This report recommends best practices for risk communication relevant to NOAA practitioners. NOAA practitioners are not limited to management only. This report is also designed for forecasters, outreach coordinators, warning coordination meteorologists, communication directors, and other NOAA staff. The recommended practices include the following, discussed in more detail in the body of the report:
- Have an informed Plan – Know what needs to be achieved and how to achieve it before beginning risk communication efforts.
- Speak to their interests, not yours – Connect emotionally with audience and stakeholder values and concerns to help establish a relationship and improve risk communication efforts.
- Explain the risk (in a manner that is clear and appropriate for the audience) – Use stories and visuals to make it personal and help audiences understand the impacts and the hazard.
- Offer options for reducing risk – Facilitate a conversation to identify barriers to action. Offer options that address these barriers and are appropriate for the local situation.
- Work with trusted sources and the public – People seek confirmation from multiple trusted sources to verify risk and help them make decisions on what actions to take, if any.
- Test messages or products; evaluate performance – Coworkers are not the audience. Test communications on target audience members before reaching out more broadly. Evaluate the results of communications efforts.
- Use multiple ways to communicate – People like to receive information in different ways; understand how the audience likes to receive information on hazards.