Significance of communication in emergency management

Article


Ryan, Barbara and Matheson, Amalia. 2010. "Significance of communication in emergency management." The Australian Journal of Emergency Management. 25 (1), pp. 54-57.
Article Title

Significance of communication in emergency management

ERA Journal ID36014
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsRyan, Barbara (Author) and Matheson, Amalia (Author)
Journal TitleThe Australian Journal of Emergency Management
Journal Citation25 (1), pp. 54-57
Number of Pages4
Year2010
PublisherEmergency Management Australia
Place of PublicationMt Macedon, Australia
ISSN1324-1540
2204-2288
Web Address (URL)http://www.ema.gov.au/www/emaweb/rwpattach.nsf/VAP/%288AB0BDE05570AAD0EF9C283AA8F533E3%29~Ryan+&+Matheson.pdf/$file/Ryan+&+Matheson.pdf
Abstract

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.

Keywordsemergency; disaster; communication; community engagement; community education; warnings; content review; debrief
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020470108. Organisational, interpersonal and intercultural communication
Public Notes

File reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/author.

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Humanities and Communication
University of the Sunshine Coast
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