2 Crisis & Emergency Risk Communications (CERC) Plan NAACHOAdvanced Practice Center (APC)Road ShowBillings, MontanaJuly 16-17, 2009
3 About SCCPHD Advanced Practice Center APC mission: Improve local capacity to prepare and respond effectively to public health emergencies.Toolkits: Guidelines, strategies, insights from lessons learned, and prototypes for implementation.APCs accomplish this by developing new, innovative projects locally and then packaging them into tools and resources for other local public health agencies nationwide to use in their emergency preparedness planning efforts.These toolkits contain guidelines, strategies, insights and lessons learned, as well as key tools and prototypes for implementation for local public health departments to use and adapt. New tools will be posted as they become available.
4 CERC ToolkitOnline toolkit for Public Health Public Information Officers (PIOs).Designed to build a strong operational framework for Joint Information Center (JIC) emergency public communication.Attached Handout has full description and can be found on our web.Medical Mass Care During an Influenza PandemicA resource for local public health departments to develop plans for medical mass careProvides scalable, operational direction and tools for the establishment of alternative care sites, i.e. Influenza Care Centers to meet the health care needs of patients requiring hospital care who are not able to receive such care at one of the local hospitalsfocuses on pandemic influenza, the approaches described and the tools provided can be adapted for other medical-health emergencies and hazards requiring medical mass careManaging Mass Fatalities CDEvolved from the need for communities to increase their preparedness for managing mass fatalitiesMaterials are based on lessons learned from events, including the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, and Hurricane KatrinaProvides scalable, operational direction and tools to guide jurisdictions in creating a local planHospital Surge Capacity Toolkit CDAssists healthcare facilities in thinking through critical issues related to healthcare surge and to create comprehensive plans to address these needs including:providing medical surge capacity;patient tracking within the hospital and during patient forwarding activities;status reporting; andrequesting resources and establishing alternate care sites.
5 Today’s Objectives Present highlights of the CERC toolkit. Provide information and materials to guide public information activities.Evolved from our increased understanding and recognition of the need to build a strong operational framework for emergency public communication activities, including tools for the JointThe goal of the CERC Toolkit is to provide information and materials to other public health departments and assist in the development and organization of public information activities.Toolkit materials are predicated on "lessons learned" from actual events and best practices from the numerous trainings, drills, tabletops and exercises in which we have been participants and/or facilitators.
6 CERC Toolkit Content Joint Information Center (JIC) Structure Planning Elements -CERC Plan & Org ChartsOperations Manual – Developed by your individual countyJoint Information Center (JIC) StructureRoles & ResponsibilitiesJob Action Sheets for each functional areaKey templates & tools for each functional areaMessage Maps & Fact Sheets for Public Health emergency scenarios and response.CERC PlanJoint Information Center (JIC)Roles & ResponsibilitiesJob Action Sheets for each functional areaKey templates & tools for each functional areaMessage Maps & Fact Sheets for different PH emergency scenarios and response.
7 CERC Tools: Planning Elements Incident Management Command (ICS) OverviewCERC Plan Template & and Org charts.1. Incident Management Command Systems Overview2. Ability to communicate will be impacted– including public health’s specific role and authority3.CERC PlanTemplate A - Crisis Response Team ChartTemplate B - Crisis Decision MatrixTemplate C - Communications OperationsTemplate D - ICS EOC StructureTemplate E - PIO Org ChartTemplate F - JIC Org ChartGlossary of Terms
8 Incident Command System (ICS) Know the Incident Command SystemCommunicate effectively.Work within a defined and clear chain of command.Understand roles and responsibilities and how the entire command system works and fits together.
