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Message Development

In the midst of the chaos and heightened emotions of a public health emergency, people need clear and accurate information about what is going on, how problems are being addressed, and what they need to do. At the same time, the stress of the situation may make it difficult for individuals to hear, understand, and remember information. Competing information sources, contradictory information, rumors, and hearsay all add to the confusion.

The best way to overcome these barriers and make your communications rise above the chaos is to develop simple, clear messages that are relevant to the target audience, and then stick to them.

A flyer to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning when there is no electricity
During an emergency that is accompanied by a loss of electricity, people in your community may be tempted to use generators and charcoal or gas grills indoors. This flyer, developed by Public Health - Seattle & King County, uses clear and simple messages to communicate the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning when using these items inside a house or apartment.

Flyer text: If you don't have electricity, prevent poisoning from carbon monoxide. Item one: Only use a generator outdoors and far from open windows and vents. Item two: Never use a generator indoors, in garages, or carports. Item three: Never cook inside on a charcoal or gas grill.