ANNEX N
   PUBLIC INFORMATION

  Crisis Public Information
Communications Supplement
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
April 30, 2005 (Final Draft)


                                                ...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
April 30, 2005 (Final Draft)


Purpose of the CPI Communications Supplement

Th...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
April 30, 2005 (Final Draft)


       important as communicating directly with ...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
April 30, 2005 (Final Draft)


resources and communication guidelines to assist...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
April 30, 2005 (Final Draft)


Most emergency situation managers and agencies a...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
April 30, 2005 (Final Draft)



Ideal Public Communications Team Activities

Un...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
April 30, 2005 (Final Draft)



           c. A public information officer or o...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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In an idealized crisis event, the following duti...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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7. The individual who serves as support staff f...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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       public awareness and outreach the most re...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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Section 1, Appendices A, B, C:

Decision Support...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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handled by the same person. The lists and source...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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leading up to the transfer on-scene control to t...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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process steps by providing decision support info...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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Appendix C: Index of Public Media Resources
   ...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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announcement of a fast moving forest fire might ...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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under different circumstances. It can also be li...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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   •   Broadcast Phone Calls: A variation on th...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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Those residents that had been to local public me...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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Follow Up

In an earlier section, the post-event...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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Purpose of the CPI Communications Supplement.......
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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Appendix Section 1 - Decision Support Informatio...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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Appendix A: Index of Vermont Information Resourc...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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                              Departments       ...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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                  Boards, Commissions, Councils,...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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Web Sites by Threat or Incident


              ...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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                                          Threat...
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Appendix A: Cont’d - Vermont Information Resourc...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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              content for a given situation. The...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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Appendix B: Index of Non-Vermont Information Res...
STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN
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       hours. ATF also signed a Memorandum of Ag...
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Transcript of "Tab 3 – Public Information Operating Procedures.doc"

