Communicating in a Crisis: How to Prepare, Respond & Recover
Krista Farley Raines
Regional Communications Officer
This session will demonstrate communication, public affairs and
marketing practices employed by the American Red Cross. When
disaster strikes, America relies on the American Red Cross, and
the Red Cross relies on its communicators to tell the story of the
important work down the street, across the country and around
the world. During times of disaster, public affairs ensures all of
our constituents clients, donors, partners, workers and the
public are fully informed about Red Cross activities and clients
and victims need to know where and how they can get help. Using
a combination of proactive, reactive and interactive tactics public
affairs provides guidance, messaging, training, tools and real-time
support to staff and volunteers throughout West Virginia.
How to use social media to prepare, respond and recover from a crisis.Utilize communication tools to promote Red Cross down the street, across the country and around the world. Ensure consumers are equipped with information to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
To improve the lives
of vulnerable people
the power of humanity
of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
A Global Agenda for the International Federation
Goal 1: Reduce the number of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.
Goal 2: Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.
Goal 3: Increase the capacity of local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.
Goal 4: Promote respect for diversity and human dignity, and reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion.
365 days a year
in your community and
around the world
8 | American Red Cross Partnership Opportunity
The American Red Cross is there.
Seven Fundamental Principles
The American Red Cross, through its strong network of
volunteers, donors and partners, is always there in times of
need. We aspire to turn compassion into action so that...
...all people affected by disaster across the country and
around the world receive care, shelter and hope;
...our communities are ready and prepared for disasters;
...everyone in our country has access to safe, lifesaving
blood and blood products;
...all members of our armed services and their families find
support and comfort whenever needed; and
...in an emergency, there are always trained individuals
nearby, ready to use their Red Cross skills to save lives.
Sources of Governing Authority
International Committee of the Red Cross & Red Crescent
International Federation of the Red Cross & Red Crescent
National Societies (More Than 175)
International Red Cross and Red Crescent
The American National
Board of Governors
U.S. Congress Congressional
Our Brand is Trusted and
More trustworthy than 99% of brands
in the study, including nonprofit and profit.
More socially responsible, straightforward, helpful
and friendly than 95% of brands
in the study, including nonprofit and profit.
More brand stature than any major charity,
in terms of knowledge and esteem.
The Young & Rubicam BrandAsset Valuator (BAV) is the worlds longest-running and most
extensive study of brands, covering 35,000 brands and dating back to 1993. The U.S. panel
includes 15,600 nationally representative adults, with data collected quarterly. Base: BAV
The Power of the Red Cross BrandThe Red Cross has the most brand stature, reflecting the publics strong
esteem and respect of the brand. These attributes drive loyalty and awareness.
2.16x 1.96x 1.85x
1.65x 1.56x 1.33x1.18x 1.17x
Multiples show how each
charity compares to the
average charity in
(Source: BrandAsset Consulting; Base: BAV June 2012)
An average of
91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested
in humanitarian services & programs.
Down the Street. Across the Country. Around the World.
InternationalService to the
Providing Immediate Assistance Following Disasters
when a familys home catches fire
and they lose everything.
when a house is flooded and a
family is left with nowhere to go.
when loved ones are separated
during a disaster and need to be
Securing the Nations Largest Supply of Blood and Blood Productswhen there is a catastrophic
accident and an 18-year-old boy
needs 36 blood transfusions, 13
plasma treatments and 14
operations to save his life.
when a newborn needs blood
transfusions every 34 weeks just to
survive the first few months of life.
Teaching Lifesaving First Aid, CPR, Swimming and Lifeguarding Skills
when your friend suddenly chokes
when your family member
suddenly goes into cardiac arrest.
when you want to prepare your
child for summer fun in the water.
Saving Lives in the Worlds Most Vulnerable Places
when a devastating earthquake
occurs half way around the world.
when a child needs a measles
vaccine to save his or her life.
Supporting Military Members, Veterans and Their Families
when a member of the Armed
Forces needs to be urgently
connected with his family back home.
when a military veteran needs
when a wounded service member
needs care during his or her
Disasters on the RiseReported disasters have increased globally
by nearly 60 percent over the last 20 years.
Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, 2013
More People AffectedEach DecadeNearly 21 million U.S. adults were affected by
disasters between 2004 and 2013. Thats more
than four times more than in the prior decade.
20,894,963 People Reported Affected 2004-2013
4,787,883People Reported Affected 1994-2003
World Disaster Report, 2014
Red Cross is the Premier Emergency Relief OrganizationIn FY14, we responded to more than 63,000
6,248Other storms and
81 Blizzards/snow storms
4 Hurricanes/tropical storms/typhoons
63people are assisted
by the American
Every 390,000times a day a child
receives a measles
vaccination from the
Red Cross and our partners.
