Emergency communications management : analysis and application
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Adopted in 2003, the National Incident Management System is the nation’s first standardized management system unifying the actions of all levels of governments during a large-scale emergency response. It sets the standard for interagency coordination and communication in the event of an emergency. This professional report seeks to produce a working, NIMS-compliant emergency communication plan for the City of Austin, Texas. The report begins with an explanation of NIMS, focusing on the national protocols for interagency communication and public information. It then presents a case study of emergency communications in practice, examining two firestorms in San Diego County, California that occurred four years apart – prior to and after the County’s implementation of NIMS communications protocols. The report synthesizes best practices in emergency communications – from both NIMS research and the San Diego case study – to create the City of Austin Public Information and Emergency Communication Plan, an operational guide that fully utilizes the tools and organizational structure of all City departments, including the City’s Communications and Public Information Office.