Polls by the American Psychiatric Association demonstrate that general anxiety disorder has significantly increased in the United States since 2017.
This increase can be linked to persistent fear, which can also have negative health consequences.
From the perspective of emergency managers, persistent fear can affect decision making abilities, undermine trust in the government and affect civic engagement.
Sadly, much of this fear is self-generated. We fear what we don’t understand. We fail to understand risk and to place hazards in context.
There are outside factors at work as well. Politicians leverage fear to increase votes, companies market unnecessary products intended to protect buyers from the hazards they fear, and the media increases market share by inflating potential threats well beyond the risks they represent.
This presentation examines the increased levels of fear in the United States and the negative impacts it can produce on individuals and society. It provides a simple definition of risk and demonstrates how people become fixated on perceived risk while frequently ignoring objective risk. This point is emphasized by three quick case studies that consider the perceived risks associated with terrorism, school shootings, and natural disasters. These perceived risks are then compared with the objective risk associated with each event to place them in context.
The presentation than considers the various factors that contribute to persistent fear. These include three psychological factors that affect how an individual perceives risk and is followed by examples of external factors such as politics and the news media, particularly social media.
The presentation concludes with a four-part process that can be used to reduce fear of a hazard by analysis and action.
Why you should Attend:
What are you afraid of? In these troubled times there is much to fear: pandemic, social and political unrest, climate change, natural disasters, terrorism There is ample reason why general anxiety disorder is on the increase in the United States.
But how realistic is our fear? How can we tell the difference between real threats that can affect us personally and the overblown threats manipulated by politicians and the media?
This presentation can help you answer these questions and place your fears in context.
In this presentation you will learn:
Areas Covered in the Session:
- The nature of persistent fear and its negative effects on people and society
- The meaning of risk and how to distinguish between perceived risk and objective or true risk
- How to place hazards in perspective by analyzing several common fears
- The three common psychological factors that can alter your perception of risk
- The political factors that increase fear
- The role of the media in increasing levels of fear
- The four positive steps you can take reduce your fear of specific hazards
Who Will Benefit:
- Understanding risk and how it effects emergency preparedness
- The difference between perceived risk and objective and its importance to preparedness
- Putting common fears in perspective:
- School shootings
- Natural disasters
- Factors that increase our level of fear
- The four positive steps you can take to reduce your fear
- Human Resources Managers
- Training Managers
- Emergency Planners
Lucien G. Canton , CEM is an independent management consultant specializing in preparing managers to lead better in crisis. Prior to starting his own company, Mr. Canton served as the Director of Emergency Services for the city and county of San Francisco and as an Emergency Management Programs Specialist and Chief of the Hazard Mitigation Branch for FEMA Region IX.
A popular speaker and lecturer, he is the author of the best-selling Emergency Management: Concepts and Strategies for Effective Programs used as a textbook in many higher education courses. He is a Certified Emergency Manager and a Certified Business Continuity Professional.