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1. Crisis & Emergency Risk Communications (CERC) Plan NAACHO Advanced Practice Center (APC) Road Show Billings, Montana July 16-17, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "1. Crisis & Emergency Risk Communications (CERC) Plan NAACHO Advanced Practice Center (APC) Road Show Billings, Montana July 16-17, 2009."— 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 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.

4 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.

5 5 Todays Objectives Present highlights of the CERC toolkit. Provide information and materials to guide public information activities.

6 6 CERC Toolkit Content 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.

7 7 CERC Tools: Planning Elements Incident Management Command (ICS) Overview CERC Plan Template & and Org charts.

8 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 9 ICS Structure

10 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

11 11 Crisis Communication Crisis Communication- –Typically unexpected –May not be in the organizations control –May cause harm to the organizations 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 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 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..

14 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

15 15 Crisis and Emergency Risk Communications Overview Contd Objectives: –Provide sound and thoughtful information to preserve and protect the publics 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 16 Crisis and Emergency Risk Communications Overview Contd PIO and Public Information Staff Must-Dos: –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 17 Crisis and Emergency Risk Communications Overview Contd Must Dos (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 18 Crisis and Emergency Risk Communications Overview Contd Must dos 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 19 Crisis and Emergency Risk Communications Overview Contd Departments cant 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 20 Crisis and Emergency Risk Communications Overview Contd 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 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 22 Crisis Communication Contd 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 23 Crisis Response Team Chart

24 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 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 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 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 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 29 Crisis Decision Matrix

30 30 Emergency Risk Communication During an emergency event, it is paramount that information be timely and accurate. –If emergency is multi-jurisdiction, EOCs will be activated. –Know where each EOC is located (County, PH Dept, Hospital Command Center).

31 31 Emergency Risk Communication Contd 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 – whos who, whats what and who should we talk with.

32 32 Emergency Risk Communication Contd –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 33 Emergency Risk Communication Contd The PIO: Must know which jurisdictions are operational. Coordinates communication to ensure that messages are consistent and within the scope of Public Healths responsibility. Activates and directs staff functions as determined by the event.

34 34 Emergency Risk Communication Contd 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 35 Emergency Risk Communication Contd The PIO: –Acts as Hospital or PH Depts 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 36 Emergency Risk Communication Contd 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 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 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 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 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 41 Joint Information Center (JIC) A JIC gathers, coordinates and disseminates information across jurisdictions and agencies (govt, private sector and non-govt), 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 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.

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44 44 JIC Key Point –Organizing public information resources in a JIC enhances response

45 45 At Work: Joint Information Center

46 46 Command Unit Media Relations Unit Research & Writing Unit Special Projects Unit Functional Units: Tools & Templates

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

48 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 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.

50 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.

51 51 Develop your message –Provide easy-to-understand information thats accurate, consistent, and timely, instills confidence in the community and directs appropriated responses to the emergency –Have pre-scripted fact sheets and message maps JIC- Message Tips

52 52 JIC-Message Map Roadmap

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


55 55 For More Information, or to Find APC Products, Visit:

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