• Partner with school groups. Students typically absorb new information readily and can become conduits for such information to their families.

  • Educate those responsible for preparing messages. Credibility is important and will be diminished if a message contains incorrect information, unclear information, or even typographical errors.

  • Put the information on the table and include the elected officials. Conflicts can arise between governments—for example, between city and county governments. Although emergency managers may have conflicts, they can usually work together and generally already are doing so. The challenge comes with public information officers who are managing information for elected officials. The elected officials often engage in extensive battles in terms of getting information out.

  • Have a simple message. Regardless of what type of disaster a geographic area may face—hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or flood—the recommended preparatory actions are often very similar even if the priorities are different. These preparatory actions include telling people to have food and water on hand, to have a battery-powered radio, and to be prepared to evacuate if necessary. If these basic “calls to action” can be conveyed to and acted on by even a significant fraction of the population, much progress will have been made.

  • Engage various funding sources and partnerships. Professional marketing campaigns can be costly. Building public education campaign funds into grants can be helpful, but private-public partnerships can also be helpful. Emergency managers can also reach out to local marketing or public relations professional associations.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement