Just in time for summer, emergency risk communication toolkits for extreme heat and wildfires will be available for local health departments and tribes.
The toolkits are in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Crisis Emergency Risk Communication Lifecycle. They have communication strategies for each phase of an event including pre-crisis, crisis and recovery. Each phase’s materials are drawn from research on evaluated public health programs. Thus, the communication strategies have proven effective in delivering risk reduction messaging.
“Our local health departments and tribes already have many of the communication materials necessary to inform Oregon’s communities during summer events,” said Kathleen Vidoloff, emergency risk communication officer for Oregon Health Authority’s Health Security, Preparedness, and Response Program. “These toolkits are designed to complement existing protocol. They fill in possible gaps and strengthen local public health programs with research-based materials and communication plans.”
The toolkits consist of talking points, sample press releases, social media posts and web content.
They also have medical and public health quick-references. Effective, research-based outreach strategies for at-risk and hard-to-access populations are also included. All materials can be used individually or together based on local needs.
“This is a great toolkit,” said Tanya Phillips, Jackson County preparedness coordinator. “It is well-designed and put together. It touches on all aspects of an event. Being able to use these documents during events will be of tremendous help.”
Several steps are in place to expand the toolkits’ usefulness and reach. Spanish-language materials will be integrated into the toolkit, and documents are being developed for counties to use in reaching minority populations.
Each toolkit includes a section on evaluation resources that can be modified for use during future hazards.
Additional toolkits are in the works for other seasonal emergencies. These events include flooding, landslides and earthquakes. The materials will be distributed throughout the coming year.
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