Presentation on theme: "The Anarchist The following slides represent a realistic public health crisis event and you are charged with developing first messages for the public."— Presentation transcript:
The Anarchist The following slides represent a realistic public health crisis event and you are charged with developing first messages for the public.
Setting the Stage Evergreen Square Mall The Evergreen Square Mall is located in a suburban town of a major metropolitan city. The mall covers 1.3 million square feet and serves approximately 44,000 visitors per day. It is mid-summer and the mall has several community events occurring that attract visitors from all over.
DAY 1: Sunday – 2:00 p.m. Suspicious Behavior Sarah Jones and her sister observe a “suspicious-looking” man carrying a hand- held sprayer. They see the man spraying some kind of material in the mall corridors and food court area at Evergreen Square Mall.
DAY 1: Sunday – 2:15 p.m. Alerting the Authorities Sarah and her sister file a report with a mall security guard. They describe a man wearing a cap and sun glasses, although inside the mall, and constantly checking his surroundings while spraying some type of material onto the floor of the mall. Sarah and her sister promptly leave the mall. Other shoppers observing this incident are becoming anxious and also quickly leave the mall.
DAY 1: Sunday – 2:15 p.m. Mall Security Responds Surveillance cameras verify Sarah and her sister’s report of suspicious behavior. The suspect, having fled the scene, cannot be apprehended for questioning. The mall security guard initiates an invest- igation and notifies law enforcement officials. Curious by the activity, a few shoppers are hanging around and checking out the site.
Could the Word Get Out? Although you have not made any public announcements, could the word get out? –Yes! How could the word get out to the public? –Sarah and her sister –Other mall shoppers
DAY 1: Sunday – 2:30 p.m. Environmental Testing The Evergreen HAZMAT team and law enforcement officials arrive on the scene and secure the area. Handheld chemical detectors yield preliminary results within 2 hours, suggesting that an anthrax exposure has occurred. Authorities keep in mind that rapid detectors are not completely reliable, but are still used in the field for preliminary testing.
DAY 1: Sunday – 4:30 p.m. Local Response Officials Act Authorities make an announcement to shoppers and store workers that the mall will be closing. Security officials escort patrons from the mall and no other information is given to the public. Shoppers leave the Evergreen Square Mall eager to share news of the commotion with friends and family. Law enforcement notifies Public Health of the potential, yet unconfirmed, anthrax attack at the mall.
DAY 1: Sunday – 5:30 p.m. National Response Officials Act Local law enforcement, the FBI, and the Public Health Disease Control Officer determine that a “credible threat” exists. Samples of the agent are collected for more sensitive and specific confirmatory testing at the State lab. Results will take 1-2 days. The media is busy with national breaking news and does not respond.
Additional Information Dispersion of anthrax spores may cause cases of both cutaneous and inhalation anthrax. If evidence suggests a true anthrax exposure has occurred, Public Health will make recommendations for antibiotic treatment of persons exposed until the results from lab tests are available.
Review the Facts What is currently known? –A suspicious man was observed spraying some type of material in various areas of the mall. –Preliminary tests report the material to be anthrax. –Antibiotic treatment is available for people exposed to anthrax.
Review the Facts What is currently unknown? –Confirmation of the anthrax agent. –The identity of the suspect. –The exact number of patrons that came into direct contact with the agent.
DAY 2: Monday – 1:30 a.m. Anthrax Confirmed Initial lab screenings show anthrax as the agent in question. Several city Emergency Operation Centers and the county Emergency Operation Center activate. The Evergreen Public Health Department evaluates the need for mass dispensing operations and Strategic National Stockpile resources for the antibiotic.
DAY 2: Monday – 2:00 a.m. Communication With the Public Public Health and its partners must decide: How it is to best inform the public. –Use the media. –Create hotlines. –Use kiosks for rolling video and information sheet distribution. What information is a priority to communicate. –Notification of Dispensing Clinic openings. –Where to find information updates.
Communicating With the Media What is the best way to handle the media during a crisis? Do you … a)respond to reporters on a one-on-one, first- come-first-served basis OR, b)issue a news release OR, c)hold a news conference?
Communicating With the Media The best way to handle the media during this crisis is to … c)Hold a news conference. –This is fast-breaking news, the public will want to know what’s happening and who’s in charge. –Talking to reporters individually could lead to inconsistency of information given to the public. –After the news conference, send a news release to your full media list with all of the same information that was presented at the news conference.
What Are You Going to Say? Break into groups of 4 to 6 people, develop your first messages using the six proven steps.
Deliver An Effective First Message 1.Express empathy. 2.Share what you know – only confirmed facts. 3.State what you don’t know. 4.Describe the process and plans to fill in knowledge gaps. 5.State your agency’s commitment to helping people through the crisis. 6.Guide people to where they can get more information.
Sharing Your First Messages Report to the large group the first messages your group developed.
Sharing Your Group Results Sample First Message:
Now … Anticipate the Questions In your groups of 4 to 6 people, develop a list of questions you would expect the media and the public to ask.
Anticipate the Questions What are the questions that are likely to be asked as a crisis unfolds? –Anticipate questions from the people that are directly impacted by the crisis. –Anticipate questions from the general public. –Anticipate questions from the media.
Share Your Group Results Sample questions: Are my family and I safe? What would I do if I was at the mall? What can I do to protect my family? Who was behind the anthrax spread? Is there catastrophic potential?
Anthrax Anarchist Apprehended Law enforcement officials using mall security cameras and eyewitness tips have identified and apprehended the suspect. They discover traces of the same strain of B. anthracis used in the attacks in a shed on his property, along with anarchist and anti-capitalism propaganda.