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First Hours: How to Use This Resource


  • Use CDC-sponsored audience research and related resources as you develop or adapt materials for your public health department.
  • Become familiar with message formats.
  • Be prepared to adapt messages for your state or community in the event of a terrorist attack. Consider how the message may change for the following:
    • audiences close to an event;
    • audiences far from an event, but experiencing anxiety;
    • the severity of the event is unknown or different from what is portrayed in the messages;
    • an event is not confirmed.
  • Apply the critical principles of Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) in all communication.
  • Inform the public where they can go for additional information in these different situations.
  • Make certain that all key public health leaders, potential spokespersons, and communication professionals are aware of these messages. Make sure that they become familiar with this content and how to access it in an emergency.
  • Consider how you can integrate your public health and safety messages into the larger emergency communication response structure.

The messages developed by the HHS Office of Public Affairs and CDC have short and long versions. While the short versions may be used in their entirety, the longer messages would best be used as resources for message development. It is intended that public health officials use the information in the longer formats as talking points or as shorter segments chosen for a particular situation.

Ready: Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed.Social Media at CDC Emergency