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Compendium on methods and tools to evaluate impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change

The Good Practice Guide: Community Awareness and Education in Emergency Management

During the emergency period, a well-prepared community can reduce the impacts from the disaster. Community members often play a large role in providing relief for each other.

This tool presents best practices, ideas, plans, and suggestions for educating the community on disaster preparedness, rather than a how-to guide on communications. The broad framework can be easily adapted for specific communities. The guide provides the following information:

  1. Introduction to the issue and how to get people’s attention;
  2. Planning a campaign, with information on a range of communication tactics;
  3. Evaluating a campaign;
  4. Working with the media, partners and sponsors, and the community;
  5. Information resources.
Appropriate Use The guide aims to assist in planning and implementing community awareness and education campaigns. It is aimed at local government authorities, health services, police, fire services, schools, and other community organizations. It lays out the basic steps of an awareness campaign, describes communication tactics (e.g. print/electronic communications, giveaways, special events, etc.), and outlines a method for evaluating the campaign’s performance.
Scope Local level
Key Output Step 1 – Target audience identified;
Step 2 – Target audience’s needs and wants identified;
Step 3 – Key message developed;
Step 4 – Measurable objectives identified;
Step 5 – Tactics chosen;
Step 6 – Required resources secured;
Step 7 – Awareness and education campaign implemented;
Step 8 – Awareness and education campaign evaluated and documented results available.
Key Input Step 1 – Information on vulnerable groups and potential partners in reaching them;
Step 2 – Discussions with community representatives and members; review of existing sources of information (newspapers, radio, etc.);
Step 3 – Identification of hazards and priority messages;
Step 4 – Development of campaign objectives and concrete indicators to measure changes;
Step 5 – Identification of effective information sources and delivery methods for the target audience, as well as the required resources;
Step 6 – Partnerships developed; information on available staff and financial resources;
Step 7 – Commitment of staff and volunteers; definition of roles, responsibilities, and a timetable for activities;
Step 8 – Review of the campaign against indicators, e.g. through surveys, observation, or discussions.
Ease of Use Readily usable
Training Required None
Training Available See contacts
Computer Requirements None
Documentation EMA. 2000. The Good Practice Guide: Community awareness and education in emergency management. Canberra: Emergency Management Australia.

Based on EMA’s experience in Australia, but easily adaptable to other contexts.

Contacts for Framework, Documentation, Technical Assistance

Emergency Management Australia

PO Box 1020 Dickson, Australian Capital Territory 2602, Australia; Tel: 61.2.6256.4600; Fax: 61.2.6256.4653; e-mail:

Cost Free

References included in document on case studies, additional methodologies, communication tips, etc. Documents on local risk management, community education, community preparedness, and related sites (mostly in Spanish):
EMA publications on community evacuation coordination, flood warnings, and other response activities at: