What Is Museum SOS

Suzanne Twelker
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Risk Perception: Are You Flying Low?

Suzanne Twelker
Geological Survey of Canada


How humans perceive risk establishes the means by which they will both identify hazards and respond to consequences. Understanding risk perception is therefore fundamental to Emergency Response Planning and Preparedness. While museum and research collections will face a variety of risks to their existence, we as their caretakers have in common that we perceive the risks they face and this perception will provide the framework to guide our response. This paper will consider the human perception of risk; the range of psychological tools we use to identify potential hazards, the effects of value systems and beliefs in modifying these perceptions and the conditions they impose upon response planning.

By considering and understanding risk perception as the context in which we develop our Emergency Response and Planning systems we are then better able to broaden the range of tools we utilize to identify and analyze risks, modify the impacts of beliefs and values and as a result develop more effective Emergency response plans - so we don't get caught with our pants down!



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