How Do You Effectively Communicate Flood Risks?
Senior Associate, Strategic Communications Team
Booz Allen Hamilton
Gerald E. Galloway, Jr., PE, PhD
July 9, 2008
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Booz Allen Hamilton White Paper
Booz Allen Hamilton Center of Excellence for Risk and Crisis Communications
6/25/08 Washington Post column by Gerald E. Galloway, "A Flood of Warnings"
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"This discussion was very useful to me as it reframed my thinking. I am involved in California's new flood risk notification effort where 100,000's of letters will be sent out annually. Now, in addition to developing risk language that is understandable and in laymen's terms, I recall that a truly effective communication will (1) hit at the individual's underlying concerns, likely requiring non-technical language, (2) evoke/request a personal response/action, (3) account for people's general attitude of desiring positives and rejecting negative language."
Dr. Tim Tinker is a Senior Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton's Strategic Communications team. He is focused on developing a new Center of Excellence for Risk and Crisis Communication for the Firm. As a nationally and internationally recognized expert in risk and crisis communications, Tim works in both public and private sectors such as homeland security, defense, emergency preparedness, public health, health care, energy, environment, and more, to successfully help clients anticipate, prepare and practice science-based and system-wide risk and crisis communication.
Gerry Galloway is a Glenn L Martin Institute Professor of Engineering and Affiliate Professor of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. He is also a Visiting Scholar at the US Army Corps of Engineers Institute of Water Resources. Active in water resources research and analysis, he recently chaired an Interagency Levee Policy Review Committee for FEMA and a study of flooding in California's Central Valley for that state. He was a Presidential appointee to the Mississippi River Commission and in 1993-1994, led a White House study of the causes of the 1993 Mississippi River Flood. During a 38-year career in the military, he served in various assignments in the U.S. and overseas, retiring in 1995 as a brigadier general and Dean of Academics at the U.S. Military Academy. He was 2007 President of the American Water Resources Association. He is a graduate of the Military Academy and holds Masters Degrees from Princeton and Pennsylvania State Universities and the US Army Command and General Staff College, and a doctorate in Geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a registered professional engineer and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.