Leaders are often called upon to share information with the public, the media, and other stakeholders in the midst of a crisis. This course will help you develop skills in risk communication. You will learn how people perceive risk and how best to frame messages in order to help them cope with emergencies and make informed decisions.

This course is part of the Emergency Preparedness Leadership Series. It is meant to stand alone, but you may also take it together with courses on Managing Change and Decision Making to receive a certificate in Emergency Preparedness Leadership.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain how people gauge risk and how this affects communications during public health emergencies
  • Discuss key principles of risk communication for public officials that will help people cope and build trust in your message
  • Explain how the timeliness of communications affects credibility
  • Describe the elements for initial messages during a crisis

Intended Audience

State, local, and tribal public health professionals working in emergency preparedness or emergency management


Meredith Li-Vollmer, PhD, Public Health - Seattle & King County


This course will take one hour to complete.


This course consists of instructional videos, a quiz, and discussion questions.


This training is being delivered in a 508-compliant interface. During development of this training, we attempted to make the content accessible to individuals using screen readers. If you encounter trouble accessing the instructional materials by screen reader, or need any other accommodations in order to access the instructional materials, please contact NWCPHP, and we will do our best to make sure the content is accessible to you.


This series is based on a previous training developed in partnership with the University of Oklahoma's Southwest Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (PERLC) and offered in spring 2015. Ann Chou, PhD, MPH, and Aaron Wendeloe, PhD, developed key content for that training.

Public Health Learning Navigator Certified Quality

September 30, 2016
Emergency Preparedness & Disasters
Self-Paced Course
1 hour
Emergency Preparedness Leadership
Competency Domains: 
Communication Skills
Cultural Competency Skills