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Crisis & Emergency Risk Communications (CERC) Plan

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Presentation on theme: "Crisis & Emergency Risk Communications (CERC) Plan"— Presentation transcript:

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2 Crisis & Emergency Risk Communications (CERC) Plan
NAACHO Advanced Practice Center (APC) Road Show Billings, Montana July 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 Toolkit Online 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 Pandemic A resource for local public health departments to develop plans for medical mass care Provides 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 hospitals focuses on pandemic influenza, the approaches described and the tools provided can be adapted for other medical-health emergencies and hazards requiring medical mass care Managing Mass Fatalities CD Evolved from the need for communities to increase their preparedness for managing mass fatalities Materials are based on lessons learned from events, including the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina Provides scalable, operational direction and tools to guide jurisdictions in creating a local plan Hospital Surge Capacity Toolkit CD Assists 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; and requesting 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 Joint The 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 Charts Operations Manual – Developed by your individual county Joint Information Center (JIC) Structure Roles & Responsibilities Job Action Sheets for each functional area Key templates & tools for each functional area Message Maps & Fact Sheets for Public Health emergency scenarios and response. CERC Plan Joint Information Center (JIC) Roles & Responsibilities Job Action Sheets for each functional area Key templates & tools for each functional area Message Maps & Fact Sheets for different PH emergency scenarios and response.

7 CERC Tools: Planning Elements
Incident Management Command (ICS) Overview CERC Plan Template & and Org charts. 1. Incident Management Command Systems Overview 2. Ability to communicate will be impacted– including public health’s specific role and authority 3.CERC Plan Template A - Crisis Response Team Chart Template B - Crisis Decision Matrix Template C - Communications Operations Template D - ICS EOC Structure Template E - PIO Org Chart Template F - JIC Org Chart Glossary of Terms

8 Incident Command System (ICS)
Know the Incident Command System Communicate effectively. Work within a defined and clear chain of command. Understand roles and responsibilities and how the entire command system works and fits together.

9 ICS Structure

10 CERC Plan- Components Overview
Crisis Communication, Issue Mgmt. & Emergency Risk Communication Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication Overview Crisis Communication Emergency Risk Communication Responding to the Crisis or Emergency Event Definitions-see handout We will go over the 5 components of a good CERC plan

11 Crisis Communication Crisis Communication- Examples:
Typically unexpected May not be in the organizations control May cause harm to the organization’s good reputation Organization is likely to face some legal or moral responsibility Examples: Medical/Patient issue: hospital-based disease outbreak Workplace Incidents: workplace violence Issue regarding senior management/staff: arrests Issues affecting the organization: Political and/or legal actions: public protests

12 Issue Management Issue Management- Similar to crisis communication, but the organization knows the crisis is coming. Examples: Medical/Patient issue: medical error Workplace Incidents: harassment or discrimination Issue regarding senior management/staff: dept. investigations Issues 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 Communication Describes 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 crisis Examples: 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 Management Similar 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 Communication Different 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/disaster Purpose of the CERC plan is to prepare and guide the PIO in communicating to key audiences Purpose: 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/emergency Provide 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 Communication Crisis 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 Responsibilities The responsibilities for members of the Crisis Response Team are outlined below. Team Leader Notifies 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 Officer Notifies 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 Checklist Consider 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.

29 Crisis Decision Matrix

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 Responsibilities Provide prompt & organized responses to the media and: Participate in Action Planning Participate in emergency briefings Verify facts, monitor rumors Write news releases, scripts, fact sheets, FAQs. Distribute news releases Talk to news media Post on web sites Understand 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 PIO Activates the emergency call down list to ensure adequate staffing Activates 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 audience Media Relations Use news release, web postings, media interviews and news conferences to acknowledge event Questions to Consider- What happened? When and where? Who was affected?

40 Responding to the Crisis or Emergency Event Guidelines
Communication Response Guidelines Overview of the issue or situation Is the communications strategy proactive or reactive and why? Who are the key audiences? They should be communicated to on a regular basis Key Contacts? They should be communicated to on a regular basis What 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 efficiently A 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 Structure The 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 Relations Research/ Writing Special Projects

44 JIC Key Point Organizing 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 & Templates Command Unit Research & Writing Unit Special Projects Unit Media Relations Unit

47 JIC Tools & Templates Each JIC Functional Section Includes:
Job Action Sheets for each Unit Lead Roles & Responsibilities lists for sub-positions In 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.

48 JIC Tools & Templates Sample Operational Tools & Templates Included:
Media Relations: Policies, Media Logs, Equipment Checklist, etc. Research/Writing: Press templates, Message Map template, etc. Special Projects: Key Partners Contact List, Phone Script sample, etc.

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 emergency Have pre-scripted fact sheets and message maps

52 JIC-Message Map “Roadmap”
Stakeholder: Category: Subject Scenario:

53 Message Map Exercise Divide into 3 groups- Develop Message Maps:
Pandemic Influenza Anthrax Small Pox Pass 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:

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