To be more accurate, Vincent Covello, Ph.D. has written or edited more than 25 books and published 75 articles on risk assessment, management and communication.
He is the founder and director of the Center for Risk Communication, a job that takes him all over the world.
said last year he
earned the third most frequent flier miles in the nation, an impressive 4 million.
He still works part time at the World Health Organization (WHO) which sent him onto the front lines of disaster some 30 years ago when he was working there while on sabbatical from academia.
Since then, Covello
has managed crises such as Ebola, nuclear power plant meltdowns and the threat of pandemic influenza.
has a lot of advice on how to deliver the best messages during the worst circumstances.
early years in the field, Covello
said crisis communications were merely based on conventional wisdom, but now neuroscience has allowed researchers to "open up the black boxes" of our minds.
For instance, they've found that one negative equals three positives or what Covello and his
team now call "1N=3P.
explained that since our brains tend to focus more on negative information, it takes at least three positive messages to undo the harm of only one bad one.
You need at least four to pull ahead.
After that, the economic law of diminishing returns goes into effect and positive messages become less mitigating.
The research has also found that in most high-stress situations, around 95 percent of the questions affected people ask can be predicted in advance.
said there are 120 frequently-asked questions about Ebola and a whopping 420 when it comes to radiological disasters.
Nuclear power plants can't even be licensed anymore without having what's called a "dark website" ready to go live in the event of a leak that will answer some of those questions.
said it just reinforces how important crisis communications have become in the modern world, even for problems as old as time.
For example, there are 50 questions that have been identified to give peace of mind to the terminally ill.
Once again, the rule of three applies here as Covello
said the best way to answer the question of "How long do I have to live?
is by giving worst, average and best case scenarios.
The power of the number three is also evident in the "27/9/3 Rule" shown on the Periodic Table for High Concern Communication that Covello