May 2021

Crisis Communications Team Workshops

Here is an overview of the Crisis Communications Team training – which includes the concept of both building out a Crisis Communications Team Plan and also preparing your crisis communications team to be a part of that plan.

Crisis Communications
Not sure what Crisis Communications is? Start here.

And we have a Barton Dunant Crisis Communications Team course, as well.

And when it comes to Exercising your Crisis Communications Team, we have a number of pre-built inexpensive exercise templates available to download.

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FEMA releases research report, “Improving Public Messaging for Evacuation and Shelter-in-Place”

In April 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released Improving Public Messaging for Evacuation and Shelter-in-Place: Findings and Recommendations for Emergency Managers from Peer-Reviewed Research. The purpose of this research report is to provide emergency managers with:

  • Findings on public understanding and decision-making for evacuation and shelter-in-place protective actions.
  • Recommendations for improving public messaging to inform the public about risk and to increase compliance with instructions to evacuate or to shelter-in-place.

Some key recommendations to emergency managers include:

  • Understand the potential impediments to action and take steps to address these barriers in advance.
  • Make evacuation decisions easier by only issuing mandatory evacuation orders.
  • Provide residents and tourists with multiple ways to know if they are in a zone under an evacuation order.
  • Use multiple, authoritative messaging channels that include photos or links to other visual information about the hazard and encourage individuals to share this information with friends and families.
  • Provide frequent updates with information that can reduce the stress of the unknown related to evacuation.

Although this literature review identified similarities and differences in attitudes and behaviors related to multiple types of hazards, the largest set of research is associated with hurricanes. The research team acknowledges more research should be conducted on little- or no-notice incidents, such as wildfires, earthquakes and tornadoes, as well as manmade emergencies such as chemical spills.

Read the full report on FEMA’s website, in its “Planning Guides” resource collection.

(Source: FEMA)

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Free Crisis Communications Training

Federal/State Free Training

Centers for Disease Control’s Crisis & Emergency Risk Communications Training

FEMA IS-42: Social Media in Emergency Management Course

Crisis Communications Flyers and blog items

World Health, O. (2005). Effective media communication during public health emergencies : a WHO field guide / Randall N. Hyer, Vincent T. Covello. In. Geneva: World Health Organization.

Association of Risk and Crisis Communication – Code of Ethics.

Duke University Crisis Communications Plan – Crisis Communications Plan –

Cision’s Crisis Communications team material: “Monitoring A PR Crisis: How a Proactive Approach Benefits Your Whole Enterprise” & Uber Case Study

Have any other suggestions to share? Please post a reply below… Thank you!

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Crisis Action Plan – Checklist

Use this checklist to organize the elements you need to develop your own Crisis Action Plan for your team, division, or even entire organization. There are specific sections of the plan which are unique to each physical location (for example where to evacuate to, outside of the building itself) and there are other elements which need to be consistent for all staff and visitors. At the end of this post, you can find a free download offer of our Crisis Action Plan template document.

  1. Name of Organization
  2. Number of facilities needing Crisis Action Plans (CAPs)
  3. Address(es) of Facility/Facilities (for Google Maps or other visual map to add to CAP)
  4. Specifics about what the organization does, products produced, etc. What are the essential missions of the organization (which have to be performed regardless of disaster occurring), if any
  5. Point-of-Contact (POC) info for Crisis Communications Team members
  6. POC info for Emergency Response Team
  7. POC info for Information Technology Team lead
  8. POC info for Facilities/Logistics team lead – even if outside vendor, like a property management company
  9. Alert System Name (if any)
  10. References to Human Resources (HR) policy numbers which are applicable to workforce safety and security (you do not need the full copies, just summary info)
  11. References to your organization’s Business/Government Continuity of Operations Plan
  12. Memorandums of Agreement/Understandings with any outside partners and suppliers, including off-site assembly points and warm/cold continency operations sites (Highlights only).
  13. Executive POC who signs off on document and also who ultimately approves this CAP.
  14. Detailed procedures on Lockdowns, Active Assailants and other Shelter-in-Place protocols
  15. Any other threats/hazards for this organization which may be unique to the organization, and should be specifically listed in the Crisis Action plan

If you are ready to start building your organization’s Crisis Action Plan, you can use our template for free!

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