  1. 1. ANNEX N PUBLIC INFORMATION Crisis Public Information Communications Supplement
  2. 2. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) Table of Contents Purpose of the CPI Communications Supplement.......................................................................................2 Plan Objectives............................................................................................................................................5 Using This Plan...........................................................................................................................................5 Ideal Public Communications Team Activities ..................................................................6 Before Event...........................................................................................................................................................6 During Event...........................................................................................................................................................7 After Event..............................................................................................................................................................9 Communications Resources...............................................................................................10 Decisions and Decision Support........................................................................................11 Terrorist Threats – A Special Case....................................................................................14 Decision Support Resources..............................................................................................14 Communications Readiness.......................................................................................................................15 Management Readiness.....................................................................................................15 Public Readiness................................................................................................................16 Follow Up..................................................................................................................................................20 21 Appendix Section 1 - Decision Support Information Resources................................................................22 Appendix A: Index of Vermont Information Resources............................................................................23 Web Sites by Organization................................................................................................23 Web Sites by Threat or Incident .......................................................................................26 Index of Vermont State approved Subject Matter Experts................................................28 There is a limit to the training, preparation and planning that an emergency response manager or incident command can do prior to a crisis. The large number of variables as well as the complexity of some events, such as HAZMAT or biohazards, can make it absolutely essential that there be subject matter experts (SMEs) available to refer these complex questions to. The VEM office maintains a list of the currently qualified SMEs, their locations and areas of expertise. By contacting the VEM office, you can tap into this valuable resource.............................................28 Appendix B: Index of Non-Vermont Information Resources....................................................................30 Federal Emergency Management and Response Services ................................................30 Federal Threat Support Information Resources and Web Sites.........................................35 Internet References For Terrorism Response: Most of these titles are also internet links. ............................................................................................................................................43 Appendix C: Index of Vermont Public Media Resources..........................................................................45 Appendix Section 2 - Assistance and Guidelines on the development of content......................................61 Appendix D: Behavioral Response to Threats & Emergencies..................................................................62 Individual Decision Mechanisms in the Human Mind......................................................62 Group Decision Mechanisms in the Human Mind............................................................64 Avoiding Group Think ......................................................................................................67 The Outrage Factor...........................................................................................................68 Appendix E: Media Relations Guidelines .................................................................................................70 Media Relations Reminders ..............................................................................................71 Handling Media Interviews................................................................................................71 Do's and Don'ts During the Interview process ..................................................................72 Appendix F: Sample Scripts......................................................................................................................74 Sample News Release........................................................................................................74 TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 1 | 04/30/05
  3. 3. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) Purpose of the CPI Communications Supplement The Crisis Public Information (CPI) Communications Supplement is intended to be a guide and decision support resource for local and unified incident commands and emergency operations managers. It is an information resource supplement to the Vermont Emergency Operations Plan (VEOP) and to State Support Function (SSF) #14, titled, ”Public Information”. The policies, procedures, functions, duties, responsibilities and operational actions of the State and local emergency response managers and decision makers is well defined in the VEOP and other State and local EMS documents and are not repeated in this document. A CPI Communications Supplement provides information, references, guidelines and procedures for the coordination of communications within the State of Vermont, and between the State and any applicable outside agencies (e.g. - the media, regulatory agencies and the public) in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. The emphasis is on collecting together, in one place, a comprehensive information resource that can be used by emergency response managers and the general public to support decisions necessary before, during and after a crisis event. Much of this document would be very useful as the basis for building a training or educational course of study on crisis public communications. The cognizant authority for this guide is the Vermont Emergency Management (VEM) office of the Vermont Department of Public Safety (VDPS) and will be referred to as the author and resource manager throughout this document. The reason that this plan exists is to provide Vermont State and local agencies with a list of general guidelines, information resources and decision support that can be used as an initial orientation or training for new emergency public service managers and as a reference resource for ongoing support before, during and after a crisis. The emphasis of this plan is addressing media relations and public communications issues but it is not intended to replace or repeat policy or procedures defined in other emergency management response documents. Specifically, this plan will not provide assessment of potentially harmful situations nor the methods for responding to those situations. The act of communicating with the public has three critical decisions associated with that action: Decision Support Information Resources: The emergency response manager needs to have a detailed understanding of the technical aspects of the threat to public safety and the optimum response desired from the public. This is a function of gathering information about the threat and almost always involves more than just a situation report of threat progress. The progression or interlinking of potential public threats as a result of a developing crisis needs to be understood. For instance, a river flood may threaten road and bridge travel but it can also contaminate water supplies, interrupt utility and fuel distribution, block emergency vehicle traffic and cause structural damage to roads, bridges and buildings. The local incident commander needs to understand all of these implications and potential threats. These decisions are supported by information in Section 1 of the Appendices. Response Operations Assets and Resources: No one emergency response agency can be prepared to respond to every emergency. In the process of dealing with the emergency, communications with the public may be by way of an assisting agency or organization. It is important to understand that communications with this third party is as TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 2 | 04/30/05
  4. 4. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) important as communicating directly with the public but it requires some additional special knowledge and content considerations. It is critical to know who to contact and what to say when the time comes to ask for help. The VEM office is well equipped to support such requests and has an array of subject matter experts, information resources and agencies to support local emergency response managers. The support from State and federal resources is often specific to one kind of threat, one level of threat or a limited level of asset support. This guide will help both local and State emergency response managers in selecting the right resource to call. These decisions are supported by information in Section 2 of the Appendices. Assistance and Guidelines on the development of content: For all emergency response managers, State and local, and for all crisis situations, the issue of informing the public and eliciting the desired response can be surprisingly complex. Although the psychology of human and group response to serious threats is a well studied science, it remains a complex and potentially difficult subject to deal with. There are also styles, methods and syntax of public announcements that should change depending on who is the audience and what is the nature of the threat. The rural resident might need an entirely different message than a urban business owner or given at a press conference to media reporters. This guide will discuss the decisions associated with the difficulty of content development. These decisions are supported by information in Section 3 of the Appendices. This plan is designed to be used in conjunction with the normal decision-making hierarchy of the emergency response managers as a supplement to that decision-making process. A key point to consider: if a risk to the community exists, the community deserves to be informed and/or consulted. The nature of this decision making process is that it is best supported if the emergency management professionals involved have an understanding, in advance, of the decision making process and the availability of information resources. To that end, one goal of this communications guide is to provide the core material for learning and training in advance of a crisis. Ideally, emergency response managers will use this guide to establish their own basic guidelines and to select and study resources available for dealing with a variety of public communications situations, and to ensure that emergency response personnel and official public communicators are familiar with those resources and procedures. Using this guide to provide basic information to emergency management professionals in State and local agencies allows them to establish their own risk communication program to guide them in times of crisis to effectively and efficiently make decisions about who, when and how to contact to communicate risk issues related to the community. It is directed towards the emergency management professionals who may be called upon before, during and after an incident to decide when and how to make presentations to the public as to how this incident may affect them. This guide is not intended to provide State and local government public information officers with methods of "spin control." The issue of crisis public communications is complex because of the many variables of timing, risk, threat, resources and public response. These are subjects that independently vary from one crisis to the next and within each crisis making it difficult to provide a simple checklist of actions for any given scenario. Instead, this plan provides a compendium of useful information TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 3 | 04/30/05
