Communicating During Emergencies

A Pandemic Flu Tabletop Exercise

Course logoThis tabletop exercise simulates a major, multi-agency incident in a large county (population of two million). The tabletop will enable participants to identify the strengths/gaps in current policies, procedures, and resources related to communication systems during a pandemic influenza. Participants will focus on answering questions such as: Who should be responsible? What communication channel should be used? When should information be given out?

Research findings from the Northwest Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center (NWPERRC) have been integrated into the tabletop design to help emergency response agencies create practice, protocols, and policy using an evidence base. We encourage facilitators to modify the background information to better fit their local communities.

To view the PDF files, you'll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer.

Facilitator's Materials

Tabletop Exercise Slides (PowerPoint) | (PDF)
PowerPoint slide sets of exercise introduction, storyboards, and messages. Feel free to modify as needed. Instructions and script for presenters are located in the notes section of slides.

Facilitator's Guide (PDF) | (Word)
Provides detailed information about how to conduct this tabletop. This document may need to be modified to reflect changes made to the slides.

After Action Report (AAR) Template (Word)

Set Up

Name Tags (Word)

Name Tents (Word)

Participant Materials

Situation Manual (PDF) | (Word)
This manual provides detailed information for participants and should be handed out at the start of the exercise. This document may need to be modified to reflect changes made to the slides.


Research Findings (PDF)
This handout gives a detailed summary of several research studies on public health emergency communications. Facilitators should review it, and may wish to hand it out to participants as well.

Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) Resources
Overview (PDF)
After Action Report blank template (Word)
Preparedness Toolkit (online resource)


You may use these forms to allow participants to evaluate the exercise.

Pre-Evaluation (PDF)

Post-Evaluation (PDF)

Prepared through the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice, School of Public Health, University of Washington.