That resilience is especially critical in the days and weeks after a seismic
shock, when damaging aftershocks hinder disaster relief efforts. To
address this, a research project led by Edinburgh University is exploring
the use of mobile phone technologies to get vital safety information
to emergency managers and humanitarian agencies. Drawing
on experience from Istanbul and elsewhere, Professor Iain Stewart
is part of the team trying to understand how such information can be
most effectively conveyed to those operating in crisis situations.
The findings from the current research underline the need for a holistic
approach to risk communication that encompasses not just knowledge
about the natural hazard but also understanding of the socioeconomics,
infrastructure, governance and culture of a community
that is affected. Looking forward, it will require fresh inter-disciplinary
linkages and the recognition of the importance of engaging with local
people to understand what information is actually needed by those who
are living with disaster.