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Voice of Victims: Positive Response to a Natural Disaster Crisis
Qualitative Research Reports in Communication (2012)
  • Frances Smith, Murray State University
  • Tina Coffelt
  • April Rives
  • Michael Sollitto
In the current study the authors investigate victims’ response to a natural disaster crisis
event. Crisis communication research has often considered organizations, but neglected
the voice of the victims. Similarly, most crisis research emphasizes the negative outcomes
of crisis. Positive communication research and sensemaking theory provide insight into the
experiences of crisis victims. Twenty-nine individuals were interviewed from one community
in Western Kentucky following a massive ice storm that occurred during January
2009. The remembering emphasis of sensemaking was salient in this study. Victims
remembered their overall experience through positive terms and positive interpersonal
communication. Communities and organizations alike can use this research to consider
how their members may respond to crises and create messages based on these results.
  • Crisis; Ice Storms; Natural Disasters; Positive Communication; Sensemaking
Publication Date
Citation Information
Frances Smith, Tina Coffelt, April Rives and Michael Sollitto. "Voice of Victims: Positive Response to a Natural Disaster Crisis" Qualitative Research Reports in Communication Vol. 13 Iss. 1 (2012) p. 53 - 62
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