Home > BLOG 2, Crisis Communication > Blog #2: Communication and the ICS

Blog #2: Communication and the ICS

FEMA workers and a sweet map.

The entire purpose of the Incident Command System (ICS) is to operate as a framework that gives those responding to different types of crises a definite course of action. There are typically many different groups and organizations that respond in times of crisis and when everyone is on the same page the necessary work can be completed more safely and effectively.

Established in the 1970’s, the ICS works to reduce miscommunication by using a hierarchical system o f management to delegate power. This specific arrangement of power is established prior to the time of the crisis and must be adhered to from the moment the crisis occurs until the workers are no longer needed on the scene. This layout of this system can be illustrated with the following chart:

 

 

A handy and colorful chart illustrating the ICS hierarchy.

Communication is highly important to the success of the ICS, because without the proper communication, workers could easily misunderstand the specific job they are to do, or how to go about doing said job. Even by simply reporting to the wrong supervisor, one worker could jeopardize the entire structure and put themselves or others in unnecessary danger. Miscommunication is not only dangerous, but also makes the recovery process of the crisis taking longer than necessary, which means it would cost more money. This is why it is extremely important to communicate clearly and effectively when working under ICS conditions. Communication doesn’t simply play a role in the ICS, good communication is what makes the ICS work!

This is important looking.

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  1. September 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Nice post. Good final sentence. Good use of images, but maybe play with having your text break around the images for better integration of text and visuals. But overall good job.

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