Volume 23 Issue 3, 2008

Communication with disaster survivors: towards best practice

Dr Susan Nicholls, Chris Healy

Peer-reviewed Article

Archived Article


This paper describes the findings of exploratory research carried out in late 2007 into communication strategies implemented by agencies and individuals involved in assisting recovery of survivors of the World Trade Center attacks in New York in September 2001, and the London bombings of July 2005. Asking the question, “How has communication been used to assist the recovery of affected communities of New York and London?”, the research reveals the complexity, common characteristics, and unique features of recovery communication. This paper discusses some of the different communication approaches adopted by government agencies following these events. It explores differences and similarities, drawing on the research findings to suggest best practice in post-disaster communication and to recommend further research avenues.