Pictograms and Assessment Categories as Crisis Communication Language: Lessons From a Field Exercise with GDACSmobile
van den Berg R.P., Widera A., Lechtenberg S., Middelhoff M., Hellingrath B.
In this article we explore how pictograms and assessment categories used by crisis management organizations support the crisis communication with the affected populationwith. In this field exercise simulating a flooding event the exemplary tool GDACSmobile was used to let volunteers report their observations to the crisis management center using a report in which they assigned the category they believed was most fitting to the situation they reported. Despite volunteers reporting difficulty in selecting a fitting category, their actual decisions were highly fitting the intended categories defined by the crisis managers. We learned that pictograms and categories have potential as a common language between crisis managers as well as the affected population supporting the process of an effective crisis communication.
decision support systems; communication; crisis management; interaction with citizens; language