Understanding communication and coordination among government and service organisations after a disaster

Understanding communication and coordination among government and service organisations after a disaster

This study found that 91 organisations and departments were indicated as playing a part in the relief effort at some point during the two weeks following Hurricane Katrina.

This study shows how integral communication is to disaster response. Moore et al. (2004) mentioned that the research on disaster management is commonly divided into four phases:

  1. preparation
  2. response
  3. relief
  4. recovery

Each of these phases depends on communication to be carried out successfully. To ensure that organisations are properly prepared for potential catastrophe, they must create clear avenues of communication between themselves. This includes planning and preparing with other organisations before disaster strikes. The role and responsibility of each organisation involved in the response should be established before the catastrophic event (Kahn and Barondess, 2008).

By doing this, the reality of differences in organisational goals, structures, cultures and language can be addressed. Otherwise, relief efforts will continue to be hampered by conflicting organisational missions, protocols and normative behaviour patterns.

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