Emergency Communication

By Joelyn Hansen

Students work as a team during the emergency communications exercise.[/caption]

It’s no surprise that I love to talk about communication. So, it’s no surprise that I would enjoy communications training.

In early January I attended a week-long training for public information officers at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The training was specifically geared for teaching about operating an emergency communication system.

In the event there is an emergency situation – earthquake, major accident, flooding, etc. – there would be a dire and important need to make sure emergency responders are communicating any information to the public.

It will be up to the PIOs to make sure residents know what’s going on, what to expect, and ultimately how to respond in an emergency. It’s also important that the public is able to communicate their needs to the emergency operations center.

All this information will be expected to flow in and out of the emergency operations center with the help of the PIOs.  Not always an easy task considering how much information there may be in an emergency.

In fact, in our first pre-exercise for our big training exercise, I’d say we failed as there was a bottleneck of information. But, luckily, we figured it out, made some adjustments and information flowed smoothly.

[caption id=”attachment_1950″ align=”alignright” width=”300″> 20140109_170559 The Emergency Management Institute campus once was the location of the first girls parochial school in the U.S.

Training is really important and this training proved to be worth it. I learned a lot. Hopefully, I’ll be able to continue practicing and applying skills – just hopefully not in a real-life situation anytime soon.

By the way, the campus the training was held has an interesting history. It started out as a Catholic girls’ school (St. Joseph’s Academy) opened by Mother Seton in 1809, making it the first parochial school for girls in the U.S.

Emergency Communication