Warning and Informing
A well informed public is better able to respond to an emergency and minimise the impact on their community
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 requires responders to advise the public of risks before an emergency occurs and maintain arrangements to warn the public and keep them informed in the event of an emergency. Communication is a key part of an emergency response and it is important that messages:
- Are consistent
- Provide appropriate and useful knowledge
- Do not cause unnecessary alarm or panic
For this reason as members of the GMRF we work together to produce consistent messaging for the public and deliver it through a variety of methods. We also consider how and what information is delivered to different audiences. It is important to consider for example that not everybody will have internet access or be able to receive messages which are only communicated in English.
Getting the message across
We work closely with media organisations in Greater Manchester to provide timely and accurate information to the public via local TV, radio and websites in an emergency.
As many of us now use Facebook and Twitter, we also use our social media presence to provide up-to-date information to the public. This can be particularly useful for unfolding events and rapidly changing situations. If you have portable devices such as smartphones or tablet computers, you can access the latest information at any time from most locations.
Methods of communication
- Mobilising emergency services crew to go out on foot and knock on doors.
- Automated telephone, fax, e-mail or text messages to subscribers
- Loudhailer or amplified messages from vehicles or helicopters
- Electronic message boards (similar to those used on motorways)
- Public announcements in venues such as shopping centres, sports venues and transport hubs