1. The timing of the initial event is an unexpected, legitimate, public health emergency requiring swift and widespread public education to prevent further morbidity and mortality and empower the public (e.g., multistate e-coli outbreak or a bioterrorism event).
2. Deaths are expected within a short window of time (catastrophic event). Diagnosis and/or treatment are uncertain. And, ... (criteria 3. applies).
3. The media and public perceive the event as the “first,” “worst,” or “biggest,” etc.
4. Deaths are expected well above normal levels.

5. The event is occurring in a metropolitan area (with dense media outlets) versus a sparsely populated area (with fewer media outlets).
6. The event is sudden, is national in scope, or has the potential to have a national health impact.
7. The government is perceived as a cause of or responsible for the event.
8. The event predominantly impacts children or previously healthy adults.
9. The event is possibly “man-made” and/or deliberate.
10. Controlling the event will require a suspension of civil rights for a significant portion of the population.
11. Persons involved in the event must take active steps to protect their personal health and safety.
12. Responsibility for mitigating the event falls within the scope of your organization.

13. The event has some “exotic” aspect.
14. A well-known product, service, or industry is involved.
15. Sensitive international trade or political relations are involved.
16. A well-known “celebrity” is involved.
17. An ongoing criminal investigation is involved.
18. The disease or public health emergency, disaster, or crisis is not well understood by the general population, or the general population is misinformed about the situation.
19. The event is “acute.” The event occurred and your organization is faced with explaining the event and the aftermath (e.g., an accident in the laboratory or a chemical release).

20. The long-term health effects for humans involved in the event are uncertain.
21. The event is evolving. Its progression is uncertain and may become more or less serious (e.g., identification of a novel influenza virus).
22. The event site does not have a well-equipped and resourced public information response capability.

23. The event occurred internationally with little chance of affecting the U.S. population.
24. Treatment or control of exposure is generally understood and within the person’s control.