30,000times a day a person
receives lifesaving Red
Cross health, safety and
380times a day we
190times a day Red Cross
volunteers help a family
affected by a house fire
Our Work Impacts Lives Every Day
Red Cross by the Numbers
2.6 million Supporters reached via
50,000Unique daily visitors
526Red Cross chapters
As of July 2, 2013
Disaster Cycle Services
WV Responses in 2015
In 2015, the American Red Cross in
West Virginia assisted 1,117
households and supported 3,254
people who were impacted by a
disaster, most commonly home fires.
Larger scale local disasters included:
In February, the Train Derailment
In March, Winter Storm Thor
In April, Easter Flooding
In July, Flooding
In December, Christmas Flooding
Red Cross Priorities During a Response
Provide initial sheltering
Conduct fixed and mobile feeding operations
Staff local government Emergency Operations Centers and coordinate with local government and partner relief agencies
Assess the impact of the disaster
Conduct Public Affairs
Begin Disaster Fundraising
The American Red Cross, through its strong network of volunteers, donors and
partners, is always there in times of need. We aspire to turn compassion into
action so that all people affected by disaster across the country and around the
world receive care, shelter and hope and our communities are ready and
prepared for disasters. Cheryl serves as a Disaster Action Team captain on call
24-hour and ready to respond at any time. She teaches 3rd through 5th graders
how to prepare for and respond to a disaster through the Pillowcase Project.
She also helps install free smoke alarms and provides safety education as part
of the Home Fire Campaign.
Disaster Services Our Clients
Our services span the entire disaster cycle, are predictable and repeatable
and are applied consistently across the country to ensure the community
knows what to expect from us.
Services and programs are designed based first on the needs and
expectations of clients and community consistent with the mission.
The Red Cross will align with government and work to enable the entire
community to participate in all phases of the disaster cycle.
A single integrated approach to building personal and community resilience
encompasses services delivered through a single comprehensive disaster
management process (whole cycle) which integrates and unifies programs
and activities across the entire enterprise.
Our organization and culture continually innovate in response to client and
The speed and accessibility of our services meets the urgent needs of our
Disaster Services Our Workers
Design programs and work efforts around the
features of a primarily volunteer workforce and
where volunteers are encompassed and integrated
as part of (and not an extension of) the workforce.
Systems/processes are designed to include a
mechanism that ensures the employee and
volunteer executing them are appropriately trained,
skilled and supported by the organization.
Effective stewardship of time, talent and dollars.
Disaster Services Our Systems
One operating model (a collection of tools and processes) that
scales from a single, local event to multiple very large
A system that preserves and builds on existing local
commitments, capabilities and relationships.
Ensure effective and efficient decision making closest to the
Need to be able to measure impact.
Systems/processes and technologies need to operate both
during steady-state as well as major response periods.
Leverage current technology for efficient service delivery.
The American Red Cross is adept at responding and managing a crisis.
Planning for crisis management is the key to our success and any leaders successful navigation of a crisis situation.
While no disaster or crisis is identical in scope and need, we plan for leadership models in both blue skies and gray skies.
The Clients (victims, first responders)
Volunteers (DAT, CW, HS, MH)
DPMs and DPSs
Regional staff (RDPO, COO, CDO)
The Client is most important and Clients come first.The nearer someone is to the Client, the more support that person needs.
Enable the person above you.
Using consistent language across all disaster solicitations ensures uniformity and clarity, which nurtures the trust between donors and the Red Cross through all channels including:
Cause Marketing with Partners
Major Gift Solicitation Materials
Helping people impacted by disasters big and small.
When an emergency or disaster happens you must be able to respond to target audiences:
Promptly (or Timely)
Crisis Communication Plan Components
Create a Crisis Communication Team Identify Your Target Audience(s) Define Potential Risk or Scenarios Prioritize the Communication Methods Prepare Multiple Message/Scalability Templates Develop a Communication Plan & Backup Plan Select a Spokesperson(s) Activate a Plan Encourage Coordination and Collaboration Evaluate, Reassess and Improve
Impacted Individuals and Their Families
Employees and Their Families
Proactive Press Releases
Interactive Social Engagement
Reactive Responding to Media
Content Planning Worksheet
You should develop a plan before a disaster happens for how content will be produced and how that content will be posted.
You should answer are a few questions to focus planning efforts. Who are the leaders involved with creating the
public affairs and social engagement strategies during a disaster?
What role do they fill in developing the strategy?
Who fills in for those people when they are unavailable?
One Voice is Essential
Red Cross Media Interview Policy
Every Red Cross worker should feel empowered to talk to the media when approached and tell our disaster relief story.
Every Red Crosser can safely talk about two things:
What you do (job in the operation, how its helping, why you became a Red Crosser)?
What you know (what you can see around you, how is the Red Cross helping, what do you know firsthand)?
