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Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) Online Training

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) principles.
  • Describe the psychology of a crisis and the type of messages each audience needs.
  • Determine how to tailor messages.
  • Define core concepts of crisis communication planning.
  • Explain the roles of the media and crisis communication planning.
  • Explain the roles of the media and spokesperson.
  • Describe the benefits of social media and mobile media devices.
  • Identify ways to develop relationships with stakeholders and partners.

Training Navigation:

  • Use the arrows at the bottom of every screen to advance or return to a screen.
  • Click the white shaded arrow (enlarged image below) located on the top left corner to access the table of contents. Use it to select a specific module. It also allows you to mark your place in the training and advance to a particular module or slide if you exit the course while in progress.

Enlarged picture of the table of contents arrow

White shaded box in upper left corner (above left photo) of the training screen opens to a table of contents (above right photo)

Continuing Education (CE):

Continuing education units (CEU): The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is authorized by IACET to offer 0.2 CEU’s for this program.

Continuing Education Contact Hours (CECH): This program is designated for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES) to receive up to 2.5 total Category I continuing education contact hours.

Certified Public Health Professionals (CPH): The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is authorized to offer 3 CPH recertification credits for this program.

More information on Continuing Education [PDF – 364 KB]

Steps to receive continuing education and obtain a Course Certificate of Participation:

  1. Complete the training.
  2. Go to CDC Training & Continuing Education Online (TCEO) If you have not registered as participant, click on New Participant to create a user ID and password; otherwise click on Participant Login and login.
  3. Once logged on to the TCEO website, you will be on the Participant Services page. Click on Search and Register. Use either search method to locate Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) Online Training (WB2454) “CERC” and click on View.
  4. Click on the course and scroll down to Register Here on the course information page. Click on the type of CE that you would like to receive and then Submit. Complete the questions and then Submit.
  5. Choose to go right to the evaluation. Complete the evaluation and Submit. You need a score of at least 70% to pass the post-test.
  6. A record of your course completion and your CE certificate will be located in the Transcript and Certificate section of your record on TCEO.


This course should take you around 2 hours. Please email the CERC Team at with any questions.

We appreciate the contributions made by the following individuals to the development of this course:

  • Barbara Reynolds, PhD
  • Molly Gaines-McCollom, MPH, CHES
  • Vivi Siegel, MPH
  • Julia Hunter Galdo
  • Vicki F. Freimuth, Ph.D.
  • Alicia Eberl-Lefko, M.H.S., CHES
  • Lynn Sokler
  • Linda Weinberg, R.D.
  • Elizabeth Williams
  • Chad R. Wood, M.B.A.
  • Anna Zawislanski, M.P.H.