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Disaster Communications in a Changing Media World


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Effective communication, via TV news or text messaging, can save lives during a disaster!

Table of Contents

1. Communications: The Critical Function 2. The Changing Media World 3. The "New" Newsroom 4. Disaster Coverage Past and Present 5. Principles of a Successful Communications Strategy 6. Application of Communications Principles to all Four Phases of Emergency Management 7. Disaster Communications Audiences 8. How to Adapt to the Changing Media Environment 9. Case Studies 10. Climate Change 11. Communicating During a Public Health Crisis 12. Building an Effective Disaster Communications Capability in a Changing Media World

About the Author

George Haddow currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management at The George Washington University, Washington, DC. Prior to joining George Washington University, Mr. Haddow worked for eight years in the Office of the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as the White House Liaison and the deputy Chief of Staff. In these positions, Mr. Haddow was involved in the day-to-day management of FEMA responsible for the Director's communications; policy formulation in the areas of disaster response, public/private partnerships, public information, environmental protection and disaster mitigation including the design and implementation of FEMA's national disaster mitigation initiative entitled Project Impact: Building Disaster Resistant Communities. As the Agency liaison with the White House for Presidential appointments to headquarters and FEMA regional positions, Mr. Haddow worked directly with the FEMA Director and the White House Office of Presidential Personnel in the recruitment and the hiring of all Presidential appointments at FEMA. He also managed FEMA's disaster management and mitigation projects in Argentina, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Ecuador and the Bahamas and coordinated FEMA activities with Korea and South Africa. As the Sierra Club's National Communications Director, Kim Haddow oversees the Club's branding efforts, strategic communications planning, message development, and earned and paid media. Her duties include coordination and management of the Media Team, Sierra Magazine, the Web and Publishing Services Teams and Sierra Club Productions. Haddow joined the Sierra Club after working nine years as its media consultant and advertising agency. Other Haddow Communications, Inc., clients included the Apollo Project - a joint environmental/union initiative, Ocean Champions, Public Campaign, the National PTA, the U.S. State Department, the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, and The Trust for America's Health. Before starting her own business, Haddow worked for eight years at Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Burns, winning a number of awards for her work - including a National Silver Anvil for Johnson and Johnson's National SAFEKIDS public relations campaign. Haddow began her career as an editor, reporter and ultimately news director for WWL-AM, a 24-hour all news station in New Orleans. While there, Haddow received more than 30 local, state and regional awards for her writing and reporting.


"This book defines the key elements of disaster communications with a focus on methods to achieve successful communications along with the principles that should carry the communications along."--Shannon Parker, St. Louis University Institute for Biosecurity

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