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Mass Notification Messages: Workshop Proceedings.

pdf icon Mass Notification Messages: Workshop Proceedings. (10895 K)
Kuligowski, E. D.; Peacock, R. D.; Averill, J. D.; Bukowski, R. W.

NIST SP 1093; NIST Special Publication 1093; 162 p.

Mass Notification Messages: Workshop Proceedings. February 19, 2009, Gaithersburg, MD, 162 pp, 2009.


mass notification; warning systems; public awareness; emergencies; disasters; hazards; information dissemination


The goal of the workshop was to provide a forum where representatives from federal agencies could exchange ideas and current practices for mass notification in the event of an emergency and to discuss best practices for the creation of the messages that are disseminated during emergencies in the United States. The workshop included experts on mass notification from 12 different agencies in the federal government. After a review of the state-of-the-art on public warnings, the workshop participants spent the morning and afternoon sessions discussing the following questions: 1) Break-out Groups: What are the differences/gaps between current mass notification systems and the lessons learned from research on community disasters? 2) Large Group Discussion: How do we close these gaps to ensure that the correct information is given to the public when an emergency is imminent? The results of each session's deliberations were discussed in the concluding session of the workshop. The most significant gap identified by the workshop participants was the lack of information transfer from researchers studying how the public responds to warnings to the individuals developing warnings to disseminate to the public during an emergency. In order to close this gap, several workshop participants expressed the need for federal guidelines and tools for message providers (e.g., local officials, building managers, etc.) that outline how to develop messages for each type of emergency and then how to disseminate these messages appropriately. In addition to federal guidelines, training courses and on-line resources for message providers could ensure more effective message creation and dissemination during disasters.