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Communities have tremendous responsibility for managing and coordinating emergency response. During the early stages of an emergency it is very difficult to develop timely, effective and consistent public messages. In fact public messaging is often not addressed. This can result in public actions that hinder rather than help the response.

The Western Region Homeland Security Advisory Council has developed an easy to use guide and template for developing crisis communication. The Message Map Template will save you valuable time during the early stages of an emergency when your main focus is on other aspects of the response.

When you use the template, your messages will be short, simple and easily understood. They will give your target audiences key information to address their concerns as well as yours, thereby supporting the response. You can use the message “sound bites” in a wide variety of applications: press briefings, interviews, social media postings and fact sheets. Additionally with messages in hand, you can coordinate with others in your community to ensure consistent messaging. This will avoid public confusion and build trust in your response.

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