate change (Finding Gaia), targeting secondary school students, their families and science enthusiasts. Both experiences are characterised by an approach that is virtual and inclusive, allowing participation to people with motor disabilities, and fully interactive, through a series of quizzes, puzzles, and tasks of different difficulty, to include more and less experts/enthusiasts and exploit not only top-down but also peer-to-peer learning.

Moreover, these experiences encourage the use of certain topics by allowing the basic concepts to be used in everyday life while the guidance of experts throughout the game allow a critical understanding of the topic.

Before the start and at the end of any of these activities, an evaluation phase was carried out to assess the learning experience and the effectiveness of the science communication technique. For both practices, it was also found that, thanks to the introduction of the serious game, the virtual characteristic of the experience was evaluated as not negative, even though all the experiences were carried out during the COVID19 pandemic, with obvious repercussions on the disposition of the participants.

This work has been supported by CORE ("sCience and human factor for Resilient sociEty") project, funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 - research and innovation program under grant agreement No 101021746 and by PRIN-MATISSE (20177EPPN2) project funded by Italian Ministry of Education and Research.

How to cite: Gargiulo, M. V., Napolitano, F., Amoroso, O., Russo, R., and Capuano, P.: Risk Perception: make it fun! Examples of serious games to educate risk perception, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1219, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-1219, 2022.

Irina Dallo et al.

Communicating event-related hazard and risk information can prompt effective public response and consequently, reduce injuries and fatalities caused by these hazards. Due to the technological evolution in recent years, multi-hazard platforms have become common practice to provide real-time information to the public. Multi-hazard platforms allow to disseminate information about cascading effects and eliminate the need for people to download separate apps for the different hazards. However, providing information about multiple hazards on a single platform comes with various challenges: First, multiple messages can overstrain the public, causing confusion or inaction. Second, since hazards are different in their nature, intensity, return period, and the effects they have on society, their comparability is limited, complicating the aim of providing consistent hazard messages. Third, people struggle to understand that they often receive forecasts for weather-related hazards, whereas for earthquakes they mainly receive post-event information. With our study, we addressed these challenges by designing and testing different multi-hazard overviews and specific hazard messages, focusing not only on the actionability of the information but also on providing clear time indications.

For this purpose, we applied a transdisciplinary research approach. We first designed various multi-hazard overviews and hazard messages which were refined during five virtual workshops with scientists and other experts (N=15) from different fields. Second, we conducted a survey (N=601, between-subjects experiment) with the Swiss public to test whether our designs with time and action indications increase people’s intention to take actions and their correct interpretation of the information presented. We further assessed whether the personal factors of the theory of planned behavior also have an influence on people’s action taking and interpretation abilities.

Based on our findings we recommend to design multi-hazarad overviews as followed: a map with a list below containing information about the affected areas, the time and date of the event, and the recommended action (prepare, inform, act). This enhances people’s understanding of the information and intention to access further information. Regarding the hazard messages, we confirm the importance of the information elements: hazard type and level, affected areas, time, behavioral recommendations, possible impacts, and source. Further, we recommend adding a time- and action-related icon since we found that such an icon motivates people to take actions and ensures that they understand whether they should take immediate actions or still have time to prepare for an event. Thus, making sure that they take the right action at the right time. Moreover, a better understanding of the personal factors influencing people’s intention to take actions and their interpretation abilities allows the communication platforms to be tailored to specific needs of various groups.

To conclude, our multi-hazard overviews and specific hazard messages show that making information on multi-hazard platforms more actionable, time-oriented and understandable can prompt effective public response and therewith increases society’s resilience toward disasters.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 821115.

How to cite: Dallo, I., Stauffacher, M., and Marti, M.: Communicating actionable and understandable event-related information on multi-hazard platforms, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-244, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-244, 2022.

John Bruun

The topic of risks in our climate and geosciences setting is highly emotive. When a sudden and extreme event occurs, the emotional consequences of an absence of any planning or mitigation can be severe to the communities and people involved. There are multiple parts of society that are impacted across these events. Where there is an absence of awareness around the issues of equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) then, disappointingly, it is typically the disadvantaged groups in that society that are the most impacted. With the raised awareness around the consequences of anthropogenic heating of the planet, we are now faced with increasing occurrence of sudden extreme events and where the underlying dynamic baseline is changing. The hazard probability of extreme levels for an environmental process can be estimated using methods based on statistical extreme value theory (see for example Bruun and Tawn, 1998, Appl. Statist., 47, 405-423). Also the dynamics of the system can be evaluated using non-linear methods (e.g. see Bruun et al, 2017, JGRO, 122, 6746– 6772 and refs in this). These methods are generic and are applied in seismic, flooding and weather based settings. I’ll show with graphics examples of precipitation hazards for the tropics to explain sudden and long term dynamics. These methods are being deployed more and more in terms of framing climatic hazards, however there are analytical challenges in building in the slow-variation to the methods so that real long term hazards are skilfully assessed. Also the mathematical formulation these methods are typically utilized by analysts, scientists, engineers and mathematicians. It is found that the mathematical formulations present a communication barrier to hazard and resilience practitioners, especially as the contemporary EDI framing of this skill set is often not very diverse. In this talk, to help re-frame this, an open discussion of this topic is invited – please do join – to enable a wider community access.  To help this I will share and  some contemporary thinking developed i) at the University of Exeter: where I am a Mathematics Lecturer, Diversity Champion for our College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences and also ii) from the Institute of Physics (IOP) and its Limit Less campaign. By re-framing – together - how we communicate about these hazards, using an EDI lens, it can help us to better connect through our communication, and so to build more trust in the knowledge. This type of discussion can help hazard practitioners, stakeholders and importantly to help build trust and resilience for all groups how are impacted by such extreme events.

