3C: A strategy for disaster risk reduction

Care, connect & collaborate.

These are primary actions of communities following a natural disaster. These principles also hold the key to successfully preparing for disasters, when individuals and communities are expected to cope for a minimum of 3 days without external assistance.

This project incorporated research, design exploration and the subsequent design realisation of Care, Connect and Collaborate, or 3C, a strategy aimed at increasing individual and community disaster preparedness through the provision of information  and increasing levels of adoption of self-protective measures such as home disaster preparedness kits.

A participatory evidence-based design approach was adopted, working with communities at risk of volcanic hazards in Costa Rica. Five communities took part in participatory workshops during which they identified a number of priority areas, as well as a wide variety of barriers and motivators to adopting self-protective measures. These were combined with findings from the literature to develop a comprehensive strategy that results in direct action and influences the socio-cognitive factors involved in the preparedness decision making process.

3C operates under the premise that by making disaster preparedness a social experience through facilitating peer-to-peer communication and sharing of experiences people are more likely to adopt self-protective measures. Three tangible initiatives are presented:

  1. Point of sale reminders
  2. Sharing stories
  3. Community connections

Each of these combine product and service elements and use a careful balance of emotional and rational appeals, to empower communities to develop the capacity required to make informed choices regarding disaster risk management.