Home > BLOG 3, Crisis Communication > Blog #3: Parallels of Disaster Communication

Blog #3: Parallels of Disaster Communication

In my opinion, what we have learned about crisis and disaster communication in class, runs parallel to FEMA’s public information system.  According to the National Incident Management System (NIMS), Public Information consists of the

processes, procedures, and systems for communicating timely, accurate, accessible information on incident cause, size, and, current situation, resources committed, and other general matters.

What we have learned so far this semester is that preparing and responding to a crisis is most successful when it works as a well polished system, with different components that all coordinate and work together.  Some of the main responsibilities of a

 Public Information Officer (PIO), are to identify key messages that need to be communicated to the public, and to prioritize these messages in a timely manner without overwhelming the public with too much information.  In order to do this accurately, many different people must be involved.  For example, the immediate responders to the crisis must communicate with superiors on the progress and needs of the situation, and that information then must be analyzed, clarified, and then addressed to public.

While many of the components of Public Information Officers work synonymously to all types of crisis communication, PIO’s seem to often be specifically focused on the message of the crisis.  This includes what the message is, the severity of the message, who it is intended to reach, and how it is delivered.  PIO’s are also more intently focused on monitoring the media aspect of the situation, including their response to the crisis, what information is being conveyed, and correcting anything

that is wrongly received.  Joint Information Centers are a physical location where many of these things are overseen during and after the incident, which specifically includes gathering, verifying, coordinating, and disseminating information.

While gathering information, field PIO’s report observations to the JIC, monitor the media, and provide ongoing official information on response efforts.  In the verifying information stage, accuracy of the information is verified from other PIO’s including on and off the field.  Coordinating information includes establishing key messages and obtaining approval.  Lastly, disseminating information includes using multiple messages and monitoring the media closely for falsely portrayed details of the crisis.

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  1. October 26, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Nice post. Good overview. Clean formatting and good writing. Great job overall. Be sure to add tags to your post in addition to the categories.

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