  5. 5. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) resources and communication guidelines to assist in the decisions and process related to public communication of emergency/disaster issues. This guide is a supplement to SSF #14 of the Vermont Emergency Operations Plan (VEOP) and is not designed to replace training or more comprehensive emergency response management documents, guides or tutorials on public communication. Throughout this guide, important information resources are identified that exist in other forms, from other sources and on other media. It is important to know this information exists but it is not useful to try to reproduce this information in this document. Such information is often too large, too complex or needs updating too often to be limited by a hardcopy document. Because of the accessibility from most locations to such large and complex information resources, internet sources are the primary resource listed, however, it is not the only source of such information. Large databases on CD-ROM, reference books and telephone resources can also be used. The VEM office also provides a large and in-depth information resource for most emergency management situations. Perspective VEM recognizes key decisions must be made by the public communicator before undertaking the public communication task. For instance: •What is the real nature of the hazard - modest or serious? •If a modest hazard, is the objective to reassure or prepare the public? •If a serious hazard, is the objective to alert or evacuate? (Even if the hazard is serious, there is a need to reassure - panic benefits nobody). Even if an incident commander views itself as “informing” its community, rather than alerting or reassuring it, a fundamental distinction in public communication is deciding whether people are likely to be more concerned than considered appropriate (overreact) or be less concerned than considered appropriate (under-react). Generally, experience has indicated that the public will tend to overreact and the media will focus on the most negative aspects of the public announcement. In such cases, emergency management agencies must focus much of their energies for handling an event by trying to: Before Prepare the public for an impending threat possibility. Reduce the anxiety about potential emergencies that the agency considers unlikely. During Prevent panic in mid-crisis and direct desired actions on the part of the public. After Provide coping and recovery information. Prevent or reduce outrage about prior agency actions (or inaction). TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 4 | 04/30/05
  6. 6. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) Most emergency situation managers and agencies are experienced and familiar with providing information that alerts people to serious hazards. There are, however a lot of important considerations that may not be immediately obvious that can make a significant difference in how the public will react to the information. Some of these considerations are listed in Section 2 of the Appendices. These special considerations pertain to the psychology and social responses that might be expected from the public as a group of individuals and as individual groups. There are also special considerations that should be given to dealing with the news and broadcast media. The media usually have a completely different agenda and perspective than the individual members of the public. Any flaws in the content or method of delivery of the crisis public announcement can be amplified by the media, potentially creating a more serious situation. Plan Objectives The objectives of this plan are to facilitate decisions related to communications with the public in times of crisis. These objectives can be reduced to the following three: 1. To support the factual assessment of the situation and determine whether a communications response is warranted. This is accomplished by providing information resources to make this assessment across most threats and hazards. This objective is supported by information in Section 1 of the Appendices. 2. To support the communications with other local, State and federal resources that should be informed about the situation and that can provide appropriate responses. . This objective is supported by information in Section 2 of the Appendices. 3. To support direct communications with the public to inform them and to support communications with the public utilizing various media sources for the purpose of:  Communicating facts about the crisis.  Elicit a desired response from the public  Minimize rumours.  Restore order and/or confidence. This objective is supported by information in Section 3 of the Appendices. Using This Plan The unique nature of the decision process of dealing with the public and the media is surprisingly complex and often underestimated by incident commands and emergency operations managers. Every emergency or crisis incident is different and has its own unique requirements. The variables of incident details, public response and available resources create such a large number of possible scenarios that it would be impossible to specify a plan of action for every contingency. As a result, the Crisis Public Information (CPI) Communications Information Supplement is intended to be a guide and decision support resource for local and unified incident commands and emergency operations managers. TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 5 | 04/30/05
  7. 7. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) Ideal Public Communications Team Activities Under ideal circumstance, the distribution of public information at a time of crisis should best be handled by a team of experts in each of several aspects of the communications process. Although such an ideal team is rarely possible, the tasks involved almost always need to be performed by someone – in most cases, one person takes on the tasks and responsibilities of several people. It is, however, useful to examine the ideal and then adjust that ideal to the real- world situation of a given crisis and to specific position titles. To that end, the following is a list of generic actions, assignments, preparations and tasks for an ideal communications team that might be necessary in the period just before, during and after a crisis: Before Event An important and necessary communications activity exists in the pre-event and planning phases for a crisis. This period may be months or years before an event happens and involves an entirely different set of skills, resources, people and organizations. Specifically: 1. The director of communications has overall responsibility for planning and implementing a coordinated public education and awareness outreach plan for all emergency situations. Such plans usually take the form of public presentations at meetings, schools and special events as well as published information in pamphlets, web sites, door hangers, mailed literature and free handouts at public events. They may also include working with the media to deliver public awareness and educational presentations, reminders and discussion forums on radio and TV. 2. All public information officers assigned to the VEM crisis communications center should have access to all of these published resources as well as other information resources specific to the full range of possible threats to the public, including subject matter experts and applicable regulations and federal involvement requirements. 3. A team of public information officers (PIO) or Spokespersons are responsible for having preparing the content of these media releases, written pamphlets, guides and handouts, and delivering presentations and for editing and distributing other written, informational materials. This will often involve confirmation of facts with information resources, subject matter experts and applicable regulations and federal requirements. Other PIO duties may include: a. A trained and qualified public information officer is assigned to write media releases of a general information nature about a wide variety of potential threats. This includes working with on-line (internet) resources within and outside the Vermont State government. b. One or more public information officers or other trained officials are assigned to answer calls from the public and from news media and to gather information to provide answers to those inquiries. This may be include preparation of news packages, internet files and other information that can be prepared in advance but not released until an actual threat develops. TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 6 | 04/30/05
  8. 8. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) c. A public information officer or other trained official is assigned to work interactively with newspapers and radio and broadcast and cable television to develop a campaign of public awareness and outreach on every expected threat. These broadcast presentations may be as small as a 15 second announcement of where other information can be found to an entire series of formal presentations on all aspects of a potential threat. Video tapes can also be made of these presentations for distribution to local communities. d. A public information officer is responsible for arranging visits to local communities to make in-person presentations and to host discussion forum of threats to specific communities and environments. These visits can be coordinated with events (town meetings, fairs), groups (PTA, Boy Scouts, church groups) or as special events during local safety awareness campaigns 4. The publications specialist, or other public communications subject matter expert, is responsible for coordinating and/or preparing information for placement on the Internet and Intranet sites; for preparing and distributing information to local health departments and county public health nursing services 5. The VEM web coordinator is responsible for reviewing, approving and for placing appropriate materials relating to the emergency situation on the department’s Internet and Intranet sites. 6. The individual who serves as support staff for the Office of Communications, or as a replacement for that individual, has assumed responsibility for taking telephone messages; for distributing news releases and news advisories; for making copies; for obtaining supplies for public information officers; and for performing other support staff functions that may be required. During Event There are a number of people in both the local and State government that assume certain roles and responsibilities only upon being “activated” by a crisis event. These people usually have other duties within the government outside of a crisis event but often assume new titles and/or duties during an emergency situation. There are also authorities and management positions that change from one person to another as a crisis event evolves. For instance, the incident (on-scene) command (IC) might shift from a local fire department chief to a county or regional fire manager and then to a State fire authority. The IC title moves as each level of management authority takes over the crisis. Management authority can also become more fragmented as an incident evolves. For instance, initially, the local fire department chief is also in charge of communications with the public and with the media. As the event evolves and the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) becomes involved, the duties of on-scene crisis management and communications with the public and with the media may be assumed by three or more different people, each with specialized skills in their areas. TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 7 | 04/30/05
