Just what is the significance of communication in emergency management? An attempt to find empirical evidence by content analysis of reviews and debriefs of Australian emergency incidents and exercises

Paper


Ryan, Barbara and Matheson, Amalia. 2009. "Just what is the significance of communication in emergency management? An attempt to find empirical evidence by content analysis of reviews and debriefs of Australian emergency incidents and exercises." 2009 Emergency Media and Public Affairs Conference: Engaging in Emergencies. Melbourne, Australia 24 - 26 May 2009 Melbourne, Australia.
Paper/Presentation Title

Just what is the significance of communication in emergency management? An attempt to find empirical evidence by content analysis of reviews and debriefs of Australian emergency incidents and exercises

Presentation TypePaper
AuthorsRyan, Barbara (Author) and Matheson, Amalia (Author)
Journal or Proceedings TitleProceedings of the 2009 Emergency Media and Public Affairs Conference
Year2009
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
Web Address (URL) of Paperhttp://www.emergencymedia.org.au
Conference/Event2009 Emergency Media and Public Affairs Conference: Engaging in Emergencies
Event Details
2009 Emergency Media and Public Affairs Conference: Engaging in Emergencies
Event Date
24 to end of 26 May 2009
Event Location
Melbourne, Australia
Abstract

[Introduction]: Operational success in responding to an emergency might easily be measured in terms the number of lives and properties saved. Media images of fire fighters or State Emergency Services rescue boats in action during flood are evidence to the community, emergency managers and politicians that emergency agency resources are hard at work. Unfortunately, the effect of communication around the same emergency is hard to measure and such measurement not resourced. This may result in communication teams being starved of resources that can not easily be justified by emergency managers in terms of outcomes. Despite this, debriefing sessions often seem to be dominated by issues surrounding communication with the media and community.

This study was commissioned by the Emergency Media and Public Affairs Research and Development committee and investigates suspicions of practitioners that, while communication teams are small, communication is a large component of emergency management that can easily turn into an issue (Rekers, Delaney & Wilson 2008). It attempts to quantify the significance of communication to emergency management. It will undertake a content analysis of a sample of documents that have been produced in Australia as a result of emergency incident and emergency exercise debriefing sessions and reviews from 2003 to 2008 and will measure the number of recommendations specific to or relating to communications against the total number of recommendations.

The term ‘communications’ in this paper includes agency-community communication, community-agency communication, intra- and inter-agency communication and deals with messaging, channels and technology.

Keywordscommunication, emergency management, disaster, community
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020359999. Other commerce, management, tourism and services not elsewhere classified
Public Notes

No evidence of copyright restrictions.

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Humanities and Communication
University of the Sunshine Coast
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