10 CERC Plan- Components Overview Crisis Communication, Issue Mgmt. & Emergency Risk CommunicationCrisis and Emergency Risk Communication OverviewCrisis CommunicationEmergency Risk CommunicationResponding to the Crisis or Emergency EventDefinitions-see handoutWe will go over the 5 components of a good CERC plan
11 Crisis Communication Crisis Communication- Examples: Typically unexpectedMay not be in the organizations controlMay cause harm to the organization’s good reputationOrganization is likely to face some legal or moral responsibilityExamples:Medical/Patient issue: hospital-based disease outbreakWorkplace Incidents: workplace violenceIssue regarding senior management/staff: arrestsIssues affecting the organization:Political and/or legal actions: public protests
12 Issue ManagementIssue Management- Similar to crisis communication, but the organization knows the crisis is coming.Examples:Medical/Patient issue: medical errorWorkplace Incidents: harassment or discriminationIssue regarding senior management/staff: dept. investigationsIssues affecting the organization: labor disputes, funding issues, etc..Political and/or legal actions: high-profile lawsuits, criminal cases
13 Emergency Risk Communication Different from crisis communication.Organization is not perceived as a participant in the disaster, except for having a role in responding to the situation.Examples:Natural or man-made disasters at a facility: bomb or bomb threats, severe storm damage, power failure, terrorist attach, etc..Environmental/Safety related incidents: injuries or fatalities, fires, spills, etc..Crisis CommunicationDescribes an organization that is facing a crisis and needs to communicate information about that crisis, as well as respond to the crisis. The crisis is typically unexpected, may not be in the organization’s control, and may cause harm to the organization’s good reputation or viability, employees or patients, or significantly disrupt the organization’s ability to provide healthcare services. Also, the organization is likely to face some legal or moral responsibility for the crisisExamples:Medical/patient issues: hospital-based disease outbreak, infant abduction, inappropriate release of patient information, lost or stolen patient or employee information.Workplace incidents: workplace violence.Issue regarding senior management/staff: arrests.Political and/or legal actions: public protests or negative news stories.Issues ManagementSimilar to crisis communication, but the organization knows the crisis is coming. Examples of issue management matters (Organizational Name) must be ready to handle include:Medical/patient issues: medical errors, sentinel events or patient complaints.Workplace incidents: harassment or discrimination charges.Issue regarding senior management/staff: investigations or departures.Issues affecting the organization: labor disputes/strikes, funding issues, staffing issues, negative state review, negative or negative news stories.Political and/or legal actions: high-profile lawsuits, criminal cases or government investigations.Emergency Risk CommunicationDifferent from crisis communication in that organization is not perceived as a participant in the disaster, except as having a role in responding to the situation. This type of communications provides the risks and benefits involved (provides information) to allow the audience to make the best possible decisions about their well-being, as well as the organization’s response to the event.The emergency happens with nearly impossible time constraints and people will have to decide what steps to take within the parameters of imperfect choices during the event.Natural or man-made disasters at a (Organizational Name) facility: bomb or bomb threats, severe storm damage, extended power failure, earthquake, or terrorist attacks.Environmental/Safety related incidents: injuries or fatalities, fires, spills, explosion, or accidents.
14 Crisis and Emergency Risk Communications Overview Plan takes effect when any department within your organization is facing a crisis/disasterPurpose of the CERC plan is to prepare and guide the PIO in communicating to key audiencesPurpose:Objectives
15 Crisis and Emergency Risk Communications Overview Cont’d Objectives:Provide sound and thoughtful information to preserve and protect the public’s health in a crisis/emergencyProvide necessary information to limit ineffective, fear driven and potentially damaging response to a serious event.Protect and preserve the reputation of your department.
16 Crisis and Emergency Risk Communications Overview Cont’d PIO and Public Information Staff Must-Do’s:When lives or health of individuals are at risk, safety is the highest priority.Protect and enhance our reputation by relying on our values and acting in a professionally responsible manner.Use the CERC plan as a guide for acting and communicating responsibly.
17 Crisis and Emergency Risk Communications Overview Cont’d Must Do’s (continued...)Follow the rules and responsibilities outlined in the plan and detailed in your CERC Operations Manuel.Coordinate the response with appropriate Emergency Operations personnel including security & Safety Officer.Reach out to key audiences as quickly as possible.