Deliver Your Message
Tell a story
Show emotion and convey hope by expressing empathy, concern and compassion
Highlight services and people
Plan for the future
Give a call to action
Keep comments positive but realistic and truthful
Promote on Social Media
New standard for all communication
Immediate and direct connection
One on one interaction
Transparency and personality
No longer faceless
Not closed to scrutiny
The strength of engagement relies
on employees, volunteers, citizens, partners...
On April 25, 2015 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal
killing over 8,000 people and injuring more than 21,000.
Red Cross teams provided food, water, emergency shelter
materials, healthcare, water and sanitation to people. As
winter approached, the American Red Cross and the global
Red Cross network distributed cash grants to approximately
50,000 families so they could buy shelter materials, warm
clothes, blankets, insulation or other supplies.
The American Red Cross also deployed 40 disaster specialist
Red Cross teams continue to help survivors rebuild their lives
through activities like restoring access to water, teaching safe
construction skills and helping people regain their sources of
Red Cross is helping building water tanks and taps in
communities that lost steady access to water, constructed a
potato seed storage facility for a community of farmers whose
warehouse collapsed during the quake.
All the work is in conjunction with the Neal Red Cross.
Boston Marathon Bombings
The bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 turned a setting of athletic triumph into a scene of tragedy. The American Red Cross supported the Family Assistance Center and events such as the Memorial Service for Officer Sean Collier, as well as provided emotional support to people struggling to cope in the community.
The American Red Cross has been part of the Boston Marathon for decades, offering first aid and encouragement to the athletes on the sidelines.
After the bombing the Red Cross response to the Boston Marathon included taking a central role in Disaster Mental Health, aid to the families of the injured and deceased, and a role in helping the community heal.
Winter Storm Jonas
Beginning on Friday, January 22nd, Winter Storm Jonas impacted West Virginia with two West Virginia communities receiving the largest snowfall totals of the storm, Glengary with 42 and Shepherdstown with 40.5.
The Red Cross provided messaging before, during and after the storm through press releases, social media post, volunteer notices, talking points and donor appeals to providing residents with critical information.
Thirty-five Red Cross Volunteers and twenty-one Red Cross Staff responded throughout West Virginia with another eighty-one volunteers available if needed.
During and after the storm, several people spent the night in Red Cross operated or supported shelters in Barbour, Berkeley, Boone, Jackson, Jefferson, Putnam and Randolph Counties with thirty-three other shelters on standby, if needed.
Get an emergency kit with 3 days of supplies
Download the Red Cross Emergency App
Cold safety tips
Power outage/generator safety
Space heater safety to prevent home fires
Emergency need for blood and platelet donors
Plea for financial contributions
Social Media Helps Share Our Work
WV Water Crisis Response
13 Emergency Response Vehicles
Over 90 volunteers
Be A Hero Volunteer Today
Communication & Marketing Help public affairs raise awareness of the mission of the Red Cross and how it is met through our five lines of service.
Disaster Response Help people affected by disasters ranging from home fires to hurricanes by providing food, shelter, essential relief supplies and comfort and hope.
Preparedness Education Teach families, people in classrooms, organizations and corporations how to be Red Cross Ready for disasters and emergencies.
Service to the Armed Forces Connect families and veterans with resources to emergencies, train military families in coping and resiliency skills, and supply recreational and therapeutic support in military and VA health care facilities.
Leadership Serve on a Red Cross board or decision-making committee, manage a program, or chair an activity.
A few hours, every day, once a week, once a month
whatever time you have can make a difference.
113 Lakeview DriveCharleston, WV 25313Main: (304) 340-3650Direct: (304) 759-6320Cell: (304) 417-0207
Facebook: RedCrossWVTwitter: @ARCWV
Chapter OfficesSatellite Offices
Wheeling Office193 29th StreetWheeling, WV 26003(304) 232-0711
Morgantown Office1299 Pineview Drive, Suite 300Morgantown, WV 26505(304) 598-9500
Parkersburg Office220 8th StreetParkersburg, WV 26101(304) 485-7311
Charleston Office113 Lakeview DriveCharleston, WV 25313(304) 340-3650
Beckley Office200 Industrial DriveBeckley, WV 25801(304) 255-1508
Ronceverte Office722 Ronceverte AvenueRonceverte, WV 24970(304) 922-8565
Kearneysville Office1948 Wiltshire Road, Suite 2Kearneysville, WV 25430(304) 725-5015
Elkins Office4 Randolph StreetElkins, WV 26241(304) 415-6944
Bluefield Office261 Mercer Mall RoadBluefield, WV 24701(304) 327-5017
The American Red Cross of Northwest West Virginia The American Red Cross of
Northeast West Virginia
The American Red Cross of Southeast West VirginiaThe American
Red Cross of Southwest West Virginia
Huntington Office1111 Veterans Memorial BlvdHuntington, WV 25701(304) 526-2900
There cannot be a crisis next week.
My schedule is already full.
Henry A. Kissinger
For more information visit redcrosswv.org.