Communicating during times of disaster: Setting the stage for crisis response
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Communicators are trained to select the proper channels for the right audiences to achieve their organizations’ goals, but what happens when oft-used channels are no longer available (such as when the power goes out during a hurricane)? How do you best tailor your messages to distribute crucial information in a timely manner, but for specific audiences and in a way that is effectively received? Vivi Siegel, associate director for communications for the Division of Environmental Health Science and Practice at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will walk you through the phase-based messaging the CDC uses to communicate information to wide publics in the event of natural disasters and other crises. She’ll share strategies and lessons learned setting strategies and coordinating with each member of the organization involved in a particular crisis response. She’ll also show you how to ensure your messages reach those who need them—and how you can best achieve your goals in the face of catastrophe.
Vivi Siegel, MPH, is the acting associate director for communications for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Environmental Health Science and Practice. She focuses on using risk communication principles to help stakeholders understand and deal with health uncertainties surrounding environmental events and exposures, and to take actions to protect themselves and others. She helps lead CDC communications responses for natural, chemical and radiological emergencies, including the 2011 Fukushima response, and recently, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, Florence and Michael.