18 Crisis and Emergency Risk Communications Overview Cont’d Must do’s continued...Be authoritative, trusted and reliable source of accurate information for key audiences.Position the organization as responsible, trustworthy and caring.Speak with a unified voice and provide regular updates.
19 Crisis and Emergency Risk Communications Overview Cont’d Departments can’t control crisis situations but they can control the response to the situation:Learn as much about the situation as possible.Make decisions as quickly as possible, appropriate to the situation, with appropriate approval.Maintain effective internal and external communications.
20 Crisis and Emergency Risk Communications Overview Cont’d Control the response to the situation cont...Remember the needs of those affected by the crisis. They are your key audience.State the steps/actions being taken to mitigate the situation and prevent reoccurrence.Begin to return to normal operations as soon as possible.
21 Crisis CommunicationCrisis Response Team -Handles the crisis and may include senior mgmt, medical staff & operational personnel.Responsibilities:Ensure all aspects of crisis communications and operations are carried out in accordance with your org/dept.Maintain and reaffirm values.Establish and maintain the flow of accurate information both internally and externally.
22 Crisis Communication Cont’d Responsibilities:Work together to recommend strategy and actions.Identify all allocating appropriate resources to ensure effective response.Make decisions responsibly and quickly as possible.
23 Crisis Response Team Chart Roles and ResponsibilitiesThe responsibilities for members of the Crisis Response Team are outlined below.Team LeaderNotifies other team members of an incident and gathers the Crisis Response Team in person or by phone.Makes final decisions and provides overall leadership during the crisis so that crisis response is conducted in accordance with (Organizational Name) values, mission and policies.Ensures that facts are gathered and verified in a timely manner.Ensures that appropriate internal and external resources are mobilized and dedicated to the crisis communication response activities, Leads team meetings or delegates that responsibility.Ensures appropriate team roles are filled and that those with expertise relevant to the crisis are notified.Oversees planning about how day-to-day operations will continue and manage the crisis. Also determines when updates need to be provided to key audiences.Creates sub-teams to focus on individual aspect of the crisis as needed.Notifies the (County Name) CEO, County Executive, County Counsel and others as appropriate regarding the crisis, and discusses notification of the Board of Supervisors.Public Information OfficerNotifies other Crisis Response Team members of an incident and works with Team Leader to gather the team in person or by phone.Works with Team Leader to draft and coordinate a strategy and communication plan for the crisis. Obtains approvals for media plan in response to the crisis.Advises the team on timing, frequency and content of announcements, statements or other responses to be made about the crisis to all appropriate audiences.Implements a criss communication media plan.Activates public information office staff to assist and support communication activities, and respond to media requests during the crisis.Prepares statements, messages and background information for approval by the Team Leader.Serves as media spokesperson and/or designates and trains appropriate spokesperson.Monitors and reports back on media stories and other external developments.Manages and organizes response to media inquiries, reports information to Crisis Response Team.Coordinates with outside parties or agencies that may also be making statements to the news media.Oversees internal communication with support from other departments.Assess need to make contact with non-County leaders, key audiences, employees, patients/clients, families or visitors.Ensures Public Information Office staff is properly trained.Distributes crisis communication media plan to team members, including any updates.Other Core Crisis Responses Team Members & Alternates
24 Crisis Communication Notification Steps Step 1: The first person to learn of a potential issue or crisis must contact his/her supervisor or manager immediately.Step 2: The supervisor/manager contacts the appropriate leadership group member.Step 3: Once the EMG member is made aware of the situation, they contact the Team Leader and provide an initial briefing.
25 Crisis Communication Notification Steps Step 4: : Based on the initial briefing, the Team Leader notifies other Crisis Response Team members and alerts them to the situation. The Team Leader decides if a meeting or conference call is to be held.
