Security Threat at Manchester United, Wildfires in Alberta, and How the Public Responds to Authorities in a Crisis

Article ID: 653775

Released: 18-May-2016 8:05 AM EDT

Source Newsroom: Society for Risk Analysis (SRA)

Expert Pitch

Dr. Jan M. Gutteling of the Department of Psychology of Conflict, Risk, and Safety, at the University of Twente in the Netherlands is available to the media to discuss terrorism threats and natural disasters currently in the news. Some examples of the type of commentary available below. For an interview, contact: j.m.gutteling@utwente.nl OR through the university media relations contact:Martine van HillegersbergUniversity of Twente, Marketing and CommunicationHer phone +31 6 20432674 (working on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday (until 15:00 Dutch time).Her email: m.vanhillegersberg@utwente.nl

On the evacuation of Old Trafford Stadium after a suspicious package caused the cancellation of a Manchester United soccer match this past Sunday:

"The Manchester United event last Sunday is an indication of how suddenly information about a crisis can be extremely important. A full football stadium with 70.000 people needs to be informed and some specific action needs to be taken within minutes. Fortunately for that event the Stadium environment is used to dealing with that amount of people, has the necessary equipment to communicate with the public and these stadiums are designed to allow for a relatively quick exit if thousands of people. So the circumstances were perhaps not really a crisis. Fortunately Old Trafford was a kind of a nightmare, but for a different reason and to different people."

On the wildfires affecting areas of Alberta, Canada:

"A couple of days ago, the massive wild fires in Canada were a huge crisis though, and other recent natural emergencies have also proven that informing the public in time, and being prepared as authorities for information seeking behavior of those involved, are essential in dealing with these situations. Social media with their 24/7 presence play a major in that too, also in the way social media users might respond to emergency information (we did a study on that which was published in Risk Analysis in 2012: Verroen et al)."

More information about Dr. Gutteling's research can be found here


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