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Spokespeople Learn the Fine of Art of Preventing Panic

A special seminar for officials of government and rescue agencies discussed ways to communicate during an emergency, while avoiding panic.
By David Lev
First Publish: 5/13/2013, 8:45 PM

Book Cover - The IDF Spokesperson Announces
Book Cover - The IDF Spokesperson Announces
Credit: PR

Israel's National Information Directorate held a special seminar Monday for spokespersons from government ministries and emergency agencies, discussing ways to communicate vital information during an emergency – while avoiding public panics. The discussion was held in advance of “National Emergency Week” at the end of the month.

The seminar was held as part of ongoing preparations to improve preparedness in the government information and spokespersons network for emergency events, said a spokesperson for the Prime Minister's Office, which is responsible for the Directorate. Participants in Monday's event were briefed on operational concepts for information networks in time of emergency, with emphasis on strengthening liaison and coordination between government spokespersons, professional agencies and local authorities, the spokesperson said.

In a good example of proper practices to ensure that the public remain as calm as possible, the spokesperson stressed that the meeting had not been called in anticipation of an upcoming national emergency, but had been planned many months ago.

Participating in the event were Home Front Protection and Communications Minister Gilad Erdan, National Information Directorate head Liran Dan, National Information Directorate senior executive Yarden Vatikay, representatives of the IDF Spokesperson's Office and Home Front Command, Home Front Protection Ministry officials, and dozens of spokespersons from government ministries, local authorities, infrastructure agencies, emergency and rescue agencies.

Speaking at the event Erdan said “we need to bring about a situation in which civilians as well are optimally prepared. Part of emergency preparedness is ensuring that we can deliver accessible, reliable and timely information to the public. This is an operational need and is part of our mission.”