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Disaster Zone Podcast: ‘Public Information Strategies in the Pandemic’

Communicating risk and solutions in a rapidly changing pandemic.

The pandemic was a public information officer’s nightmare. You had a novel virus that even the experts did not know much about. What was causing people to become ill? How was the virus being spread, by touch or in the air?

Into this crisis situation we thrust public health professionals trying to tell the story about what to be concerned about and how to protect yourself. Meanwhile, the guidance keeps changing as we learn more about the virus. We already know that people don’t like change to begin with. Not to mention many different voices of authority saying different things. Remember, the basic public health mantra had been (before the pandemic) to speak with one voice.

This is the topic of this Disaster Zone podcast: “Public Information Strategies in the Pandemic.”

This is a terrific discussion about the issue of risk communications in an ever evolving crisis. Yes, it has to do with the pandemic, but everyone can take these lessons and apply them to their own situation, be it an erupting volcano or flood event. I highly recommend it for your listening and learning!
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.