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What is Emergency Risk Communication (ERC)

Emergency risk communication (ERC) is the dynamic, interactive process of sharing information strategically and effectively about issues of high concern, to help people make informed decisions and understand risks.

In this course, the types of public health emergencies we address are disease outbreaks, natural disasters, industrial disasters, and terrorist threats. These kinds of situations are unexpected, urgent, and produce a high level of public concern, anxiety, and fear, in addition to having a significant impact on the public health system.

photo of a washed out road after a flood
Emergency situations, such as flooding, require public health to quickly and effectively communicate with the public.

The goal of ERC is to provide information to help people:

  • Cope with possible adversity
  • Make informed decisions about what they need to do to protect themselves
  • Understand risk
  • Be involved in the emergency response, in some cases