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On Demand November 15, 2005

Facing Fear: Crisis Communication and Disaster Behavioral Health

Original Broadcast Date: November 15, 2005 | (1 hour, 30 minutes)


Handouts (10 pages)

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Post-Conference Materials


Program Overview

The fields of crisis communication and disaster behavioral health have knowledge that can be mutually beneficial when disaster strikes. In the aftermath of a disaster, effective communication with the public plays a critical role in determining whether or not the public adheres to recommendations from officials. Understanding how individuals and groups behave in emergencies allows for messaging that is more likely to be understood and acted upon. In turn, effective messages can minimize helplessness and foster resilience.

This presentation will discuss disaster mental health myths that can be expected in media coverage and which should be dispelled when possible. It will examine the ways in which psychological responses to disasters influence people’s behaviors. Principles of crisis communications will also be reviewed. Finally, the areas in which communication can address psychological and behavioral responses will be covered.


Ann E. Norwood, MD
Senior Advisor for Public Health Risk Communication
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Public Health Preparedness
Washington, DC

Contact Hours

None for this program.

Contact for Technical Assistance

Call 334-206-5618 or email ALPHTN.

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