Disaster victims and vulnerable populations are audiences that communications professionals and scholars have ignored. Public relation practices dominate current disaster communication policy. This study examines the disaster communication network, including policy and practice, of the Thai Red Cross, before, during, and after the Asian tsunami. Disaster communication(s) is defined as the sharing and exchange of information with the victims immediately affected by a disaster. This definition focuses specifically on the vulnerable audience and allows response efforts to emerge from multiple disciplines. Focusing response efforts on victims' assessed needs and abilities allows for a multi-disciplinary approach to mitigate further suffering. The disciplines of health, development, and communications converge for efficient disaster management. This case study gives great insight into the cultural chasm between policy making and practical application and also reveals the value of personal initiative. A proposed model of disaster communication is offered. Significantly more research is needed in the area of disaster communications.
College and Department
Fine Arts and Communications; Communications
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Matthews, Tami J., "Disaster Communication Networks: A Case Study of the Thai Red Cross and Their Disaster Communication Response to the Asian Tsunami" (2006). All Theses and Dissertations. 1091.
Disaster communications, health communications, development communications, disaster response, disaster management, diffusion theory, participatory theory, Sphere Project, international development, Thai Red Cross, tsunami, policy, practice, culture, natural disaster, health, development, communication