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Risk Communications Tools Developed by Public Health Seattle-King County APC.

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Presentation on theme: "Risk Communications Tools Developed by Public Health Seattle-King County APC."— Presentation transcript:

1 Risk Communications Tools Developed by Public Health Seattle-King County APC

2 Emergency Risk Communications for Public Health Professionals – Effective communication with the public during an emergency is vital to protect the community's health. – This module can help you learn how to better handle your risk communication.

3 A proven, practical training for building the skills to delivering first messages in the early hours of a crisis CD-Rom contains: – Core curriculum with 8 scenarios – 8 sample first message scripts – 2 evaluation templates Speak First: Communicating Effectively in Times of Crisis and Uncertainty

4 Muddy Waters The following slides represent a realistic public health crisis event and you are charged with developing first messages for the public.

5 Setting the Stage Middletown Utility Services serves a community of 10,000 people in a suburban town that is 20 miles from a city of 500,000 people. Middletown Utility Services receives its water from two sources. The first water source is surface water supplied by North County Utility, a purveyor that sells water to dozens of local utility companies throughout its service area. The second water source comes from its own wells.

6 DAY 1: Monday – 7:33 a.m. Middletown Utility Services A Middletown Utility Services worker makes a routine inspection of Water Tank #3 and notices that the locks on the chain link fence have been broken. The worker also notices tire tracks in the mud track leading up to the gate. The utility worker immediately calls his supervisor, who in turn calls 9-1-1.

7 DAY 1: Monday – 7:58 a.m. Middletown Utility Services The police investigation continues. –Brown glass is scattered around the area. –At the top of the ladder, the cover lock is also broken. –Water in the 100,000 gallon tank appears to be off-color. –The police notify the FBI.

8 Review the Facts What is currently known? –At 7:30 a.m. broken locks on the chain link fence surrounding Water Tank #3 were found. –A heavy vehicle entered the area inside the chain link fence. –The security camera was disabled by having its cables cut. –The cover lock on the tank was also broken. –The water in the tank appears to be off-color.

9 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?

10 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 whats happening and whos 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.

11 What Are You Going to Say? Break into groups of 4 to 6 people, develop your first messages using the six proven steps.

12 Deliver An Effective First Message 1.Express empathy. 2.Share what you know – only confirmed facts. 3.State what you dont know. 4.Describe the process and plans to fill in knowledge gaps. 5.State your agencys commitment to helping people through the crisis. 6.Guide people to where they can get more information.

13 Sharing Your First Messages Report to the large group the first messages your group developed.

14 Sharing Your Group Results Sample First Message:

15 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.

16 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.

17 Share Your Group Results Sample questions: Has the water been contaminated? Is the water safe to drink? Is the water safe to use for showering or irrigation? Do you know who did this and why? Is this an act of terrorism? What symptoms should I be on the lookout for?

18 Muddy Water The FBI informs the state DOH that they are questioning three local college students who were seen in the vicinity of the water tank on the previous evening. In the trunk of the students car, agents found an empty beer keg, brown beer bottles, and plastic bags with powdered ochre residue. The college students confirm that the residue is from industrial quantities of food coloring.


20 Business Not As Usual A DVD assist pandemic flu planning efforts for businesses, government agencies and community-based organizations Leaders from a variety of organizations are profiled as they prepare for the consequences of an influenza pandemic Includes planning templates for business, government, CBOs and personal preparedness.

21 No Ordinary Flu Comic book target audiences –Limited English proficiency –Lower literacy –Young people Story told through the eyes of a survivor of the 1918 pandemic & connects to the present-day threat, including preparedness messages Translated into 23 languages


23 Carina Elsenboss 206.263.8722 Public Health-Seattle & King County Advanced Practice Center Contact Information

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