How to cite: Bruun, J.: Talking together about climate risks and dynamics so it enables resilience and trust, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6631, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-6631, 2022.

Mirianna Budimir et al.

There remains a gap between the production of scientifically robust forecasts, and the translation of these forecasts into useful information such as daily “bulletins” for institutional decision-makers in early warning systems. There is significant published literature on best practice to communicate risk information, but very little to guide and provide advice on the process of how these bulletins have been, or should be, developed.

This presentation will discuss learning and share best practices of developing such early warning bulletins for institutional decision-makers, providing specific case study examples and drawing on wider experience from Practical Action and the Science for Humanitarian Emergencies And Resilience (SHEAR) programme.

The session will share lessons from two example case studies where bulletins were developed for national and district-level government agencies and humanitarian responders as part of the SHEAR programme: daily reports in response to Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in Mozambique, and prototype landslide forecast bulletins in Nilgiris and Darjeeling Districts of India.

There were significant similarities in the type of content included in the bulletins, such as the layout, choice of words, and use of visualisation that was consistent with published best practices. Both case studies experienced challenges dealing with uncertainty, complexity, and whether to include advice. There were also similarities in the processes and approaches taken to develop the bulletins. Both case studies took an iterative approach, developed feedback mechanisms, benefitted from experienced multi-disciplinary teams, emphasised the need for strong inter-relationships, and the importance and value of preparedness and protocols.

A major challenge was the difficulty of balancing science capabilities with user needs, which did not become significantly easier to deal with given more time availability. The findings indicate that whilst more research is needed into existing or best practice processes to develop content for forecast bulletins, there is an existing body of experiential and intuitive knowledge and learning that already exists but is not yet captured in an appropriate format that could be of significant interest and value to those developing and responsible for providing forecast information.

This presentation will share key learning from translating scientific forecasts into useful information, in particular on both the content and the process of developing forecast bulletins for decision-making.

How to cite: Budimir, M., Sneddon, A., Nelder, I., Brown, S., Donovan, A., and Speight, L.: Developing forecast information for institutional decision-makers, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5531, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-5531, 2022.

Cherith Moses et al.

The identification and communication of potential risks faced by coastal-zone populations is becoming increasingly important to strengthen society’s resilience and enabling people to better handle coastal hazards. Assessing risk and vulnerability is important to inform the public, as well as coastal managers, on sustainable policy and practice. This so-called coastal vulnerability has been assessed, quantified and mapped using a wide variety of approaches, focussing on hazard, risk and resilience. Many studies place emphasis on physical parameters such as geology and topography, and on marine factors such as wave energy and storm frequency. Others also incorporate socio-economic factors such as population, cultural heritage, presence of crucial infrastructure, land use and conservation status.

Our pan-European assessment of coastal vulnerability adds a new layer of information to the existing EMODnet Geology product suite on shoreline change. EMODnet Geology benefits the public sector, civil society, the private sector and the research community through harmonising and integrating existing and new datasets for dissemination via the EMODnet portal. Using the most complete inventory to date of case studies on coastal vulnerability in scientific journals, books and governmental reports, we have developed a detailed database on various vulnerability aspects across Europe and in other countries around the world. By geo-locating the maps from these studies, we are able to assess the extent of coverage of coastal vulnerability assessment around European shorelines. Drawing on the existing literature, we are developing a common legend, indicating low, medium and high levels of vulnerability that can be mapped at a pan-European scale.

Our research indicates incomplete coverage by existing studies. Using data from existing EMODnet products such as shoreline migration, geology and bathymetry, we will develop a basic coastal vulnerability index that can be validated against existing studies and used to fill the gaps. The resulting applied data product will help raise awareness in the general public and facilitate the work of coastal policy makers, planners and practitioners.

How to cite: Moses, C., Butterill, C., Chopra, T., Humphries, A., and van Heteren, S.: Pan-European coastal vulnerability: translating incomplete data and information for communicating situational awareness, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-2029, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-2029, 2022.

Lara Mani et al.

During the 2020-2021 eruption of La Soufriere, St. Vincent, the Seismic Research Centre at The University of the West Indies (SRC) played a major role in supporting communication of hazard and risk information to publics and stakeholders across St. Vincent. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the communications campaign was heavily reliant on social media channels and TV and radio broadcasts, rather than in-person community education and communication sessions. Although the communications approach sought to be inclusive of all members of the affected communities where possible, it was considered possible that the more vulnerable residents, such as the elderly, children, and those with low levels of literacy were excluded from the communication efforts.

In order to establish the effectiveness of the crisis communications campaign at engaging communities and stakeholders with relevant information and to identify areas for improvement, a large-scale evaluation campaign was conducted in St Vincent in August 2021. The results demonstrate that radio broadcasts are the most important communication tool for broad community reach, but that person-to-person information sharing was more important in the most exposed communities. Agencies such as the Red Cross and grassroots community disaster preparedness groups were instrumental in the spread of information to those most vulnerable within the most at-risk communities and for evacuation coordination. However, social media was also found to be highly effective at communicating information to the diaspora, which in turn was communicated to family and friends on the island through mediums such as WhatsApp.

Here we present some of the early findings of this research and provide suggestions and considerations to inform future crisis communication campaigns in St. Vincent and the wider Caribbean region.

How to cite: Mani, L., Edwards, S., Juman, A., Thomas, T., and Joseph, E.: Evaluating the crisis communications campaign during the 2020-2021 eruption of La Soufriere, St Vincent. , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4422, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-4422, 2022.

Overall interactive discussion