Speaker Profile


Saskia van Manen
Co-founder & Scientific Advisor
Design Network for Emergency Management
Animals as an integral aspect of public communication before, during, and after emergencies

The role and responsibility of emergency planning includes the distribution of informational, instructional, and preparedness messaging to residents, businesses, schools, tourists, and all members of the community before, during, and after an emergency. However, communications regarding animals, whether companion, service, husbandry or research, is often overlooked while these form part of people's core considerations during an emergency. Poor quality of relaying preparedness and emergency information contributes to delayed appropriate response and/or non-compliance: animal owners may fail to evacuate, take risks to rescue animals or suffer (emotional) losses. The majority of emergency messages and instructions rely on visual infrastructures, this includes written text and visual presentation of information, as the main framework for communication, yet the application of basic visual communication principles and rules of legibility have not been included as part of the emergency planning process, skillset, or training. In this presentation we highlight the importance of making animals an integral part of emergency communication and demonstrate application of design principles and the role of visual communication for public outreach before, during, and after emergencies.

[:en]Saskia van Manen has always been fascinated by the power of nature, and volcanoes in particular. However, as natural disasters only occur at the interface between nature and society, she has increasingly explored human behaviour and how (service) design can affect this. She uses human-centred and evidence-based design to develop interventions and combines this with research into their effectiveness. She holds a PhD in Volcanology, an MA in Product Design and Innovation and an M.Sci. in Geophysics.[:]