26 Crisis Communication Notification Steps Step 5: The Crisis Response Team begins managing the response to the crisis and by doing the following:Starts planning ahead.Team Leader determines location of Crisis Response Team and prepares schedule of regular update meetings.Other Crisis Response Team members are activated as needed.Public Information Officer recommends who needs to be updated and when, and activates other PIO staff as needed.
27 Post Crisis Checklist Schedule a debriefing with Crisis Response Team. Assemble documentation from the crisis and note any future impacts/problems/actions.Consider a briefing with key stakeholders.Continue to communicate with employees and thank them for their patience and understanding during the crisis.Consider holding a responder appreciation event.
28 Post Crisis ChecklistConsider making a public expression of thanks or appreciated.Prepare a post-crisis report to the Crisis Response Team.Make appropriate changes to the CERC Plan and incorporate any needed future trainings or exercises.
30 Emergency Risk Communication During an emergency event, it is paramount that information be timely and accurate.If emergency is multi-jurisdiction, EOC’s will be activated.Know where each EOC is located (County, PH Dept, Hospital Command Center).
31 Emergency Risk Communication Cont’d Public Information Officer ResponsibilitiesProvide prompt & organized responses to the media and:Participate in Action PlanningParticipate in emergency briefingsVerify facts, monitor rumorsWrite news releases, scripts, fact sheets, FAQs.Distribute news releasesTalk to news mediaPost on web sitesUnderstand the scope of the emergency – who’s who, what’s what and who should we talk with.
32 Emergency Risk Communication Cont’d Information Collection & Production- The PIO collects accurate information regarding the emergency.Information Dissemination- The PIO is established as the designated contact with the media for the development and release of information.Understanding the scope of the Emergency -PIO must understand any and all key audiences that should be communicated with during an emergency.
33 Emergency Risk Communication Cont’d The PIO:Must know which jurisdictions are operational.Coordinates communication to ensure that messages are consistent and within the scope of Public Health’s responsibility.Activates and directs staff functions as determined by the event.
34 Emergency Risk Communication Cont’d The PIOActivates the emergency call down list to ensure adequate staffingActivates an informal MOU with other organizations to supplement public information staffing.Contacts the ICS Labor Pool, for additional staffing, if needed
35 Emergency Risk Communication Cont’d The PIO:Acts as Hospital or PH Dept’s PIO during emergency.Works with other County/Agencies to ensure effective collection and dissemination of information.Public Information Operational Roles & Responsibilities (will cover in depth)
36 Emergency Risk Communication Cont’d Documentation: The PIO must maintain:Hard copy or computerized activity logs.Copies of all new advisories, releases and statements.Staff sign-in sheets to document hours worked during the emergency.The Administrative Support Team collects all documentation materials.
37 Post-Event Activities The emergency is over - let the public know.Schedule a debriefing with PIO staff debriefing.Participate in the Public Health and hospital debriefing.Contribute to post-crisis reports.Assemble documentation from the crisis and note any future impacts/problems/actions.Update and revise the CERC Plan.
38 Post-Event Activities Brief key stakeholders – County officials, reporters, and neighbors – ask what went well and what could be done better next time.Continue to communicate with employees and thank them for their patience and understanding during the crisis.Consider holding a responder appreciation event.Consider making a public expression of thanks. Such as an advertisement in a local paper if local emergency responders or neighbors where involved in the crisis.
39 Responding to the Crisis or Emergency Event Guidelines Audiences- Know your audienceMedia RelationsUse news release, web postings, media interviews and news conferences to acknowledge eventQuestions to Consider-What happened?When and where?Who was affected?