  9. 9. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) In an idealized crisis event, the following duties and responsibilities might take place, performed by one or more people or an evolving group of people as the crisis develops: 1. The director of emergency operations has overall responsibility for handling communications for the emergency situation. This authority lies in the incident (on-scene) command (IC) or unified command (UC) provided by the local emergency response managers, the State- Rapid Assessment and Assistance Team (S-RAAT), the Hazardous Materials Response Team (HMRT) or other special teams and SSFs. 2. In times of crisis, the director of communications reports directly to the IC or UC for actions related to communications within and outside of the local and State emergency response organizations. This includes any communications with the public. 3. All public information officers assigned to the VEM crisis communications center have been provided with equipment and information required to do their work with emphasis on information resources specific to the objective incident, including subject matter experts and applicable regulations and federal involvement requirements. 4. A team of public information officers (PIO) or Spokespersons are responsible for having news releases written, edited and distributed and for having news media inquiries handled. This involves confirmation of facts with the IC and release approval from the proper authority. a) A trained and qualified public information officer is assigned to write news releases. b) One or more public information officers or other trained officials are assigned to answer calls from the news media and to gather information to answers those inquiries. c) A public information officer or other trained official is assigned to monitor newspapers and radio and television coverage of the emergency situation; to prepare regular briefing packets of newspaper stories; and to maintain a notebook(s) of news releases and other pertinent information regarding the emergency. This function also provides rumor control or corrections to public announcements that are in error or that have changed. d) A public information officer is responsible for arranging news conferences, news briefings and television interviews or is assigned to assist in these tasks as needed. 5. The publications specialist, or other public communications subject matter expert, is responsible to preparing and distributing information and messages to department employees, as needed; for preparing information for placement on the department’s Internet and Intranet sites; for preparing and distributing information to local health departments and county public health nursing services; and for editing and distributing other written, informational materials as may be required. 6. The VEM web coordinator is responsible for reviewing, approving and for placing appropriate materials relating to the emergency situation on the department’s Internet and Intranet sites. TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 8 | 04/30/05
  10. 10. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) 7. The individual who serves as support staff for the Office of Communications, or as a replacement for that individual, has assumed responsibility for taking telephone messages; for distributing news releases and news advisories; for making copies; for obtaining supplies for public information officers; and for performing any additional support staff functions that may be required. After Event After a crisis event, there are three primary communications tasks that should be implemented as soon as possible:  Establish an information center for the public affected by the crisis to call, visit on a web site or to go to, in person, to obtain information about the event and recovery from it. Such information might contain details of how to apply for financial assistance, insurance claims, clean up, decontamination supplies and other recovery details. It would also provide status reports on the condition of utilities, roads, water and other public and private infrastructure support damaged by the event.  Contact and collect information from the IC’s and UC’s, the SEOC and other local and State officials and emergency response managers that were involved in the crisis to obtain details of how the event developed and how well the response to the event was handled. This is essential to record “lessons learned” by the State officials and emergency response managers for future improvement and training as well as to support financial assistance, insurance claims, decontamination, clean up and other recovery events.  Formulate a series of news and information releases to be provided to the media and to local governments about the history and status of the crisis. The focus of these releases is to support the education and general preparation by the public for the next similar crisis. This action blends in with the duties cited above in the Before Event section. 1. The director of communications has overall responsibility for planning and implementing a coordinated public preparation education for all post-event situations. The focus is on the specific actions and public responses to the most recent crisis event with an emphasis on lauding the good actions and critiquing the poor responses. 2. The VEM crisis communications center should operate for a short period of time following an event to coordinate and finalize post-event activities and to refer people to other information resources specific to the most recent crisis event. 3. A team of public information officers (PIO) or Spokespersons are responsible for preparing the content of media releases, written pamphlets, guides and handouts, and delivering presentations and for editing and distributing other written, informational materials for public preparation education for the most recent and future similar event situations. a) A public information officer or other trained official is assigned to work interactively with newspapers and radio and broadcast and cable television to develop a campaign of TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 9 | 04/30/05
  11. 11. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) public awareness and outreach the most recent and future similar event situations. These broadcast presentations may be as small as a 15 second announcement of where other information can be found to an entire series of formal presentations on all aspects of the most recent and future similar crisis events. Video tapes can also be made of these presentations for distribution to local communities. b) A public information officer is responsible for arranging visits to local communities to make in-person presentations and to host discussion forum of the most recent and future similar event situations to the specific communities and environments that were most affected by the crisis. These visits can be coordinated with local events (town meetings, fairs), groups (PTA, Boy Scouts, church groups) or as special events during local safety awareness campaigns 4. The publications specialist, or other public communications subject matter expert, is responsible for coordinating and/or preparing information for placement on the Internet and Intranet sites; for preparing and distributing information to local health departments and county public health nursing services relating to the most recent and future similar event situations. 5. The VEM web coordinator is responsible for reviewing, approving and for placing appropriate materials relating to the most recent and future similar event situations on the department’s Internet and Intranet sites. 6. The individual who serves as support staff for the Office of Communications, or as a replacement for that individual, has assumed responsibility for taking telephone messages; for distributing news releases and news advisories; for making copies; for obtaining supplies for public information officers; and for performing any additional support staff functions that may be required related to the most recent and future similar event situations. Communications Resources The on-scene incident commander (IC) or manager and all other decision makers involved with a given emergency event will, at some time, make a judgement call to notify additional resources or to ask for additional assistance. This help might come in the form of additional (1) decision support information, or (2) response operations assets and resources, or (3) to request assistance in event management. These three options all require information specific to the immediate need and situation. In some cases, these communications resources are intended to be accessed before an emergency event. For instance, resources related to regulations, general guidelines and training aids should be studied and learned before an event. Some resources are for slowly developing emergency events, such as a predicted storm or a spring flood. Still other resources are intended for those emergency response situations that require immediate decision support for a rapidly developing issue such as a hazmat spill. To that end, this plan provides a number of contact, resource and asset lists that are sorted by various list elements to provide the on-scene incident manager the best and fastest information to meet his/her requirements. TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 10 | 04/30/05
  12. 12. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) Section 1, Appendices A, B, C: Decision Support Information is provided in the form of lists of people, organizations and information resources. These lists include web sites, subject matter experts, libraries, documents, guidelines, and other information and decision support resources. Section 2, Appendices D, E, F; Assistance and Guidelines on the development of content. This is a general guideline of how to anticipate the response of the public to your announcement and how to word it so that it will have the desired response. This section also covers the special cautions that must be used in dealing with the news media. Decisions and Decision Support There are a number of critical decisions that are related to the final delivery of useful information to the public. The development of the content of that information is a function of information, experience and expert advice from a number of sources. Such a crisis public communications decision process might be simplified to look like this chart: Incident On-Site Information Incident Command Sources EOC Duty Officer (Crisis Manager) Public Communications Subject Matter Experts Subject Matter Expert and other information resources PIO or Spokesperson Information MEDIA Distribution The above chart reflects an idealized but generic flow of critical information that allows the PIO or crisis spokesperson to make the appropriate decisions concerning the content and method of information distribution to the public. In actual practice, several of these functions may be TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 11 | 04/30/05
