The FEMA public information training fits very well with what we have been covering in this course. It repeated some things that were discussed in class so far and introduced some new ideas.
One thing that the course went over that we have been discussing is the importance of having a spokesperson. This was something that we have discussed several times, with the CDC module, textbook, and now with NIMS. It is important to have a key spokesperson to avoid confusion and to make sure the right message is getting out to the stakeholders. Another thing that we have gone over is staying on the same page. Ways of doing this include; speaking about your own program only, developing 1 or 2 key messages, and coming up with rhymes and acronyms.
Some things that FEMA went into detail on that we did not discuss as much in class were the PIO, JIS and JIC. The PIO (public information officer) is in charge of keeping track of messages by gathering, verifying, coordinating, and disseminating them.
The JIS (joint information system) is the actual system used to coordinate information and integrate all parties involved. The JIC (joint information center) is the actual location where parties come together to gather ideas and messages.
I think that the FEMA training was a helpful addition to this course and helped me realize that the things we’ve been going over in class are real and are used during “real life” disasters.