Advanced Practice Toolkits for Emergency Preparedness

The Community Communications Network is Expanding

Public Health – Seattle & King County is making some important changes to the Community Communications Network.

First, Public Health staff and local city and county partners are developing a plan to allow partner agencies, such as city Emergency Operations Centers, to access the Community Communications Network during emergencies. We are still working out the exact details of this partnership, but are very excited to share this important resource with our partners when emergency information not related to health is needed to get out to our most at-risk residents.

Through partnerships with our counties Human Service Planners, we have completed a gap analysis identifying important community based organizations not on our current CCN list. These agencies are now being recruited and will be added to our network.

Finally, we are making some changes to our enrollment form. We identified some key information we would like to collect from our CCN members to aid in more strategic outreach. Some new categories we are adding are: geographical area served, vulnerable populations served, language groups served and a section to opt-in to text messaging alerts. These details will allow us to send messages to agencies serving in a specific area impacted by emergencies or disasters. It will also help us identify which translations our members will need and/or help us to identify who are able to outreach to specific communities.

The use of text messaging is a new way to connect with our CCN members. In March 2012, Public Health developed and implemented a survey to CCN members. The goal of this survey was to explore the potential for utilizing texting and social media for emergency messaging to supplement the CCN’s current email and phone-based system. The good news was that over 94.3% of respondents are willing to receive CCN messages on their personal cell phone depending on the type/level of the emergency.
We are very excited about these important changes to our network. Watch for updated tools in the Vulnerable Populations Toolkit.

If you have a story to share about developing a mechanism to communicate with your community partners, or have used one or more of the tools/resources in this document please email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) .  We would love to feature your story in an upcoming blog post.

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