Perceptions of Risk: How We Manage Emergencies
study of risk management across a variety of domains is an essential part of policymaking today. From public health to national security, market analysis, and natural disaster emergency response, the question of how to assess and to respond
to risks is of the utmost importance. Important questions pertaining to the public perception include: Does the public perceive risks accurately or are public perceptions distorted by cognitive biases? Should public perceptions
of risk be taken into account in risk management plans even if they seem “irrational”? Should preparedness for disasters follow the same template as management of more ordinary risks? Should the management of risk in the public sector
differ from that in the private? Should the risk of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, be handled in the same way as the risk of human threats, such as terrorism or criminal activity? Does a serious threat that persists over a
protracted period of time, such as a daily threat of terrorism, still count as a security emergency? When are restrictions of civil liberties, such as quarantines or preventive restraint, justified to pre-empt risk of harm to the general
The purpose of this Symposium, co-sponsored by CERL, is to foster multi-disciplinary and inter-professional conversation about risk perception and strategies of emergency management. The panelists will engage in a conversation about emergency
preparedness and how our perceptions of risk factor into those efforts.