Mass communication in the midst of a crisis must be done in a targeted and timely manner to mitigate the impact and ultimately save lives. Based on sound research, real-world case studies, and the author’s own experiences, Mass Notification and Crisis Communications: Planning, Preparedness, and Systems helps emergency planning professionals create a crisis communications plan that works by establishing upfront relationships with responders, enacting protocols, and utilizing technology to effectively message the intended audience.
Providing communication best practices to professionals, the book:
- Reviews the challenges organizations face with communications in the face of various types of disasters
- Helps to outline the target audience of the communiqué
- Describes different communication techniques used throughout history during peace and wartime
- Provides methods for getting the right message across the first time
- Explores how social media can be a powerful tool in message dissemination
- Examines the legal landscape to ensure managers are in compliance with international, federal, state, and local regulatory requirements
Aligned with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Emergency Communications Plan—as well as the U.S. strategic plan to improve emergency response communications—the book provides recommendations to key decision makers given all considerations that must be weighed and factored in during a crisis.
Table of Contents
History of Communications
Disaster Communications—Two-Way Conversations
Dynamics of Communications and Concepts of Operations
Challenges to Effective Communications
Changing Realities in Emergency Communications
Emergency Communications Framework
A Crisis Occurs … Now What?
International, Federal, State, and Local Laws, Regulations, Systems, Plans, and Structures
Ripple Effect of Social Media and Social Networking
Solutions—Some Solutions Are Better than None
Learning Your Systems Requirements
Picking a Solution That Fits
Effective Communication Plans
Getting the Message Right the First Time
Prepare to Prosper
Appendix A: List of Acronyms
Appendix B: Sample Mass Notification System Activation and
Criteria Guidance Sheet
Appendix C: Sample Messages
Appendix D: List of Questions to Ask a Vendor before You Buy
Appendix E: Sample Social Media Strategy
Appendix F: Emergency Call Numbers
Denise Chatam Walker, Ph.D. is the Chief Emergency Management Officer for the Lone Star College System in The Woodlands, Texas.