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©Sides & Associates Theres No Such Thing as a Perfect Storm May 3, 2007
©Sides & Associates Department Responsibilities State Emergency Operations Center – Joint Information Center DHH Emergency Operations Center Special Needs Shelters Temporary Medical Operations Staging Area (TMOSA) Victim Identification Center Family Assistance Center
©Sides & Associates Communications Staffing Structure Four communications team members…for the entire state Regional Medical Directors must also serve as regional spokespersons
©Sides & Associates Pre-Storm Preparation Canned news releases DHH Emergency News Website –Used for hurricanes, disease outbreaks, flu vaccine shortages –Easily updated by all staff from remote locations Governors Communications Council
©Sides & Associates Katrina Realities Limited communications ability Had to utilize basic means of communication –Runners to Florida Parishes –Printed materials delivered to checkpoints Levels of government didnt always see eye-to-eye More locations to cover than staff available
©Sides & Associates Staffing Issues Temporary Medical Operations Staging Area (Louisiana State University) Security Issues with general public and media Required close work with LSU Media Relations Team
©Sides & Associates Reporting of Victims New territory for DHH Reputation management was key No speculation Media wants NUMBERS –Always qualify your numbers
©Sides & Associates Getting the Good News Out Embedding media in rescue missions was problematic High volume of clutter in media Difficult to get your message heard
©Sides & Associates Getting the Good News Out There were many good news stories Many important health messages were needed Paid media will help you cut through the clutter –Stay Healthy Louisiana
©Sides & Associates Expect the Unexpected Bad Media –Sneaking into facilities –Unethical journalism –Staging stories National Media Attention –CNN, MSNBC, FOX all have multiple shows with multiple producers Satellite trucks Relationships with local media are key
©Sides & Associates Lessons Learned Expect the unexpected – BE FLEXIBLE Everything you say has the potential to make news for another day –Hospital death reports –Names of the deceased –Concluding the search for victims When and when not to correct stories –FEMA Keep it short and to the point
©Sides & Associates Lessons Bring Change Enhanced planning on a state level –ESF 15 Planning –JIC Restructuring –GO Teams Revisions to communications staffing plans Enhanced partnership with LPHI on state and local level
©Sides & Associates Hurricane Katrina August 29, 2005
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