- Everyday Communications
- Well-Known Issue Communications
- Emerging Issue Communications
- Crisis Communications
Environmental Health Division
Drinking Water Risk Communication Toolkit
Have a Plan
Dedicating time to communications planning allows you to raise awareness about drinking water and be prepared for possible issues. Having a plan in place that outlines roles and responsibilities, standard communication procedures, and pre-written messages makes it easier to respond to issues and to remain nimble when unexpected situations arise.
Plans can also include strategies and timelines for sharing information about public events and communicating about all of the good work your system does. This type of communication often builds trust between water suppliers and consumers.
Communicating with your customers builds trust and knowledge about your system and how drinking water is protected.
Communication plans can be simple or complex. The more complete and robust your plan is, the better you will be able to communicate your message. Consider your communication plan a living document - as situations or projects change, update your plan and share with stakeholders.
Other Communication Toolkits
The toolkits listed below are available to help with specific communication tasks.
- Public Communications Toolkit, American Water Works Association
- This kit contains all of AWWA's information on public communication, from talking points to Journal AWWA articles to presentations, all in one place for easy access.
- Emergency Communications Resources: Free Toolkit, Granicus
- While crisis communications can seem daunting, the most successful organizations do 90 percent of the work before an emergency situation occurs. This toolkit can help can you get started, and will help guide your organization through effective execution with expert guidance from those who have done it before.
- Say It Better! ATSDR Communication Toolkit, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
- Community members are key participants in the public health assessment process, and effective communication is a critical part of fostering trusting relationships. This toolkit will help ensure that all communication is clear, relevant, and appropriate for the various audiences. Additionally, it will ensure that all teams are providing consistent communication.
- Risk Communication, US Environmental Protection Agency
- This toolkit has links to a few risk communications tools used by EPA scientists to inform decisions makers
- Drinking Water Advisory Communication Toolkit (PDF), Collaboration of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Environmental Protection Agency, American Water Works Association
- The goal of this toolkit is to provide a protocol and practical toolbox for communicating with stakeholders and the public about water advisories that is based upon research and identified practices. The toolkit focuses on water systems and addresses the range of situations that generate drinking water advisories.