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CDC's Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication (CERC)

On Demand

Course Overview

Course Quality Rating


Course Description

This course is provided by CDC and will require a secondary login and/or registration.

This course is designed to increase knowledge and develop competencies in crisis and emergency risk communication (CERC) practices and strategies. Content is derived from lessons learned during public health emergencies and research in the fields of public health and emergency risk communication.                                                                                                

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Target Audience

None listed

Learning Objectives

Having completed this course, the learner will be able to:

  1. Explain Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) principles
  2. Describe the psychology of a crisis and the type of messages each audience needs
  3. Explain how to tailor messages
  4. Define core concepts of crisis communication planning
  5. Explain the roles of the media and spokesperson
  6. Describe the benefits of social media and mobile media devices
  7. Identify ways to develop relationships with stakeholders and partners

Council of Linkages Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (COL)/COL Tier(s)

  1. Gathers information that can inform options for policies, programs, and services (e.g., secondhand smoking policies, data use policies, HR policies, immunization programs, food safety programs)
  2. Describes implications of policies, programs, and services
  3. Implements policies, programs, and services
  4. Gathers information for evaluating policies, programs, and services (e.g., outputs, outcomes, processes, procedures, return on investment)
  5. Applies strategies for continuous quality improvement
  6. Describes how public health informatics is used in developing, implementing, evaluating, and improving policies, programs, and services (e.g., integrated data systems, electronic reporting, knowledge management systems, geographic information systems)

Professional/Disciplinary Competencies

Public Health Preparedness Capabilities:
Community Preparedness:

  1. Function 1: Determine risks to the health of the jurisdiction
  2. Function 2: Build community partnerships to support health preparedness
  3. Function 3: Engage with community organizations to foster public health, medical, and mental/behavioral health social networks
  4. Function 4: Coordinate training or guidance to ensure community engagement in preparedness efforts

Emergency Operations Coordination:

  1. Function 1: Conduct preliminary assessment to determine need for public activation
  2. Function 2: Activate public health emergency operations
  3. Function 3: Develop incident response strategy
  4. Function 4: Manage and sustain the public health response
  5. Function 5: Demobilize and evaluate public health emergency operations

Public Health Preparedness and Response Core Competencies:

  1. Communicate and Manage Information
  2. Manage information related to an emergency
  3. Use principles of crisis and risk communications
  4. Report information potentially relevant to the identification and control of an emergency through the chain of command
  5. Collect data according to protocol
  6. Manage the recording and/or transcription of data to protocol 


Online/ Self-study

Credit /CEU

See for credit information.


2.5 hrs.


None listed 

Course Publication Date

None listed

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