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What is the IMPAC-Tool?

The IMPAC-Tool is a new, free, online resource to help you make your fire and burn safety messages more effective. It does not create messages – it helps you to evaluate your existing, or new, messages so that they will have the greatest impact. This tool was created by experts in the fields of fire, burn safety, communications, behavioral science and education.

It is made up of two components:

  • An online, interactive Checklist
  • A Resource Guide

What is the Checklist?

The Checklist will take you through a series of questions about your message. The intent is to make sure that you have considered the components that will make your message more effective and focused, such as…

  • What is the intent of your message?
  • What is the core message you are communicating?
  • Have you identified your audience?
  • Have you considered your audience’s demographics?
  • Is the message concise and focused?
  • Have you considered the language needs of your audience?
  • Does your message have a call for action?
  • Is this call for action a positive one versus a negative one? (Do This instead of Don’t Do That)

…and much more.

What is the Resource Guide?

The Resource Guide contains a wealth of information taken from current research in communications from sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health and others. It has distilled this research down into shorter, bite-sized chunks focusing on what you need to know to develop an effective message.

The Resource Guide can be used as a stand-alone Guide, but what gives it more functionality is that each question within the Checklist is linked to the relevant section of the Guide. If you have any questions, or need more information, it will take you right to what you need to know.

What is the IMPAC-Tool based on?

Research! We compiled research on effective communications and behavioral change that was used in putting both the Checklist and Guide together.

How was it developed?

The IMPAC-Tool was developed under a two-year FEMA Fire Prevention and Safety Grant to the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation. A multi-disciplinary team of subject matter experts have been contributing to the creation of this tool, including:

  • Cliff Sheckter, MD, Assistant Professor, Stanford University
  • Coral Florian, Research Assistant, California State University Northridge
  • Daniel Chacon, AARBF Executive Director
  • Ed Comeau, Project Manager
  • Eileen McDonald, Research Scientist, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health
  • Ellie Kazemi, Research Scientist with California State University Northridge
  • Karla Klas, RN, Managing Director Injury/Violence Prevention and Community Outreach, University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center
  • Linda Griffin, Professor, University of Massachusetts College of Education
  • Rebecca Coffey, RN, Burn Program Manager, Parkland Health
  • Tim Young, Executive Vice President, L.C. Williams and Associates, Communications
  • Torine Creppy, Executive Director, Safekids Worldwide

IMPACT-Tool Webinars

Overview of the IMPAC-Tool featuring AARBF Executive Director Daniel Chacon and Project Manager Ed Comeau

The role of Behavioral Science in messaging and developing the IMPAC-Tool with Dr. Ellie Kazemi, Research Assistant Coral Florian, AARBF Executive Director Daniel Chacon and Project Manager Ed Comeau

Making your communications more effective with LCWA Executive Vice President Tim Young and Project Manager Ed Comeau