Communication in a CBRN mass decontamination incident

Find out how this project looked to improve public compliance in the event of mass decontamination following a chemical attack or accident, by improving methods of communication used by emergency services.

A decontamination tent with emergency services guiding people through it

The project

Mass emergencies are stressful events, and this is especially likely when the source of the emergency is novel or unusual in some way.

In the event of a chemical attack or accident, the emergency services will need to communicate to those affected in order to get them to undertake basic de-contamination procedures as soon as possible.

This work, funded by Public Health England and carried out as part of Dr Holly Carter's PhD research, used interviews, analysis of field trials, and a large-scale experiment to examine how different forms of communication interact with perceptions of social relations (within the crowd and with the emergency services) and how this can affect the extent of compliance in mass decontamination. 

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