Title

Examining the CDCynergy Event Assessment Tool: An Investigation of the Anthrax Crisis in Boca Raton, Florida

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-2006

Department

Communication Studies

Abstract

This paper examines the dependability of the Event Assessment Tool over time. The latter is part of a CD-ROM-Emergency Risk Communication CDCynergy-distributed primarily to public information officers in the United States by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Event Assessment Tool is designed to aid emergency professionals in identifying the magnitude of a crisis event and to suggest appropriate actions to confront such a situation. Applied twice during the 2001 anthrax bioterrorism crisis in Boca Raton, Florida, the tool functioned in a binary manner by first indicating a moderate crisis level (on 4 October) and then four days later (on 8 October) a highly intense crisis, suggesting that it is time sensitive. This anthrax event provides an opportunity for crisis and disaster managers to understand the dynamic nature of crises. Rapid changes during these types of events suggest that any metric used to predict intensity must account for this variability. Additional limitations and implications of the tool are discussed.

Publication Title

Disasters

Volume

30

Issue

3

First Page

351

Last Page

363