The structure and tone of risk communication messages can be just as important as the speed with which they are delivered. These messages differ from day-today health communication, and must be tailored to the event, using proven crisis and emergency risk communication principles.
Elements of crisis and emergency risk communication that should be included in nearly every message:
- What is known about the threat to human health
- What is NOT known about the threat to human health
- Why a crisis or emergency event happened
- Actions people can take to reduce their personal health threat
- Expression of empathy about the threat to personal health
- Expression of commitment from the responsible or responding entity
In addition to speed, the quality of emergency messages produced during the 2016 statewide Vigilant Guard exercise will be evaluated. After-action reviews of public health events and emergencies will also evaluate the quality of public information messages issued, and embedded in print and broadcast news stories.