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Trends in Risk Communication Policies and Practices

image of Trends in Risk Communication Policies and Practices

Good risk communication is crucial for raising awareness among citizens and business about the risks their countries face. However, many countries have seen their risk communication tools fail in the past, leading to persistently low levels of risk awareness, especially in the absence of recent disasters. This OECD report surveys current trends in risk communication policies and practices across OECD and partner countries. It seeks to understand why risk communication tools have failed and what OECD countries can do to improve the effectiveness of their risk communication policies. Based on an OECD-wide survey, the report evaluates the degree to which countries have used  risk communication tools to not only increase risk awareness, but to inform stakeholders about potential preparedness and prevention measures they can take to boost their resilience to future risks.

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Executive summary

During the past 10 years, OECD countries and Brazil, Russia, India and China (the BRIC countries) have experienced an estimated USD 1.5 trillion cost from economic damages caused by natural disasters such as storms or floods, or by man-made disasters such as industrial accidents or terrorist attacks. Individual events like the 2010 earthquakes in New Zealand and Chile caused damages in excess of 20% of their national GDPs.

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