The University of Texas at Austin
Brett W. Robertson is a doctoral candidate and instructor of Communication Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. He teaches courses in teamwork, professional communication, and public speaking. His recent research projects examine how individuals use social media in the workplace and during emergency and risk situations. He has published research related to organizational communication and technology use, and has received several top paper awards. He has served as the lead graduate researcher on a National Science Foundation grant (NSF#1760453: The Changing Nature of “Calls” for Help with Hurricane Harvey: Comparing 9-1-1 and Social Media) since 2017.
“Developing Resilience Through Communication and Community: Natural Disaster Preparedness in Retirement Communities”
Improving levels of preparedness for disasters is an urgent priority. Despite numerous natural disasters, as well as sizable communicative campaigns, levels of preparedness for disasters in the U.S. have not improved over the last two decades. Many individuals face barriers to properly prepare for looming disasters, including older adults (ages 65 and older), who are considered a vulnerable population in natural disasters. Considering that we live in an aging society, more knowledge is needed on the communicative processes that can influence how older adults perceive disaster information. This research examines how older adult residents living in retirement communities prepare for natural disasters. Given prior research on how one’s community influences resilience and the importance of social connections for older adults, understanding the impact that groups, communities, and organizations have on risk behaviors is crucial for this susceptible group.