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Manual and Tools

The right message at the right time from the right person can save lives. The CERC Manual describes core emergency and crisis communication principles and how they apply to each phase of an emergency. Tools are available to prepare communication plans or use during a crisis.

These resources are free and downloadable. A limited amount of hard copies are available to order. To order materials, please submit the Order Request Form. Please Note: This form works best with MS Explorer. if you’re using other browsers, download the form first and then open with Adobe Acrobat.


The CERC Manual describes the principles of crisis and emergency risk communication and how to address different challenges while communicating during a crisis or emergency. It provides guidance for all stages of an emergency and can be applied to any public health emergency. The manual is the basis for all other CERC materials and trainings.


These tools can help agencies prepare and communicate before, during, and after an emergency.


The front side of the CERC Wallet Card that provides an overview of CERC Principles.
CERC Wallet Cards
The CERC wallet card summarizes CERC and is a quick reference for communicators during an emergency. The wallet-sized card easily attaches to an ID card and is available in English, Spanish, and French. Hard copies of the English version are also available to order.
By Leaders for Leaders
The By Leaders for Leaders CERC Manual gives leaders, those in decision-making positions during an emergency response, information and tools to successfully communicate with the public, media, partners, and stakeholders during emergency public health events.
CERC Pandemic Influenza Manual (PDF)
The CERC Pandemic Influenza Manual provides information and tools to prepare for and respond to a pandemic flu or other infectious disease outbreak in the US. See the Pandemic Influenza Online Course for more information, including overview and objectives.
CERC Hurricane Fact Sheet (PDF)
The CERC Tips for a Hurricane Response flyer applies the six CERC principles to a hurricane emergency.
Zika Risk Communication: Leaders Do and Don’t (PDF)
This document helps leaders apply CERC principles to communicate about the Zika outbreak and includes example phrases that they can use in their communication.
Zika: How to Communicate Effectively (PDF)
This is a list of resources, goals, top messages, and communication channels to guide state and local communication plans for the Zika response.
CDC RiskSmart™
RiskSmart™ is a system to help organizations assess, detect, and respond to reputational risks and opportunities. RiskSmart is helpful for organizations preparing for or responding to an emergency, as they must take into account credibility.