Blog #2: Role of Communication in ICS
There are wild fires roaring throughout the land in your community, a tornado tearing throughout your neighborhood, or even a hurricane washing up your home. What do you need to help keep you safe? Communication.
A message that is the same across the board needs to be delivered. And it needs to be delivered quickly, efficiently, and effectively. This is where communication comes in and with the use of the Incident Command System (ICS) all of this can be achieved in a moment of crisis.
According to FEMA’s website, ICS is:
a standardized, on-scene, all-hazards incident management approach that:
- Allows for the integration of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure.
- Enables a coordinated response among various jurisdictions and functional agencies, both public and private.
- Establishes common processes for planning and managing resources.
So where exactly does communication come into play with the Incident Command System? The better question is where does communication NOT come into play. The answer is everywhere.
From the beginning phases of getting the message across concerning a catastrophe to the organizing, planning, and logistics of disaster relief communication is the key component. It is extremely important when communicating a message using ICS that individuals stay consistent and united. Nothing could disrupt progress more than a changed message. Additionally, the message needs to be communicated in a means that is understandable to every body. For example, sending out a message using technical jargon would be completely ineffective because very few individuals would know what actions to take.
Communication is even required the entire way throughout ICS, even after an event is over or all relief has been followed through. It is important to analyze the event and the way ICS was either effective or not. This communication could come from victims of the disaster or those assisting through ICS.
After actually looking into the importance of the role of communication in ICS I wonder what would happen if we removed it from the process. My bet is there would no longer be an Incident Command System.