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Strengthening Risk Communication During Terrorist Incidents Using a Pre-Event Message Toolkit CD-ROM

Nicole F. Kozma, MPH1, Suzy D. Walker, RN1, Bruce W. Clements, MPH2, and Ricardo J. Wray, PhD3. (1) School of Public Health, Saint Louis University, 3545 Lafayette Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63104, 314.977.8165, walkersd@slu.edu, (2) Saint Louis University, School of Public Health, Center for the Study of Bioterrorism and Emerging Infections, 3545 Lafayette Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63104, (3) Health Communication Research Laboratory, School of Public Health, Saint Louis University, 3545 Lafayette Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63104

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in partnership with the Association of Schools of Public Health, Bioterrorism Council, supported the “Pre-Event Message Development Project” (PEMD). This project supported development and pre-testing of information messages responding to terrorist emergencies for the general population and selected segments of the public health workforce. Four major universities (SLU, UCLA, UAB, and OU) partnered in this initiative. The Message Toolkit CD-ROM is an information resource designed to share messages developed through the PEMD Project. The CD was produced by the Center for the Study of Bioterrorism and the Health Communication Research Lab at the Saint Louis University School of Public Health. Learning objectives include: understanding of appropriate communication messages during a terrorist event involving botulism, plague, VX nerve agent, or radiological devices and knowledge of pre-event messages to be used prior to an event for training and exercises or in response to an actual event. While some of the advantages of CD-ROM training include accommodating individual time schedules, learner-controlled pace, and unlimited opportunity for review by the learner, this tool can also provide valuable reference material in the time of a crisis. Especially when the user’s Internet connection is not working or essential on-line resources are not available. The target audience of the toolkit includes public health and other response officials. At the end of this session, the participant will gave a greater understanding of the CD-ROM development, distribution, and lessons learned.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Theory and Research in Health Communication

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA