You are here: Home / Communications / News / New Tabletop Exercise Focuses on Communication During Pandemic Flu

New Tabletop Exercise Focuses on Communication During Pandemic Flu

Findings from Northwest Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center (NWPERRC) research have been translated into a new pandemic influenza tabletop exercise now available to the public health practice community.

Findings from Northwest Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center (NWPERRC) research have been translated into a new pandemic influenza tabletop exercise now available to the public health practice community.

June 18, 2015

Imagine a new and deadly strain of influenza has been reported in China. After spreading rapidly to nearby countries, the World Health Organization officially labels the outbreak as a pandemic. In your community, the public is growing uneasy because a vaccine is not available and supplies of antiviral drugs are severely limited. Meanwhile, your agency is working hard to prepare for a possible public health emergency with hospitals, emergency response agencies, and other community partners. Communication with these partners and the public is vital. Do you know your agency’s role, plan, and procedures for communication? Are you prepared?

Since 2008, the CDC-funded Northwest Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center (NWPERRC) at NWCPHP has conducted innovative, community-based research on public health emergency preparedness, response, and recovery communication. Findings from this research have been translated into a new tabletop exercise, Communicating During Emergencies: A Pandemic Flu Tabletop Exercise, designed to help public health organizations create evidence-based practice, protocols, and policy around emergency communications.

"This exercise involves research-validated communication methods and strategies fundamental to an effective response during a public health emergency,” said Mark Oberle, Principal Investigator of the NWPERRC. “We're pleased to share our findings and translate them into a practical, adaptable tool for emergency preparedness and response.”

The tabletop exercise utilizes a pandemic influenza scenario to simulate a major, multi-agency incident in a large county with a population of two million. After taking part in the exercise, participants should be able to identify the strengths and gaps in their organization’s policies, procedures, and resources related to communications and communication systems.

Designed to be completed in a five-hour session, facilitators can conduct this tabletop as a shorter exercise by editing components and shortening discussion and debriefing periods. Additionally, the background information can be modified to better fit the realities and needs of local communities.

Learn more and access the Communicating During Emergencies tabletop exercise today.

STORY TO SHARE?

We love public health stories! We feature them in our postcard series, Spotlight on the Field, and news items. Please contact us to share your story!