The Voice of Victims: Positive Response to a Natural Disaster Crisis
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In the current study the authors investigate victims' response to a natural disaster crisis event. Crisis communication research has often considered organizations, but neglected the voice of the victims. Similarly, most crisis research emphasizes the negative outcomes of crisis. Positive communication research and sensemaking theory provide insight into the experiences of crisis victims. Twenty-nine individuals were interviewed from one community in Western Kentucky following a massive ice storm that occurred during January 2009. The remembering emphasis of sensemaking was salient in this study. Victims remembered their overall experience through positive terms and positive interpersonal communication. Communities and organizations alike can use this research to consider how their members may respond to crises and create messages based on these results.
This article is published as Smith, F. L. M., Coffelt, T. A., Payne, A., & Sollitto, M. (2012). The voice of experience: Positive response to a natural disaster crisis. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 13, 53-62. 10.1080/17459435.2012.719209. Posted with permission.