HHS Unveils New Text Messaging Toolkit for Emergency Notification

TOPIC ALERT:

On Thursday, HHS released a toolkit of cellphone text messages that state and local emergency notification systems could distribute to the public in the event of an emergency, AHA News reports.

The toolkit features text messages with safety tips relevant to earthquakes, floods and hurricanes. State and local health departments can sign up to receive updates as HHS expands the toolkit to include health tips for other types of emergencies.

During a disaster, emergency responders can download the messages and distribute them through existing cellphone emergency messaging systems. Health officials also can tailor the messages based on local needs.

The messages can be used in conjunction with radio and television public service announcements available from CDC (AHA News, 6/10).

The toolkit was developed by:

  • CDC;
  • FDA;
  • The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response;
  • The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs; and
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Barr, Modern Healthcare, 6/10).

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