3 comments on “Information Chernobyl

  1. Pingback: Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Online Resources - Social Media 4 Emergency Management

  2. The word nuclear conjures up the worst nightmares in all of us. This makes the job of risk and crisis communications related to nuclear that much more difficult.

    The public perception of risk is usually so out of whack with the reality that when a real nuclear incident occurs … authorities are always seen as “obfuscating, hiding some part of the truth, or some such.

    In reality,finding the right balance in conveying meaningful information without adding to collective fears is a big challenge.

  3. I agree with Patrice, you hear the word ‘nuclear’ and everyone thinks ‘Hiroshima’ and ‘Nagasaki’. While these are large scale, terrifying emergencies all the same, they are not the same kind as the nuclear weapons used there.

    Although I barely remember it, I can think back and remember the days and weeks after the Three Mile Island event. I lived in RI at the time and was a good bit removed from where it happened. Hell, I didn’t even know where Harrisburg was at the time. But I was still worried that it would affect me somehow. And it wasn’t for a lack of access to news, my parents watched the news from six to seven every night. It was from fear. Fear that people didn’t want to hear the truth, so the regulators and government withheld it. Nobody wants to hear that there is a problem, they just want to know that it will be alright. So the government is reluctant, I think, to tell the truth, and continues to feed us what we want to hear.

    I think the same is probably happening in Japan. Nobody wants to hear ‘You are going to have to evacuate your homes, and you may not be able to return to them.’ So they aren’t telling the world what is going on. Part of it also, is as you said, the inability to get in to SEE what is going on first hand.

    I would rather be told the truth while I still have time to do something to save myself and my family, than to be fed lip service until it is too late.

    Geoff Burns
    Chief 717 Charlie
    Laytonsville District VFD
    Montgomery County, Maryland
    Twitter – @chief717c and @LDVFD17

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