Northwest Center for Public Health Practice at the University of Washington

Risk Communication for Emergency Preparedness

This is an all levels course offering CPH — Free
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Time to Start

> 5 minutes


1.00 hour


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Leaders are often called upon to share information with the public, the media, and other stakeholders in the midst of a crisis. This course will help you develop skills in risk communication. You will learn how people perceive risk and how best to frame messages in order to help them cope with emergencies and make informed decisions.

This course is part of the Emergency Preparedness Leadership Series. It is meant to stand alone, but you may also take it together with courses on Managing Change and Decision Making to receive a certificate in Emergency Preparedness Leadership.

This training is best viewed not in full screen. Slides are available to download. 

This learning opportunity topic is aligned with one or more of the strategic skills. This learning opportunity addresses training topics identified in PH WINS 2017. 

(Coronavirus - COVID-19)

What You'll Learn

  • Explain how people gauge risk and how this affects communications during public health emergencies
  • Discuss key principles of risk communication for public officials that will help people cope and build trust in your message
  • Explain how the timeliness of communications affects credibility
  • Describe the elements for initial messages during a crisis

Competency Terms

Emergency Preparedness and Response (all hazards)
Communication Skills
Written & Oral Communication
Information Dissemination
Agency & Organization Roles
Community Dimensions of Practice Skills
Community Programs & Services
Leadership & Systems Thinking Skills

Related Occupations

Department/Bureau Director
Deputy Director
Health Officer
Other Management & Leadership
Public health - multiple occupations will benefit
Public Health Agency Director
Public Health Informatics Specialist
Public Health Information Specialist/Officer
Public Health Manager/Program Manager