  13. 13. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) handled by the same person. The lists and sources of the resources used to make these decisions are included in this plan and are described more in the next section titled “Decision Support”. Although the above chart reflects the general flow of information for most situations, the players involved can change as a crisis develops. The public information decision makers may change as a result of escalation from one level of the event to the next. Making that decision to ask for outside help is one of the major decisions made by any incident command. Implicit in this decision is the need to prepare the next level of decision makers for the impending pass of control to them. This is done by notifying them in the early stages of the crisis that they might be called upon for assistance and then keeping them in the look of information development as the incident progresses. This allows them to follow along with your actions and the threat development while preparing their own resources for potential future support. It might also allow them to make independent offers of assistance if they are aware of assets that they have that might not be readily available to the local incident command. Any and all collected information about the incident must also be prepared to pass to this next level. This can be facilitated if a log is kept of the progression of events and assets used. Having someone other than the incident command (IC) record these events as their sole responsibility assure that the log is kept current, complete and relieves the IC of that task. A decision sequence such as that just described might be displayed in its generic form like this: Level I Level II Level III Local Escalation Escalation Agency State Authorities Decision Decision FED Gov Local Extended Expanded Public Local Public Public The green lines reflect the process of transferring on-scene control to the next level of emergency managers. The blue lines reflect the exchange of information and notification TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 12 | 04/30/05
  14. 14. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) leading up to the transfer on-scene control to the next level of emergency managers. The red lines and grey person icons represents the communications by the on-scene control to the ever growing public. The three levels of the crisis that might be followed in this escalation process are these: Level I – Local Single or multiple communities. Response within the capabilities of the town or routine mutual aid partners. Level II – Minor Single or Multiple Communities - Regional within the State. Beyond the capabilities of Local Responders & routine Mutual Aid Partners. Local Emergencies may be Requested & Declared, State Request for Federal Assistance Considered & Requested, if needed. Level III – Major State/Multi-State/Federal. State Declaration of Emergency and/or Request for Federal Assistance likely. More details of these three levels are provided in Appendix D. Although the above chart represents the general sequence of decisions as a crisis evolves, the processes, resources and information needed by decision makers at each escalation decision is more complex than portrayed in this simple view. It is important to note that any decision to escalate to the next level in support or resource involvement cannot be made in isolation by the incident command. It must be fully coordinated with the next higher level of management, control and support to allow them to prepare for the assumption of the duties and responsibilities and to properly prepare the resources needed. This decision process might be portrayed in a general manner in the following chart: On-scene Event Public Emergency Action SME's Authorit and Other Information y Resources Projectio Evaluat of Crisis Crisis N Decisio to Weathe Escalate Publi Ye CPI POC's of EMS Internet Next Pla Level Leveraged for Public Technology Appropriate Outreach Initiate Appropriat PIO &/ e Actions Spokesperso to make each decision to escalate. The above chart reflects the potential sequence of events Note that the crisis public information (CPI) plan is a supporting resource for several of the TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 13 | 04/30/05
  15. 15. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) process steps by providing decision support information. That decision support information is described more in the following section. Terrorist Threats – A Special Case The above decision process will serve as a general guideline for the majority of threats and emergencies, however, there is one threat that is so unique that it deserves special treatment. In this era of post-9/11 and Middle East conflicts, the risk of a terrorist threat is much greater. Such threats or attacks have many possible implications that are unique. Among these is the intelligence aspects of those involved. It is unlikely that the threat originates from one or two individuals. More likely, it will be the concerted efforts of a larger, more organized group that may be planning other actions against citizens of the US. It is for this reason that the VEM office requires that ANY threat or implication of a threat that might have any possibility of being a terrorist action should be reported immediately to the State VEM office to: Vermont Emergency Management 103 South Main Street Waterbury, VT 05671-2101 (802) 244-8721 - 1-800-347-0488 The Homeland Security Unit of the Vermont Department of Public Safety has created a very comprehensive resource on their website titled “VERMONT FIRST RESPONDER GUIDE TO AN ACT OF TERRORIST”. By clicking on this link or by visiting this site: http://www.dps.state.vt.us/homeland/response_index.html You should access this guide for training, planning and preparation for this kind of crisis. See Appendix B for additional internet accessible resources related to the response to a Terrorist act. Decision Support Resources Decision support is the process of providing the decision maker with all of the resources and information in order to apply his experience and knowledge of the current events of the crisis to make the best possible choices at that time. In order to do that, the incident command needs ready access to information resources and other support information. Several of the Appendices of this plan are designed to provide that information in as easy to use format as possible. In some cases, the Appendices will refer to resources that are only available from other sources that are also provided by the VEM office or by other State and federal information resources. Appendix A: Index of Vermont Information Resources A sorted listing and reference to other Vermont information resources including documents, web sites, offices, subject matter experts and reference library/collections. Appendix B: Index of Non-Vermont Information Resources A sorted listing and reference to other academic, State and federal information resources (outside of Vermont) including documents, web sites, offices, subject matter experts and reference library/collections. TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 14 | 04/30/05
  16. 16. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) Appendix C: Index of Public Media Resources A series of tables providing various sorted lists of the radio, television and newspapers in and near the State of Vermont. This list includes the primary point of contact, phone number and email of the organization. Communications Readiness Communications readiness falls into two categories: 1. Management Readiness for the crisis response mangers, incident command and other emergency responders. Communications readiness for the emergency response manager pertains primarily to pre-event preparation, study and learning in anticipation of the challenges that may be faced during an emergency. 2. Public Readiness of the general public to prepare for and deal with an impending or future crisis. Communications readiness also applies to the general public in the form of public education, training, outreach and public awareness campaigns to allow them to best prepare of an emergency and to allow the emergency response manager to establish the proper attitudes, expectations and mind-set in the public’s perspective of what might be the challenges that may be faced during a crisis. With a focus on the content, format and form of the crisis public communication, this section provides insights, guidelines and lessons learned about how to produce safe, effective and informative public notifications using public accessible media and ad hoc commentary. Management Readiness The most important aspect of communicating to the public and media concerning an emergency or crisis is to not add to the distress, panic or confusion of the event. This is, in fact, a difficult challenge because of the wide range of interests, responses and personalities involved. It is complicated by an equally wide range of attitudes, aptitudes and pre-conceived notions about the threat or the source of the information. As a result of years of trial and error, a number of general lessons learned have evolved out of the experience of hundreds of other public service organizations that have proven to be useful in planning, preparing and delivery of information to the general public and to the media. Some of these “lessons learned” are listed in Section 3 of the Appendices (D, E, F). Training and mock exercises are among the most effective methods to prepare emergency response managers for the real events. Such exercises are commonly used for training in medical, homeland security, nuclear power and command center training. There is, however, a common omission from the usual training exercise. In most cases, the training syllabus or lesson plan calls for various public announcements to be made by the emergency response managers but they often fail to simulate the variety of potential public responses to these announcements. As you will see in Appendix Section 3, there can be a variety of good and bad reactions to these public announcements that can range from compliance to panic. If the exercise has a moderator or exercise judge, they can add to the realism by carefully examining the content, method and syntax of the simulated announcements and provide a simulated response in the context of the exercise scenario. For instance, an improperly worded TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 15 | 04/30/05
  17. 17. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) announcement of a fast moving forest fire might prompt homeowners to attempt to fight the fire rather than flee the area – creating a serious rescue problem for the already burdened fire fighters. In a flood scenario exercise, the omission of a timely warning that the water supply might be contaminated might lead to a delayed burden on the healthcare services and medical supplies. A delay in a simulated evacuation order might not take into consideration that many residents and business owners might further delay departure to attempt to save their belongings – creating greater risks and perhaps compounding the traffic control problem with overloaded cars and trucks. There can be a large variety of simulated response by the general public, simulated issues of putting together the announcement and getting the media or other information distribution involved and in the implications and impacts of these problems. It is important for emergency response managers to include these aspects in their training and exercise efforts in order to better prepare for similar problems in a real crisis. The Crisis Public Information Communications Supplement should be reviewed and studied well in advance of any anticipated emergency. Local and State officials can make use of this information to pre-plan and prepare their own internal forms, templates and guidelines to support generic and specific events based on the guidelines, lessons learned and studies provided in this section and it’s appendices. In support of the readiness of the emergency response manager, there are several Appendices referred to that contain various guidelines, research studies and sample templates for the emergency or crisis spokesperson or PIO. These include: Appendix D: Behavioral Response to Threats & Emergencies A extensive set of reports and discussions of how people, as individuals and in groups, react, make decisions and respond to information that affects their safety which includes the following: Individual Decision Mechanisms in the Human Mind Group Decision Mechanisms in the Human Mind Avoiding Group Think The Outrage Factor Appendix E: Media Relations Guidelines A compilation of do’s and don’t when making public announcement related to a threat to public safety which includes the following: Media Relations Reminders Handling Media Interviews Do's and Don'ts During the Interview process Appendix F: Sample Scripts Sample News Release - Fill-in the blank forms of typical announcements for the generic crisis situation. Public Readiness Readiness of the general public to prepare for and deal with an impending or future crisis begins with the ability to communicate with them. This is often a choice of which technology to use TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 16 | 04/30/05
