Blog 2: Communication and ICS
Communication is important in any organization, but when dealing with disasters, emergencies, or events, communication becomes vital to success.
The ICS, a practice of FEMA, is “a standardized management tool for meeting the demands of small or large emergency or non emergency situations.” ICS has become the nation’s “go to” method in cases of emergency. And even cases of non emergencies, like event planning, or small incidents, ICS has been used and been very useful.
As one can imagine, communication in stressful situations, no matter what that situation may be, can be very difficult. That’s where the ICS comes in. With a plan clearly mapped out, the ICS makes communication simple and easy. Communication is extremely important in many situations where ICS is used because a lot of times there are lot of people involved, whether that be victims, or potential victims, volunteers, the community, the media, etc need to be informed of what is exactly going on. Along with this, there needs to be one, clear message sent to all these groups. With ICS, the Incident Commander is able to communicate a clearly with everyone, without multiple people contradicting him or throwing in their opinion.
Communication is just as important within the people working the ICS. There are many different organizational people working the ICS and to be effective, each one of these people needs to be informed and on the same page. Positions can range from the Incident Commander, to the Operations Section, to the to the task force, to the food unit. All of these people need to know what’s going on and what they need to do. It is important they receive this information directly from their supervisor, who received it from the supervisor, and so on. This prevents any misscommunication and wrong information. The ICS has a very specific chain of command that prevents these problems.
Above is an example of ICS’s clear, defined chain of command that assists in successful communication. It is critical that the ICS follows it’s plan precisely to make sure communication is effective and the disaster, emergency, or event is handled properly and successfully.
As mentioned earlier, the ICS is a system from, FEMA. I encourage everyone to learn more about the ICS and actually get trained and certified on it here, or learn more about FEMA and it’s other procedures.