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What participants say:

"This was important information everyone, every first responder, everyone on command staff needs to know."

"Kept us engaged and really helped teach us the communication skills to use with those affected by a tragic incident. I now feel I can answer those difficult questions family members will be asking me."

Navigating Difficult Conversations and Communicating Effectively with Friends, Relatives, and Affected Populations

For first responders, special assistance teams, and others who interact directly with affected individuals during crisis.

At some point crisis responders almost certainly will be in the position of talking with affected families and loved ones. Communication might be one-on-one, with small groups, or in a formal briefing. Yet most people have little experience or training in the critical skill of compassionate, candid crisis communications. Providing timely and factual information is vital in crisis management. What is said and how the message is conveyed are both fundamental to establishing trust with affected individuals, the community, and the public. This session discusses the importance of message delivery in both one-on-one conversations and group briefings, explores strategies for effective communications, and equips participants with simple methods for saying the right things — even the hard things — in the right ways.

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What participants say:

"This class has brought lots of questions on how our county would operate and FAC. Very helpful and so much great information and experience. Thank you!"

Why You Need Family Assistance Centers 

(and the Who, What, Where, When and How of Operating One)

For local government, non-governmental organizations, and businesses. 


In the aftermath of a mass casualty event, a Family Assistance Center (FAC) benefits not just families and loved ones, but also the agencies and organizations assisting them. This session discusses the value of incorporating a Family Assistance Center into emergency response operations. Participants will gain an understanding of which key stakeholders need to be involved, what resources and services should be provided, command and control considerations, facility selection and set-up, and daily FAC operations. 

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What participants say:

"I am so excited to have this in our toolbox for executives!"

"I feel so much better and more confident with the material you provided."

Executive Liaison Workshop

For senior leaders who may represent their organization to affected families in a crisis response.

When an organization has a crisis resulting in injuries or fatalities, those affected -- survivors and family members -- want to hear from someone in charge. Executives tasked with being the "face of the organization" in family meetings or briefings must know how to listen, respond, and convey key messages with clarity and empathy. This workshop explores the fundamental concerns and expectations of families; addresses the context of response (timelines, milestones, and responding organizations); and examines message alignment and crisis communication techniques. At the conclusion of the workshop participants will deliver a mock family briefing, with the option of videotaping and individual critique.

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