  18. 18. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) under different circumstances. It can also be limited by access, budget and operator skills in smaller communities and rural areas. Exploring various technologies that can be applied at different periods of time in the evolution of a crisis or under various conditions of the emergency can be a useful exercise to do before the technology is needed. Establishing priorities and requirements under various scenarios can help you determine where to invest time, effort and money. For instance, determining that your community wants to maintain contact under the most adverse weather conditions will probably limit your technology choices to battery operated broadcast radios, 2-way radios and cell phones. If, however, you are confident that most emergencies will allow for contact with affected residents while power and phone service is still working, then your choices open up to other communications technologies. Below is listed a few of the most common technologies but there are others – such as wireless internet, shortwave/ham radio, sirens and others. Technology Selection • Web sites: The easiest and among the most effective is the use of the internet. Even small communities can make effective use of existing online information resources such as those described in Appendix Section A. There are numerous offers to post free web sites that can be used for local creation of an informative online resource that can provide very localized and specific information. It can be nearly as effective to provide a printed brochure listing VEM and other Vermont and federal online resources – some of which can be extracted from this document. Web sites are effective in the Pre-Event phase and for the delivery of in-depth details about all aspects of a threat. They are less effective as the crisis evolves because they may need constant maintenance or those accessing it may lose their means of connection. • Voice Mail: Not every Vermont citizen has or makes use of an internet capable computer but they may still want to access a large variety of information. One way to do this is with voice mail. The simplest form of voice mail is a telephone answering device (TAD). Many TAD’s have an “announcement only” feature that can be used to get out a single but important message. Some TADs allow for the creation of “mail boxes” in which you can place different outgoing messages on any of 2 to 5 mailboxes. A much more powerful use of voice mail can be achieved with a computer. Even a relatively old or slow computer can be used effectively as a voice mail server. Software for this use is inexpensive (usually under $50) and can be set up with hundreds of messages and very sophisticated message handling. In its most advanced form, a brochure or mailed flyer is provided to local citizens that lists dozens or perhaps hundreds of topics of interest and provides a “message number” for each. A citizen can look up a topic he or she wants to know about and note its message number. Then they would call the listed number and enter the message number. The voice mail server then recites the message on that topic over the phone. The topics and messages are created in small, well defined areas of interest. A single threat, such as flooding, might have dozens of message topics associated with it. For instance – topics might include: How to prepare your farm equipment for a flood; What to do to your house to prepare for a flood; Who to contact for emergency aid; What are the nearest shelters, etc. Voice mail can service people in the Pre-Event phase for a variety of short information bites or for one-time, very important real-time updates in the During Phase. Voice mail’s greatest offering is in rapid, flexible, inexpensive information deployment to people without internet connections. TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 17 | 04/30/05
  19. 19. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) • Broadcast Phone Calls: A variation on the voice mail theme is to use a device that proactively calls out to private numbers and provides a recorded message. Devices that perform this function can be preprogrammed with every number that might be affected by any threat and then selectively chosen by geographic area, or by age of residents or other parameters. The devices can be set to call back any numbers that do not answer and or that are answered by a recording device. An example of the use of this kind of device is to call homes that are affected by a hazmat spill. It is most useful in the During Phase for short and explicit messages of immediate action. • Television and Radio: Collectively referred to as the broadcast media, radio and television also includes cable channels. Their use depends on a variety of factors that cannot be verified such as whether a resident has their radio or TV on and are listening to it; whether they have it on the channel(s) that are broadcasting the emergency message and whether the nature of the emergency has already interrupted their ability to receive the messages. In general, Television is regarded as being useful as a general tool for early warning and updates in the Pre-Event and Post phases while radio is regarded a more useful in the late preparation and early During phase of an event. Appendix C lists all of the public media sources in Vermont but the VEM office can assist you in the selection of the specific one that can be most useful to you for a given emergency. • Two-Way Radios: In some communities, the use of radios that can transmit and receive (transceivers or “walkie-talkies”) may have some uses to reach certain residents. This also includes cell phones. If a rural route is particularly isolated, the residents can form a relay and forwarding network to remain in contact in the bad weather that might down power and phone lines and limit vehicle access. The shortest distances (up to 4-5 miles) can be reliably covered by license free FRS or GMRS 2-way radios. Longer ranges (out to 8 miles) can be achieved with licensed VHF and UHF radios. Using car or home- based external antennas and a single-sideband CB radio can achieve ranges of up to 20 miles. All of these choices are relatively inexpensive, can be powered by batteries and used by the average citizen. They can also be used by people as they are in transit during an emergency and can report progress or stuck or blocked vehicles. Most have a call or alert signal that “rings” the number to announce an incoming call. It should be noted that even powerful radios and cell phones can have shadow effects of lost signal behind ridge lines, mountains or in deep valleys and ravines. Any investment in this technology should be tested in the actual areas of use before purchase. Readiness of the general public to prepare for and deal with an impending or future crisis involves a combination of several communications techniques including public education, training, outreach and public awareness campaigns. Such readiness may also involve the use of a variety of media such as internet information resources, movies and film strips for libraries and schools, brochures and pamphlets and local presentations by guest speakers. The intent is to provide the public with information that will allow them to best prepare for an emergency and to establish the proper attitudes, expectations and mind-set in the public’s perspective of the challenges that may be faced during a crisis. When Mt. St. Helens, in Washington State, blew up, there were 57 people that died because they did not heed warnings because they did not think they were in any imminent danger. TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 18 | 04/30/05
  20. 20. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) Those residents that had been to local public meetings and presentations understood that the blast might reach out five to seven miles from the base of the mountain (which it did) and threaten lives and destroy property. These educated residents evacuated the area well in advance of the final explosion. It was public education and outreach programs that saved lives. Public education can be delivered in many forms from mailed out pamphlets and brochures to live group presentations. Flyers and meeting announcements may be combined with other mailings from local businesses such as added it to the local electric power company’s monthly billing. Bulk mailing rates from the US Postal service can also be an inexpensive way to distribute larger documents or brochures. Live group presentation is by far the most effective and can be combined with other kinds of meetings such as annual town meetings, school events or during special holiday events. At such meetings, an emergency response professional would make a presentation of his/her area of expertise – such as fire fighting, flood control, public health, etc. The real value of these meetings is to receive and make note of the questions asked by the residents and to respond to their specific needs. By listening to the trends of questions and the detail being asked, you can get a good idea of the level of awareness, attitudes and perspectives of the residents. If they seem very concerned about a specific threat such as forest fire, flood or severe weather, then you can direct your education efforts in those areas. If they are asking questions about how to fight a forest fire or protect their home from a flood, you might want to address the risks of such actions by untrained people. Such discussions can be as much help to the public as it is to the emergency responders and future incident commands. One of the most effective methods of public education is to get people involved in the emergency response itself. The American Red Cross offers numerous safety and first aid courses that can result in certifications at various skill levels. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, hospitals, fire departments and other groups have a variety of training and certification programs that can result in trained people that can provide additional assistance in a crisis. This also results in a more educated and informed populace that will have a better understanding of the nature of the threat they might face. TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 19 | 04/30/05
  21. 21. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) Follow Up In an earlier section, the post-event activities related to public communications were discussed. In addition to those activities, there are other follow-up actions that can provide for a continuous process improvement in addresses future emergencies. These follow-up actions fall into three categories: 1. Inter and intra-organizational collaboration, communications and cooperation; During and in the immediate aftermath of an event, senior and mid-level emergency managers and responders should make notes of what they are doing and why. After the event, these notes should be formalized into a central collection of archived information about the event. Comments or recommendations about how inter and intra- organizational collaboration, communications and cooperation could be improved should be collated into an “after-action report” that provides the collective benefit of insights and improvements from all levels of the crisis management. 2. Media relationships and the mechanics and technology of public communications: The PIOs, spokespersons and others related and involved in the actual contact with the public should review the content, methods used and responses achieved of all of the public announcements during and following the crisis event. A central authority, such as VEM or the State PIO’s office, should provide a means for the collection of these reviews using a web site or other automated survey and analysis tool. The review should include an examination of the effectiveness of the content, media and technology used to delivery information to the public and how well the public responded to the information. Comments or recommendations about how to improve the process of public communications and media cooperation should be collated into an “after-action report” that provides the collective benefit of insights and improvements from all levels of the public communications management. 3. Event Evaluation and Emergency Response Improvement: Ideally, a board of review consisting of a senior VEM manager, representatives of the lead IC/UC and representatives of the lead PIO or spokesperson involved in the incident would meet and review all of the collected information and issue a final event evaluation. This report should be used by the highest authorities within the State and local governments to make and prioritize changes and formulate budgets. TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 20 | 04/30/05
