Vicki Freimuth, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Office of Communications
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Pre-Event Phase is, in many ways, the most important phase. Every day that you spend preparing, is in investment in successful communication later on. This phase is your opportunity to plan ahead by taking several steps to ensure your organization has the ability to communicate effectively during a crisis. You will need to consider several factors as you prepare: what functions you are going to need in an emergency, what resources you have, and who your partners and stakeholders are. Even though we usually focus on getting the message out, equally important, is to listen to our audiences. We can then be much more responsive to their needs for information. Remember the planning that you put into this phase will pay off should an event occur.