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Mass Notification Messages: Workshop Proceedings



Erica D. Kuligowski, Richard D. Peacock, Jason D. Averill, Richard W. Bukowski


This workshop provided a forum to discuss research and best practices regarding mass notification message creation and 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 the lack of attention paid to the creation of the messages that are disseminated during emergencies in the United States. The workshop included experts on this issue from 12 different federal agencies in the federal government. After hearing the presentation on public warnings, the workshop participants spent the morning and afternoon sessions discussing the following questions: What are the differences/gaps between current mass notification systems and the lessons learned from the research in community disasters? How do we close these gaps to ensure that the correct information is given to the public when a disaster (or emergency) is imminent? The results of each session s deliberations were discussed in the concluding session of the workshop. The main gap identified by the workshop participants, among others, 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 for message providers could be provided to ensure better message creation and dissemination during disasters.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1093
Report Number


mass notification, public warnings, emergency messages, hazards, disasters, fires, emergencies


Kuligowski, E. , Peacock, R. , Averill, J. and Bukowski, R. (2009), Mass Notification Messages: Workshop Proceedings, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 24, 2024)


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Created March 30, 2009, Updated February 19, 2017