POP-ALERT is based on the principle that the key to a successful Crisis Management Process is effective communication. When a crisis occurs, the flows of communication between the different actors enable the response to be quick and effective. Although the flows of communication between the authorities and the first-responders are already strong and easier to manage, the communication of both actors with the population is still somewhat unreliable.
As shown in the graphic bellow, the information needs to flow between all three actors. In current systems, the authorities and first-responders are made aware of a situation through different monitoring technologies along with certain emergency calls from the population. The objective of this project is to have a positive and prepared first reaction of the population, who would already facilitate the work of the first-responders prior to their arrival onsite. If the population is prepared and organises into networks in order to promote the correct reactions, help the people in need and accurately inform the authorities and first-responders of the situation, a lot of damage can be avoided and contained. The authorities decide the amount and type of resources needed and communicate directly with the first-responders while the population affected by the disaster, being in the front row, has the key information for the authorities to make these decisions. Furthermore, if the population is prepared, the right information can be transmitted to the first-responders when they arrive on site and their collaboration can be key to improve the situation.

Pandemic planning must be comprehensive and take an expanded view of the social dynamics and impacts that occur at both the community and individual level when engaging in disaster communications. The audience, substance, truthfulness, timing, consistency, frequency and method of delivery are all important factors in successfully achieving an effective and sustained communications initiative.
The importance POP-ALERT gives to the involvement of the population shows a “Bottom-up” approach as the effectiveness of the work coming from above (authorities and first-responders) depends on the preparedness of the actors directly affected by the situation, the population. The project however recognises that the preparedness of the population depends on the information and training given by the authorities and the first-responders and therefore proposes an approach that blends both “Bottom-up” and “Top-down” approaches.