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Public Information Officers

The resources available on this page are designed to aid in communication to the general public DURING an emergency situation. For more information on coping with traumatic events, see Psychological Issues. See Risk Communication, Risk Assessment, and Regulations for more information related to chemical risk in a non emergency situation.

HHS Risk Communication Resources


  • Public Health Emergency Response: A Guide for Leaders and Responders
    • A guide on the public health response to emergencies that is specifically tailored for public officials (e.g., mayors, governors, county executives, emergency managers) and first responders (e.g., police, fire, EMS).
  • Communicating in a Crisis: Risk Communications Guidelines for Public Officials
    • The purpose of this primer is to provide a resource for public officials on the basic tenets of effective communications generally and on working with the news media specifically. The primer is not encyclopedic in nature, but rather an easy-to-use pocket guide on the basic skills and techniques needed for clear, effective communications, information dissemination, and message delivery.


These guides provide information for the media on how to quickly and clearly communicate terrorism and public health emergency messages to the public.

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HHS/CDC Resources

  • Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) — CDC’s CERC program provides trainings, tools, and resources to help health communicators, emergency responders, and leaders of organizations communicate effectively during emergencies.
    • CERC Manual and Tools — The CERC Manual describes core crisis and emergency risk communication principles and how they apply to each phase of a crisis. Tools are available to prepare communication plans or use during a crisis.
    • CERC Training — The CERC program offers in-person and online trainings on Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication.

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Community Right to Know Information

  • Community's Role in Right-To-Know Law (EPA)
    • The Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act, called EPCRA, is also known as SARA Title III, but is commonly referred to as the Community Right-To-Know law or simply as EPCRA.

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