Unified Command is Essential to Emergency Response

Aug 26, 2022 | Media, Public Affairs, Public Relations

Responding to emergencies requires a unified command from all key institutions. The unified command has a policy and infrastructure available for emergency command centers to effectively respond to fire, hurricanes, earthquakes, active shootings, criminal activity, or other public situations. However, implementing a unified command requires effective coordination through delivering public and interagency information and internal and external communications. For various reasons, efficient correspondence is greatly needed to respond appropriately to emergencies.

Here are some of the compelling reasons for the importance of having a unified command between the public and interagency parties, as well as internal and external communications:

Efficient Decision-Making By Key Authorities

Emergencies need efficient decision-making by crucial authorities. However, to assess the situation and possible solutions, it is imperative that agencies and departments can gather accurate information and account for available resources that would allow critical decision-makers to reach their decisions. A unified command would allow the practical gathering and sharing of information between inter-agencies and inter-departments to enable key decision makers to examine the situation from critical angles and apply the resources available to respond to the emergency effectively.

Quick Response Time To The Crisis

Related to the point above, a quick response time to emergencies is often a matter of life and death. By having a unified command between interagency, other agencies would be made aware of the crisis, what the responding agency needs, and how different agencies could assist in ensuring that the critical responding team gets to the emergency location faster. Moreover, a direct public announcement of the situation could advise the public to steer clear of certain areas or be on the lookout for the responding team and allow them to go through.

Public Safety During The Emergency

As noted above, the public is an integral part of emergencies and could greatly assist or add more to the issues of emergency events. By having a unified command that addresses the public of the seriousness of the crisis, the people could assess and respond to the situation to protect themselves from being part of the emergency that could further burden the responding team. Thus, effective communication with the public is a powerful tool to keep the public safe and further prevent other problems resulting in more emergencies.

In addition, a unified command would avail one voice as they address the public. By having a unified command representing all the agencies and departments involved, they could present a unified statement that would prevent public confusion in an emergency. Moreover, such unified command addressing the public would allow an authoritative narrative of the problem to ensure public safety.

Successfully responding to an emergency is rarely, if ever, a single agency effort. Rather, it is typically a collective effort between various agencies, internal and external, and the public. Thus, a compelling unified command could be the much-needed key to a rewarding resolution to an emergency.

If you have any questions about public relations that could affect your business or policies or require any social or community relations, give us a call to schedule a consultation today.

About the Author

  • Jaime Rojas

    Jaime Rojas is the Chief Communicator of Rojas Communications. A native Angelino, Jaime is a graduate of the University of Southern California and has over 25 years of local, state & federal experience in public affairs, public relations & marketing. Jaime served as a White House Intern under President Clinton, has worked for several major companies, and is the author of two books.