Communication Readiness Community Emergency Preparedness Regional Pandemic Planning Summits • 2006
Bird Flu ≠ Human Pandemic. • Bird flu is mostly a disease of BIRDS. • Pandemic flu would make lots of PEOPLE sick • Pandemic flu would spread among people worldwide. • Bird flu does NOT do that. CONCERN: Bird flu virus could mutate to spread easily from person to person.
Communication is essential. • People need information to prepare for/ respond to emergencies • Information to support good decisions • Information must be accurate, consistent, credible, useful – PHASED What’s happening? What is Vermont doing? What should I do?
To communicate well in an emergency: • Show that you care • Demonstrate competence/expertise • Tell what you know and don’t know • Explain process to find answers
To communicate well in an emergency: • Don’t over reassure • Acknowledge uncertainty • Acknowledge fear • Let people know what they can do • Ask more of people Assume the best of people. DO NOT assume that people will “panic”!
Prepare to Answer ?s: • What is happening? • Are my family and I safe? • What should I do? • What can I do to protect myself and my family? • What is Vermont doing? • What can we expect? • Why did this happen? • Why wasn’t this prevented? • What else can go wrong? • What does this information mean?
Pandemic Phases 5/2006
Organizing Health PIO Response • Lead PIO • Deputy PIO • Media Manager • Media Monitor • Partner/Stakeholder Liaison • Info Line Liaison • Webmaster • Emergency Writers • Spokespersons • Health Marketing • Assistants Health Operations Center • State Emergency Operations Center
Organizing State PIO Response • JIC • Governor’s Office • Emergency Management • Health • Agriculture • Human Services • Transportation • Natural Resources • Red Cross • Colleges • National Guard • Public Safety • Hospitals/VAHHS
Getting news & information out – • TV, radio, print, on-line news Local news first priority • Websites PandemicFlu.gov HealthVermont.gov
Getting news & information out – • Health Alert Network (HAN) town officials, first responders, hospitals, health care • Public Info Lines • Community Leaders - Community Networks
What you can do now • Share information to keep healthy • cover your cough • wash hands often and well • stay home if you’re sick • avoid close contact with sick people • ask for a mask • HealthVermont.gov
What you can do now Prepare yourself and your family for any emergency: • family emergency health plan • food, water, meds, supplies • volunteer to help
What your organization can do Plan for the impact of pandemic • checklists: • local government • business • school district (K-12) • child care/pre-school • college/university • medical office/clinic • EMS • hospital • home health service • long-term care & residential • community organization
For the most current information: • HealthVermont.gov • PandemicFlu.gov