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CBRN Crisis Communications Doug Sider, MD, FRCPC Public Health CBRN course.

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Presentation on theme: "CBRN Crisis Communications Doug Sider, MD, FRCPC Public Health CBRN course."— Presentation transcript:

1 CBRN Crisis Communications Doug Sider, MD, FRCPC Public Health CBRN course

2 Outline Introduction PH Program Standards Key Considerations Crisis Communication Team Key Steps in Crisis Communication Resources

3 Introduction Crisis communication plan/infrastructure is an integral part of PH emergency preparedness. Helps ensure public trust and credibility in the emergency response system Support efforts to protect the public in emergency events Impact on media, public and emergency/health care communities reactions Helps foster appropriate behaviours and levels of concern

4 Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Program Standard Health Protection: Risk Communication and Public Awareness “The board of health shall develop, implement and document 24/7 notification protocols for communications with internal board of health staff and external stakeholders…” “The board of health shall participate in public awareness activities on emergency preparedness and response”

5 Key Considerations (1) Requires extensive pre-event preparation Anchors on HIRA-prioritized CBRN events Emphasizes factual information on CBRN event Increases local readiness/knowledge levels re: CBRN events Environment of intense and sustained demand for information

6 Key Considerations (2) Details accounts of what is being done Must address needs of multiple audiences – local, regional, provincial Track effectiveness of communication approaches Need for regular updates/meetings between public/private partners Prior discussion of possible measures, e.g isolation/quarantine

7 Crisis Communication Team Form in advance!!! Necessary skills and experience Small/nimble with ability to add resources Designated back-ups

8 Liaison Organizations Designate in advance Conduit for other organizations in their sector Two-way Responsibilities

9 Crisis Communication Team – Key Roles 1.With senior leadership/EOC connects with the liaison organizations 2.Develops key messages/statements 3.Develops content for internal communications 4.Distributes organization’s materials and other information (e.g. MOHLTC)

10 Crisis Communication Team – Key Roles (2) Communicates with media Identifies and helps prepare primary and back-up spokespeople Determines third-party contacts to use as spokespeople Ensures media monitoring is in place Updates senior leadership/EOC

11 Communication/Public Information Officer (1) Ensure all information is clear, confirmed and approved Ensure unconfirmed information is not released Monitor news programs/reviewing news articles for accuracy Correct serious misinformation when possible Establish the 24 hour call-centre, provide sufficient staffing and training

12 Communication/Public Information Officer (2) Ensure official spokespersons are briefed Keep key PHU officials informed of all media actions taken or planned Keep PIOs in other jurisdictions informed of information released Maintain a log and file of all information Release emergency instructions/information to public as necessary Release prevention, treatment and control information as appropriate

13 Communication/Public Information Officer (3) Respond to media calls Attend briefings and planning sessions Consider additional methods of distributing emergency instructions Arrange daily, or as needed, media briefings Prepare news releases, as required Provide information in foreign languages, as required

14 Key Steps ID info pathways, expectations and reporting mechanisms in advance. Establish/convene crisis communications team ASAP Get in Front

15 Key Steps 1.Plan according to an EOC-established information cycle 2.Carry out routine situation scans 3.Incorporate inputs from liaison organizations, especially to EOC 4.Use New Information Report to record decisions/assess status of actions 5.Use previously developed communication materials Manage (1)


17 Key Steps Manage (2) Determine key audiences ID Crisis team member communicating with each audience (what methods? When?) Enable systems required to communicate, e.g. email distributions lists

18 Key Steps Develop and communicate key messages that should: Describe details of current situation Describe impacts on stakeholder audiences Describes actions being taken to mitigate/prevent/treat Provide contact details for more information/answers to questions Manage (3)

19 Key Steps Identify spokespeople (primary & backup): –Knowledge and experience –Ability to connect with the intended audience –Ability to deliver information in a clear and direct way –Calm and reassuring while educating audiences Manage (4) Person in “command” role is often spokesperson. Another member may be better suited to the task

20 Key Steps Communicate (1) Use Content Checklist to ensure materials address all info needed. Communicate details of the situation with employees!! Work with JH&S Committees re: OH&S precautions Use different methods to communicate with employees

21 Key Steps Communicate (2) Ensure external stakeholders can contact the crisis team through: Dedicated phone lines Email addresses Website Teleconferences Sequence outgoing/incoming communication with information cycle Use Communication Logs for stakeholder contacts Act immediately on stakeholder/employee requests for information

22 Key Steps Communicate with the media, key to crisis communication Be aware of/plan for needs of different media Ensure physician locale of media briefings can address these needs Be attentive to such issues as filing deadlines Plan communications with EOC information cycle in mind Refer to Incoming Media Call Log Communicate (3)

23 Key Steps Communicate (4) Provide additional communication to public/risk populations (e.g schools) in-store public address systems posters and pamphlets site-specific meetings use of existing mailings of newsletters or statements Update communications with new information when relevant and appropriate. Keep community and decision- makers aware of developments

24 Key Steps Evaluate Progress Evaluate information delivery, media coverage and stakeholder response Scan daily media for coverage related to event Analyze news coverage for content/distribution: key message used and understood quotes/pictures from your/other organization content placement – page # or time of day number/location of outlets that print/broadcast stories Evaluate quickly type of requests, their tone and responses required -> to identify issues to be addressed

25 Summary Communication is a key role of public health in any disaster Need to plan and train ahead of time Identify Communications Team and plan for your local audience Know who your key liaison organizations are

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