  22. 22. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) Purpose of the CPI Communications Supplement.......................................................................................2 Plan Objectives............................................................................................................................................5 Using This Plan...........................................................................................................................................5 Ideal Public Communications Team Activities ..................................................................6 Before Event...........................................................................................................................................................6 During Event...........................................................................................................................................................7 After Event..............................................................................................................................................................9 Communications Resources...............................................................................................10 Decisions and Decision Support........................................................................................11 Terrorist Threats – A Special Case....................................................................................14 Decision Support Resources..............................................................................................14 Communications Readiness.......................................................................................................................15 Management Readiness.....................................................................................................15 Public Readiness................................................................................................................16 Follow Up..................................................................................................................................................20 21 Appendix Section 1 - Decision Support Information Resources................................................................22 Appendix A: Index of Vermont Information Resources............................................................................23 Web Sites by Organization................................................................................................23 Web Sites by Threat or Incident .......................................................................................26 Index of Vermont State approved Subject Matter Experts................................................28 There is a limit to the training, preparation and planning that an emergency response manager or incident command can do prior to a crisis. The large number of variables as well as the complexity of some events, such as HAZMAT or biohazards, can make it absolutely essential that there be subject matter experts (SMEs) available to refer these complex questions to. The VEM office maintains a list of the currently qualified SMEs, their locations and areas of expertise. By contacting the VEM office, you can tap into this valuable resource.............................................28 Appendix B: Index of Non-Vermont Information Resources....................................................................30 Federal Emergency Management and Response Services ................................................30 Federal Threat Support Information Resources and Web Sites.........................................35 Internet References For Terrorism Response: Most of these titles are also internet links. ............................................................................................................................................43 Appendix C: Index of Vermont Public Media Resources..........................................................................45 Appendix Section 2 - Assistance and Guidelines on the development of content......................................61 Appendix D: Behavioral Response to Threats & Emergencies..................................................................62 Individual Decision Mechanisms in the Human Mind......................................................62 Group Decision Mechanisms in the Human Mind............................................................64 Avoiding Group Think ......................................................................................................67 The Outrage Factor...........................................................................................................68 Appendix E: Media Relations Guidelines .................................................................................................70 Media Relations Reminders ..............................................................................................71 Handling Media Interviews................................................................................................71 Do's and Don'ts During the Interview process ..................................................................72 Appendix F: Sample Scripts......................................................................................................................74 Sample News Release........................................................................................................74 TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 21 | 04/30/05
  23. 23. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) Appendix Section 1 - Decision Support Information Resources Section 1, Appendices A, B, C: Decision Support Information is provided in the form of lists of people, organizations and information resources. These lists include web sites, subject matter experts, libraries, documents, guidelines, and other information and decision support resources. TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 22 | 04/30/05
  24. 24. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) Appendix A: Index of Vermont Information Resources Web Sites by Organization The following are internet-based information sources the Vermont State government that are provided for reference and research purposes in the Pre, During and Post (After) incident periods. In the periods before and after an incident, it can be useful to have a wide range of information resources that can be used for a variety of research topics. In the following tables, the column: WHEN shows which Phase of an incident that the information source might be best used – P = Pre-event, D = During the incident and A = After the incident. WHAT column gives some indication of the general nature of the content of the information source: M=Medical, T=Transportation, C=Chemical and Hazardous Materials, W=Weather, F=Fire, S=Safety, L=Law, P=Management Planning, : I=General Information, research material and links to other information sources, R=Recovery, H=Homeland Security and Terrorism, E=Environmental Elected State-wide Officials When What Governor (Office of ) <http://www.vermont.gov/governor/> P,D,A I,P,R,H Lieutenant Governor (Office of) <http://www.ltgov.state.vt.us/> P,D,A I,P,R,H Secretary of State (Office of) <http://www.sec.state.vt.us/> P,A I,P,R Agencies When What Agriculture, Food & Markets <http://www.vermontagriculture.com/ P,D,A C,E,S,I,P (Agency of) > Commerce & Community <http://www.state.vt.us/dca/> P,A I,P,R Development (Agency of) (CCD) Human Services (Agency of) <http://www.ahs.state.vt.us/> P,A I,P (AHS) Natural Resources (Agency <http://www.anr.state.vt.us/> P,D,A I,P,E,R of)(ANR) Transportation (Agency of) <http://www.aot.state.vt.us/> P,D,A T,C,S,L,P,I,R (AOT) Departments When What Aging & Disabilities (Dept. of) <http://www.dad.state.vt.us/> P I,P (AHS) Banking, Insurance, Securities & <http://www.bishca.state.vt.us/> P,A I,P,M,L,R Health Care Administration (Dept. of) Buildings and General Services <http://www.bgs.state.vt.us/> P,A I,P,R (Dept. of)(Admin) Chief Information Officer (Office <http://www.cio.stat7e.vt.us/> P,A I,P TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 23 | 04/30/05
  25. 25. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) Departments When What of)(CIO) Children and Families (Dept. for) <http://www.dcf.state.vt.us/> P,A I,P,M (AHS) - formerly Social & Rehabilitation Services (SRS) Defender General (Office of) <http://www.defgen.state.vt.us> P,A L Developmental & Mental Health <http://www.ddmhs.state.vt.us/> P,A M,I,P Services (Dept. of) (AHS) Economic Development (Dept. of) <http://www.thinkvermont.com/> P,A I,P,R (CCD) Emergency Management <http://www.dps.state.vt.us/vem/> P,D,A I,P,H,R,W, S Environmental Conservation <http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/dec.ht P,A E,I,P (Dept. of)(ANR) m> Fish & Wildlife (Dept. of)(ANR) <http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com> P,D,A E,I,P Forests, Parks & Recreation <http://www.state.vt.us/anr/fpr/index.ht P,D,A E,I,P,S (Dept. of)(ANR) m> Health (Dept. of)(AHS) <http://www.healthyvermonters.info/> P,D,A M,S,I,P Homeland Security <http://www.vthomelandsecurity.org/> P,D,A H Housing & Community Affairs <http://www.state.vt.us/dca/housing> P,A I,P,R (Dept. of)(CCD) Information & Innovation (Dept. <http://www.dii.state.vt.us/> P,A I,P of)(Admin) Libraries (Dept. of)(Admin) <http://dol.state.vt.us> P,A I,P Motor Vehicles (Dept. of)(AOT) <http://www.aot.state.vt.us/dmv/dmvh P,D,A T,S,I,P p.htm> Prevention, Assistance, <http://www.dpath.state.vt.us/> P,A M,I,P Transition & Health Access (Dept. of)(AHS) - formerly Social Welfare Public Safety (Dept. of) <http://www.dps.state.vt.us/> P,D,A S,P,I Public Service (Dept. of) <http://www.state.vt.us/psd/> P,A P,I Vermont State Police <http://www.vtsp.org/> P,D,A H,I,P,T Tourism & Marketing (Dept. of) <http://www.VermontVacation.com/> P,A R,P,I (CCD) Veterans Affairs (Dept. of) <http://www.va.state.vt.us/> P,A P,I,R Boards, Commissions, Councils, etc. When What Crime Victim <http://www.ccvs.state.vt.us/> P,D,A H,I,P Services (Center for) Economic <http://www.state.vt.us/veda/> P,A R,P,I Development Authority (VEDA) Economic Progress <http://www.thinkvermont.com/vepc/vepc_intro.cfm P,A R,P,I Council (VEPC) > Enhanced 9-1-1 <http://www.state.vt.us/e911/> P,D,A R,P,I TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 24 | 04/30/05
  26. 26. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) Boards, Commissions, Councils, etc. When What Board Environmental <http://www.state.vt.us/envboard/> P,A E,P,I Board Vermont Fire <http://www.vtfireacademy.org/> P,A F,C,P,I Service Training Council Geographic <http://www.vcgi.org/> P,A P,I Information System Governor's <http://www.state.vt.us/health/commission/> P,A M,P,I,R Bipartisan Commission on Health Care Availability & Affordability Governor's <http://www.vthighwaysafety.com/> P,A S,T,P,I Highway Safety Program (Dept. of Public Safety) Military Property <http://www.mil.state.vt.us/> P,D,A P,I,T,R and Installations Office National and <http://www.state.vt.us/cncs/> P,A P,I,R Community Service (Commission on) Natural Resources <http://www.nrb.state.vt.us> P,A E,P,I Board Nuclear Safety at <http://www.vtnuclearsafety.com/> P,D,A C,E,M,P,I Vermont Yankee Transportation <http://www.aot.state.vt.us/tboard.htm> P,A T,L,C,P,I Board Water Resources <http://www.state.vt.us/wtrboard/> P,A E,C,P,I Board Other Divisions When What Air National Guard <http://www.vtang.org/> P,D,A H,T National Guard <http://www.vtguard.com/> P,D,A H,T ServiceNet - a guide to <http://www.ahs.state.vt.us/services/> P,A R,I,P services to help Vermont citizens within their own communities State Parks (Dept. of Forest, <http://www.vtstateparks.com/> P,A E,P,I Parks & Recreation) VALS (Vermont Automated <http://www.state.vt.us/libraries/dol/dol.htm> P,A I,P Libraries System) Appendix A: Cont’d - Vermont Information Resources TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 25 | 04/30/05
