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JDR Vol.9 No.5 pp. 879-886
(2014)
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2014.p0879

Paper:

Lessons Learnt from Communication for Disaster Preparedness: A Study on Six Survivors from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami 2011

Md. Faiz Shah* and Parves Sultan**

*Faculty of Engineering, King Abdulaziz University, North Jeddah 21589, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

**School of Business and Law, Central Queensland University, Building 19/3.40, Rockhampton, QLD. 4702, Australia

Received:
April 1, 2014
Accepted:
September 17, 2014
Published:
October 1, 2014
Keywords:
Japan, communication, trust, tsunami, case study
Abstract

Communication is a primary challenge in response to natural and man-made disasters. The purpose of this study is to determine the forms of communications that played a critical role in disaster preparedness during the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami (Tohoku earthquake). The study used a case study research method and included six informants following the purposive sampling technique. Data was collected through unstructured in-depth interviews. The findings suggest that communication in all forms played a vital role in disaster preparedness. In the survivor’s view, however, the impact of broadcast media in establishing situational awareness was limited. Local disaster management efforts, such as, “on call,” or emergency measures, such as, personnel and trucks with communication systems, mobile phone alarms, and sirens were viewed by survivors as useful in transmitting unambiguous, specific messages in a demanding tsunami context. In particular, the study demonstrates that residents’ trust in risk/disaster related messages and mediums play vital roles in subsequent behaviour/response to natural disasters.

Cite this article as:
M. Shah and P. Sultan, “Lessons Learnt from Communication for Disaster Preparedness: A Study on Six Survivors from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami 2011,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.9, No.5, pp. 879-886, 2014.
Data files:
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