40 Responding to the Crisis or Emergency Event Guidelines Communication Response GuidelinesOverview of the issue or situationIs the communications strategy proactive or reactive and why?Who are the key audiences? They should be communicated to on a regular basisKey Contacts? They should be communicated to on a regular basisWhat are you 3 key messages?What resources are going to be needed?Explain what is confidential and why?Use your good judgment
41 Joint Information Center (JIC) A JIC gathers, coordinates and disseminates information across jurisdictions and agencies (gov’t, private sector and non-gov’t), effectively and efficientlyA JIC- is temporary organization of public information resources, representing the agencies involved in the response to the emergency. A JIC is used to gather, share and dissiminate consistent and accurate emergency public information.
42 The JIC StructureThe JIC is organized into central functions with an assigned lead for each functional area.The Lead Public Information Office (PIO) and the JIC Manager are part of the Command Unit and oversee the functional units of the JIC: Media Relations, Research and Writing, and Special Projects.The following attachments provide information on JIC planning, functions and organizational chart.Attachments: JIC Planning Considerations Overview of JIC Functions Blank JIC Functional Org Chart
43 Having a structure in place and defined will make a difference in the quality of communication activities during an emergency. This model is based on our own JIC trainings and experiences here within Santa Clara County, and has worked well for us. They are other examples of this structure. They are basically the same with slight variations.The JIC structure follows Command structure. There is JIC Command Unit which is made up of the Lead PIO, JIC Manager and Admin/Support function.In addition to Command, the work is divided into 3 other functional units.Media RelationsResearch/ WritingSpecial Projects
44 JICKey PointOrganizing public information resources in a JIC enhances response
45 At Work: Joint Information Center The value of this information and materials is that they have been used during both local and statewide drills and exercises, as well as during local, "real-life" experiences with events. From these events – whether it’s the SARS-scare at San Jose International Airport, cryptosporidium in a local fountain or Hep A exposure at a local restaurant, we have refined and updated these materials as appropriate.
46 Research & Writing Unit Functional Units: Tools & TemplatesCommand UnitResearch & Writing UnitSpecial Projects UnitMedia Relations Unit
47 JIC Tools & Templates Each JIC Functional Section Includes: Job Action Sheets for each Unit LeadRoles & Responsibilities lists for sub-positionsIn addition to a JIC structure which we’ll go into in a moment, we’ve also identified and created Job Action Sheets with detailed task for the 5 main JIC Leads ( PIO Lead, JIC Manager, Media Relations, Research & Writing, Special Projects.)The goal is to have tools in place to help us in doing this better and quicker in an emergency.
49 Supplemental Materials: Case Scenarios Real life examples provide insight about how emergency risk communications will work during an event.The case scenarios are from real situations we have faced in our community, although many of these events have been false alarms, they have provided invaluable hands-on practice.Real life examples can often provide insight about how emergency risk communications will work during an event. While the following case scenarios are from real situations we have faced in our community, many of these events have been false alarms
50 Supplemental Materials: Message Maps & Fact Sheets Message Maps and Fact Sheets are included for biological, chemical and radiological events, as well as for other emergency incidents.The background information and specific scenario-based information can be adapted and tailored for your organization and can serve as a platform in developing messages and public communication tools.The following section provides useful information, messages and tools to use during a public health emergency. Fact sheets and message maps are included for biological, chemical and radiological events, as well as for other emergency issues. The background information and specific scenario-based information can be adapted and tailored for your organization and can serve as a platform in developing messages and public communication tools.
51 JIC- Message Tips Develop your message Provide easy-to-understand information that’s accurate, consistent, and timely, instills confidence in the community and directs appropriated responses to the emergencyHave pre-scripted fact sheets and message maps
53 Message Map Exercise Divide into 3 groups- Develop Message Maps: Pandemic InfluenzaAnthraxSmall PoxPass out factsheets
54 QUESTIONS?The following section provides useful information, messages and tools to use during a public health emergency. Fact sheets and message maps are included for biological, chemical and radiological events, as well as for other emergency issues. The background information and specific scenario-based information can be adapted and tailored for your organization and can serve as a platform in developing messages and public communication tools.
55 For More Information, or to Find APC Products, Visit: