Client: European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (2011-2013) | Area: Security Research

Main Interest |

In order to increase the effectiveness of alerts directed at the population as well as the chance for compliance during a disaster, alert systems have to be adjusted more to the individual needs of specific demographic groups and regional specifics. The basis for this is an analysis of the influence of social and cultural factors on the perception and communication of disaster related risks and their influence on existing regional alert systems. On the other hand, the effect of personalized warning messages via SMS, E-Mail, Apps etc. as well as the role of mass media will be examined in order to identify respective best practices. In a third step, models for the simulation of warning messages aimed at using an optimized mix of communication channels and patterns will be developed.


SINE-Mandate |

SINE coordinates the work package concerned with the influence of socio-cultural factors in the context of crisis communication. For that purpose, the perception of technological and natural risks with disaster potential will be analyzed in different social groups and countries (Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden). The focal point is the development of target-group specific crisis communication, based on adequate behaviors of affected people for a specific situation. In this context, the use and relevance of different traditional media (TV, radio) as well as new media channels like mobile telephones and the Internet (SMS, E-Mail, Warning Apps, Blogs, Social Media).


Methods |

  • Interviews with people substantially affected by disasters as well as with crisis communication experts of public agencies and industries
  • Focus-group discussions with people from different socio-cultural backgrounds
  • The evaluation is based on content analysis


Results |

Further information as well as results can be found on the project website: http://www.opti-alert.eu/


Responsible | Dr. Kerstin Dressel (project management), Prof. Dr. Patricia Pfeil, Harry Schindler M.A., Lilith Michaelis (M.Sc), Dr. Zoltan Ferencz, Michael Pfeifle M.A., Dr. Alessio Cornia, Daniel Breece M.A.