Home > BLOG 3, Crisis Communication > Blog Post 3: Crisis Communication PIC Training

Blog Post 3: Crisis Communication PIC Training

The FEMA Public Information Systems(PIC) training for the National Incident Management System, or NIMS, supplements our classes understanding of crisis communication by providing a distinct framework for multiple organizations that might be affected by a disaster.  I thought that the training hammered home the idea of FEMA’s utilization of resources across a broad scope of government and private entities.  The idea that disasters affect more than just our government or the citizens involved is shown by the system of communication that FEMA has set up in anticipation of man made and mother nature induced disasters.  I really bought into the idea of crisis communication being broadcast through different channels that reach individually affected audiences.  The Joint Information System (JIC) that FEMA uses:

provides the mechanism to organize, integrate, and coordinate information to ensure timely, accurate, accessible, and consistent messaging across multiple jurisdictions and/or disciplines with nongovernmental organizations and the private sector.

In this way, FEMA can transmit the right disaster message to the right people at the right time so that they can make the right decisions.  This model of crisis communication during a disaster is consistent with the information we have learned in class.  We have learned in class that in order for crisis communication to be efficient, information needs to get to those who need it in a way that those parties understand.  A main point in class was accuracy and understandability of crisis messages.  FEMA also stresses accuracy across networks and information that is easy to understand by all parties.  FEMA’s system has the ability to adapt to the size and location of each individual disaster.  No mater how large or small the disaster is, their system of providing accurate information to those affected remains consistent.  We have also learned that these messages are easier to convey if they are established before a crisis actually occurs.  The importance of preparation in the field of crisis communication has been evident in our studies of crisis communication as a class.  FEMA also stresses disaster preparedness in regards to public information systems and the importance of not only a prepared society but a prepared disaster management team is crucial to providing a timely, accurate and well informed message to the public.  By completing FEMA’s training program for the National Incident Management System, my knowledge of disaster preparedness and message development has been supplemented in regards to what we have learned in class.  The program clearly defines every role of communication during a crisis and outlines the system for disaster communication in a thorough manner.  I feel more informed about how the crisis communication plan will work in a disaster.

This segmented map of North Dakota shows how FEMA separates the state into certain zones, each provided with a possible location for a Joint Information Center in case of a local level disaster.

This map of Regional Contact Hubs for FEMA shows how the US splits up certain regions and designates certain cities as potential hubs for Joint Information Centers. These hubs would be used if the disaster could not be coordinated from a smaller regional hub.


  1. October 26, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Good post overall. Nice overview of the content. One suggestion is to break up your text a little more. As it appears now, your blog post has one huge block of text at the beginning. You’ve got some quote formatting and some words bolded, which is good, but breaking this text up so there is space between paragraphs will make the post easier to read and it will look sharper.

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