Blog #2: Role of Communication in ICS
Emergencies happen fast and when they do, it’s important to know what to do. Organizations like FEMA create systems such as the Incident Command System (ICS) to do just that. People who specify in this area of work are highly trained in notifying citizens of the crisis at hand. We all use communication on various levels even when an emergency isn’t occurring. It’s when an emergency is actually happening that strong and effective communication skills are key.
The ICS is made up of numerous teams of people to help ensure citizens are safe during a crisis. There are many branches within the ICS such as the incident commander, public information officer, safety officer, etc. The list of branches is almost endless. Before and/or while is crisis occurs, it’s up to the employees of the ICS to work together to create a strategy to keep as many people, both within and outside the team, as safe as possible. Within the team, a strategy to communicate with the public needs to be thought out and then acted upon.
Questions like “what is the fastest way to warn them about the crisis” and “how can we get this information to as many people as possible? How severe is the crisis at hand?” the public will want answers to. Such answers may include contacting the local television network to interrupt the set programming in order to send out a severe weather warning or watch. Another may be to send out mass text messages to the people who have signed up to receive emergency texts.
It’s systems like ICS that help to keep everyone safe during crises. Without people who are trained to communicate through crises, the world would be more chaotic than it already is. People need someone to guide them, especially during a scary crisis like a hurricane or tornado. People don’t think straight when they are on high alert and it takes a team of trained people to help guide everyone through it. ICS does what they can to ensure the safety of the public and they do this through communicating within the team and the public as well.