The OVC TTAC Helping Victims of Mass Violence and Terrorism: Planning, Response, Recovery, and Resources Toolkit web training series continues with an in-depth look at the Communications protocol. Communication itself is an intervention tool, so it is important to consider how you are sharing information. Information is shared effectively when it helps to sustain order, security, safety, and integrity in a crime scene and during the investigation by providing direction to those at or near the scene.
It decreases anxiety and can provide those who are affected with a sense of being supported (particularly public communications, which are intended to reach everyone who was exposed to the event). When victims and the public know where to get more information, they are likely to be less anxious.
It is accurate and sensitive to the victims concerns. Timely, accurate, and thoughtful information decreases opportunities for speculation and rumor and can help victims understand what has and is occurring, allowing them to begin to process the event and start the recovery process.
Lessons learned from previous incidents consistently underscore that all response and recovery efforts are more effective when
–Organizational roles are defined prior to the incident.
–Relationships are in place to create a more efficient response and faster recovery.
–There is a planned and comprehensive communications management strategy that focuses on communication among all responders, with victims and survivors, and with the community during the response and recovery phases.