  27. 27. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) Web Sites by Threat or Incident Threat or Incident Terrorism VT First http://www.dps.state.vt.us/homeland/response_index.html Responder Guide to an Act of Terrorism Ambulance VT http://www.healthyvermonters.info/hp/ems/emstemplate2.shtml and First Ambulance Responder and First Responder Services Water Water http://www.anr.state.vt.us/site/html/contact.htm Systems Systems Security Breach First Response Assistance Hazardous VT http://170.222.24.9/vem/haz_mat.html Materials Hazardous Materials Response Team Hazardous Emergency http://www.anr.state.vt.us/site/html/contact.htm Materials Spill Hazardous Materials Spill Reporting Emergency Emergency http://www.state.vt.us/srs/childcare/erp.htm Response Response Child Care Planning Guide For Child Care Vermont VT Road and http://67.106.3.242/ Road Travel Travel Conditions Reportable Reportable http://www.healthyvermonters.info/hs/epi/idepi/reportable/reportable.shtml Diseases Disease List and Regulations Health Health http://www.healthyvermonters.info/prepared.shtml Emergency Emergency Preparedness Preparedness Information Resources Emergency Emergency http://170.222.24.9/vem/request.html Radiological Management TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 26 | 04/30/05
  28. 28. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) Threat or Incident Response Radiological Emergency Response Boating Reporting of http://www.boatsafe.com/nauticalknowhow/accident.htm Accidents all Boating Accidents Fire Incident VT Fire http://www.state.vt.us/labind/Fire/fireprevention.htm Reporting Incident Reporting System (VFIRS) Local The Local http://www.dps.state.vt.us/vem/emd/director_menu.html Emergency Emergency Management Management Director's Director's Guide Guide Vermont’s Vermont’s http://www.dps.state.vt.us/vtsp/amber/about.htm Child Amber Child Abduction Abduction Alert Alert All VT http://www.dps.state.vt.us/vem/vem_links.htm Emergency Emergency Management Management Information Information Links Links All VT State Access VT http://www.vermont.gov/egovernment/govindex.html Government State Government TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 27 | 04/30/05
  29. 29. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) Appendix A: Cont’d - Vermont Information Resources Index of Vermont State approved Subject Matter Experts There is a limit to the training, preparation and planning that an emergency response manager or incident command can do prior to a crisis. The large number of variables as well as the complexity of some events, such as HAZMAT or biohazards, can make it absolutely essential that there be subject matter experts (SMEs) available to refer these complex questions to. The VEM office maintains a list of the currently qualified SMEs, their locations and areas of expertise. By contacting the VEM office, you can tap into this valuable resource. It should be noted that the available SMEs can be and should be used for a variety of reasons: 1. The most obvious is because of their education, experience and knowledge of their field of expertise. For instance the biohazard SMEs are doctors or other highly qualified medical and healthcare professionals. The HAZMAT SMEs may be chemists with advanced degrees. In all cases, the SME will have an in-depth knowledge of their field of expertise that can support your decisions and assist you in providing the correct information to the public during and after the crisis. 2. The SMEs can also assist you in making on-site decisions related to a rapidly evolving crisis. You may be able to find the information you need if you have enough time to research it but during an evolving event, you need answers fast and accurately about the nature of the threat and how best to respond to it. Such advise can come from your SME. 3. You may be very experienced in dealing with a threat such as a fire or flood but there are often aspects of such events that have far reaching implications. Floods can contaminate the water supply or interrupt underground utilities and cause other ancillary damage. Floods can also cause damage or create problems that are not so apparent such as causing underground fuel tanks or cemetery coffins to float out of the ground. An SME with specific experience in flood damage may be able to advise you on what and when to expect such uncommon events in the context of a much larger crisis. SMEs in other skill areas can assist in fires, hazmat, biohazards and most other threats. They can provide you with the insight and the timely reminder of all of the implications and expectations of the crisis so that you can make better decisions about what to tell or ask of the affected public. 4. The support that can be offered by the SMEs can also be applied to areas that you feel very comfortable with performing yourself. You might want to consider this for several reasons. It allows you to delegate an important aspect of the crisis management to someone that can handle it. It also allows you to take advantage of the specialized experience that the SME may have that you do not. One area that is of particular concern in this regard is the development of the content of public announcements during a crisis. An SME with specific experience in this area, such as a trained PIO or a qualified spokesperson, will know how to collect the right information and formulate it into the most effective TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 28 | 04/30/05
  30. 30. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) content for a given situation. The complexity of this task may become more apparent after you have read Appendix Section 3 of this document which discusses the difficulty of communications with the public and with the media. In all cases, remember that most SMEs that you contact through the VEM office may need time to respond and to get up to speed on the situation. You cannot call them and expect quick answers over the phone without giving them that time to fully understand the situation. They will help you anticipate the development of the crisis you face but you have to anticipate the need for calling them in advance of using their services. TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 29 | 04/30/05
  31. 31. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) Appendix B: Index of Non-Vermont Information Resources Federal Emergency Management and Response Services Federal emergency response services and assets are available from a variety of sources. Below is a list of federal resources divided into the type of service provided. Federal Communications Assuring the provision of federal telecommunications support to federal, state and local response efforts. Emergency Managers Weather Information Network - As an integral part of its mission, the National Weather Service (NWS) recognizes the need to provide the emergency management community with access to a set of NWS warnings, watches, forecasts, and other products at no recurring cost. Toward that end, the Emergency Managers Weather Information Network (EMWIN) system was developed. EMWIN is a suite of data access methods which make available a live stream of weather and other critical emergency information. FEMA: Media Resources - FEMA's Media web page was created to assist the press in covering the agency and in gathering information for disaster-related news stories. The media section includes the latest advisories, breaking news, and disaster archives. It also provides downloadable, high-resolution photos and graphics, audio spots, biographies, speeches, background information and fact sheets, and a listing of FEMA public affairs officers. In addition, reporters can enroll in a list-serve to receive FEMA press releases via e-mail. Federal Energy Helping to restore the nation’s energy systems following a Presidentially declared disaster or emergency. U.S. Department of Energy - The DOE site contains technical information as well as scientific and educational programs for technology, policy, and institutional leadership relevant to achieving efficiency in energy use. Federal Firefighting Detecting and suppressing wild land, rural and urban fires resulting from or occurring coincidentally with a major disaster or emergency. Air Force Reserve Command Fire - This site contains information regarding fire department training, including FEMA/NFA training products. It also contains information about IFSTA certification and provides many resources to help in certification. Also located at the site are fire safety materials, links, and other helpful information. If you're in the fire protection business, you'll want to visit this site. Of course all materials are free of charge. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) - The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is a federal law enforcement agency that is responsible for investigating arson and bombing incidents of a federal nature. ATF has 4 National Response Teams (NRTs) that respond to major arson and bombing incidents within 24 TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 30 | 04/30/05
  32. 32. STATE OF VERMONT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN April 30, 2005 (Final Draft) hours. ATF also signed a Memorandum of Agreement with USFA and others to produce a state-of-the-art CD/ROM/virtual reality arson investigation training program U.S. Fire Administration - USFA provides national leadership in fire training, data collection, technology and public education and awareness, supporting the efforts of local communities to save lives and reduce injuries and property loss due to fire. Federal Food Identifying, securing and arranging for the transportation of food assistance to affected areas and/or authorizing disaster Food Stamp assistance. Department of Agriculture - USDA program missions, agencies and programs, USDA's news and current information, Government Information Locator Service, and Topical Guide to Agricultural Programs. Federal Hazardous Materials Providing federal assistance to state and local governments in response to an actual or potential discharge and/or release of hazardous materials. Environmental Protection Agency - Access to EPA documents describing environmental information, as well as a number of links to Information Locators that can be obtained from the EPA and related organizations. Also, EPA's Public Information Center available to provide assistance in accessing environmental information. Environmental Protection Agency's Global Warming Web Site - At this web site you will find information pertaining to the science of global warming; current and projected impacts of global warming; international and U.S. Government policies and programs; opportunities for individuals and corporations to help stop global warming; and state and local actions that help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. EPA Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office (CEPPO) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office (CEPPO) provides leadership, advocacy, and assistance to: 1) prevent and prepare for chemical emergencies; 2) respond to environmental crises; and 3) inform the public about chemical hazards in their community. To protect human health and the environment CEPPO develops, implements, and coordinates regulatory and nonregulatory programs. The office's Web site includes pages on Prevention and Risk Management, Preparedness - Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know, Emergency Response, International Programs, and Counter-Terrorism. It also provides sections on Databases and Software, Laws and Regulations, and Publications. National Response Team - The National Response Team's membership consists of 16 federal agencies with interests and expertise in various aspects of emergency response to pollution incidents. The NRT provides policy guidance prior to an incident and assistance as requested by an On-Scene Coordinator via a Regional Response Team during an incident. NRT assistance usually takes the form of technical advice, access to additional resources/equipment or coordination with other RRTs. TAB 3 - ANNEX N - PUBLIC INFORMATION | Page 31 | 04/30/05

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