Federal Response Team Playbook: Community Activation in a National Public Health Emergency

September 2021
Topics: Emergency Preparedness and Response, Communication, Public Health (General), Social Behavior, Strategic Planning
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The Federal Response Team Playbook: Community Activation in a National Public Health Emergency (Playbook) is a resource for government officials intending to create and manage a community activation campaign during a public health emergency (PHE). While this resource was created for a public health emergency it can be leverage or utilized for any emergency.

Effectively addressing a public health emergency (PHE) requires a broad array of methods, expertise, and authorities. This playbook facilitates the development and management of a campaign to motivate behavior change and influence public sentiment to take action for the greater good. Having a clear plan for creating an effective campaign increases the likelihood that it will successfully navigate these challenges.

Community activation, defined as raising awareness and inspiring the public to take a particular action, should be a material component of the incident response ecosystem. During a PHE, community activation requires targeted messaging based on the evolving science or landscape; rapid analysis and translation of data to operations; unity of effort within the National Response Framework/National Incident Management System (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2020); and a nimble infrastructure that can rapidly expand, contract, and disseminate knowledge during the response phases.

Recognizing that a PHE response will be mission-specific, based on federal/state and local agency and department missions and campaign team assignments, this playbook is applicable to any objective that requires an “ask” or specific request of the public, inspiration for action, or motivation for behavior change.

The playbook is organized by the phases necessary to manage continually evolving public health emergency (PHE) situations so teams can act with informed awareness in the process: PREPARE, RESPOND, MONITOR and EVALUATE, REFINE, and CLOSE and TRANSITION.

Explore more at communityactivation.mitre.org.



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