Using this information as a starting point, conduct further research to find out what else could be done to improve communication to all stakeholders. This research will be based on topics (the communication process; barriers to the communication process; channels of communication; social media communication principles; group decision making and stakeholders)
Research covers all areas outlined in the instructions within the word limit
· Discussion is of appropriate depth and all aspects of the discussion are relevant to the situation
· Analysis demonstrates critical understanding and results in valid judgements and recommendations
· Discussion equitably compares the perspectives of different sources
· Discussion is supported by a substantial range of credible, current sources (references)
· Argument is persuasive and is ordered logically
The purpose of this report is to conduct a research on the communication facility of the stakeholders for suggesting ways for improvement. The discussion analyzes the communication process, barriers and principles of stakeholders and identify the reasons behind the noticeable gaps in communication. Following this the paper overviews the events and identifies the reasons and people responsible for the issue. The content of research is backed with communication theory and conclude with the key information and findings of the research. Finally the report recommends two strategies the government or council should implement to improve disaster management communication in the future.
The tremendous flooding throughout Queensland in early January 2011, rendered theree quarters of the state a disaster zone. The City Council and the Meteorology Bureau anticipated damage of 40,000 businesses and homes across Brisbane due to the flood. An urgent communication between the Council and the residents as well as the businesses in the affected area was necessary. The stakeholders of the crisis included the council members, the business organizations and the residents of the city. The crisis was worsened due to the lack of proper communication faculty. Some of the communication channels had failed, there were power outages, and some communities were isolated. However, the M & C branch devised a campaign to provide with crucial information on the flood to the residents of the state.
Based on the research, the city suffered serious communication issues during the flood and both the residents and the Council were affected by it. An integral aspect of disaster management is communication technology. The role of technology is equally important for all the different phases of disaster management namely response, preparedness, mitigation and recovery. Regular tools of communication like mobile phones may not work during natural calamities like floods, storms and cyclones. The protection provided by the disaster management forces should be immediate. The most critical problem with communication was power outages. As per communication theory, the processes involved with human communication is majorly based on technology, hence power cuts is the strongest barrier to effective and urgent communication. The roads being blocked during the Brisbane flood, there were issues with transportation and the disaster management could not travel to residential areas for spreading the word of mouth to people in jeopardy. Unstable network connections was another threat to communication. People could not reach out to either the Council or family members for help.
All the stakeholders of the crises were deeply affected by faulty communication facilities. A crisis like that required constant interaction between the disaster management teams and the residents who needed to be rescued. Apart from telecommunication applications, the city had an active social media which was initially used as a channel for spreading information about the imminent danger (Wattegamma 2014). These conduits were soon closed due to the lack of internet connectivity. Even satellite signals and wireless modules of communication were obstructed because of the flood. The management and planning of emergency communications is intricately related to regulations and policies. Lack of regulatory and legal regimes are reasons for failed telecommunications. The specialized services must cooperate horizontally at every level since it is as important as vertical mediums of communication during emergencies. The State Government along with the City Council is responsible for this crisis since they failed to establish links between telecommunication authorities, service providers and disaster coordinators. The enterprise of public communications have enjoyed monopoly, resulting to predicaments like these and hence the government should take necessary steps to curb their autonomy. According to the Shannon and Weaver model of communication theory, effective communication should consist of transmitting crucial information from the sender to the receiver. The disaster management resources of Brisbane lacked a proper transmitter and also suffered technical malfunctioning in the procedure of communication. The council was largely responsible for such mismanagement, as it evidently did not invest enough resources for effective communication during natural disasters or any other crisis. Further, the team responsible for communication management are too casual with their decision making process (Barlund 2017) . Circumstances like these call for urgent communications between the State heads and the disaster management forces so that they can come together to strike out a plan for relief and recovery. The principles of communication in Brisbane are not concrete enough to unite people during disasters.
The findings in the report indicate a vulnerability in technology-based communication. The units allotted with the responsibility of disaster management need better and more frequent interactions between each other for handling disasters and the affected people in a more effective way. The businesses were as affected as the residents during the disaster. The Council is responsible for not taking necessary precautions to avoid the occurrence of such circumstances. The city is not well adept with communication strategies during disasters and requires better and renewed polices both for communication and disaster management. There is also a noticeable lack of a proper announcement system for calamity preparedness.
The state requires an ideal communication system, adhering to the Shanon and Weaver model. The flow of communication will be most effective if divided into sections of sender, receiver and channel. The disaster management will need to make tangible investments on emergency power plants and information technology for effective communication during emergencies. The disaster management team may also introduce satellite and radio based communication since the internet cannot be availed during natural disasters. Satellites are capable of transferring data and information to geographically relevant places and does not succumb to damage during disasters unlike telephonic and other media and internet-based modes of communication. Radio networks are equally resistant to calamities and climatic factors. For better management of communication during disasters, the corresponding council may implement wireless communication which is modelled exclusively for emergency purposes. An emergency number or a connection that is fixed and government approved would help in critical times. This system should be simple and public friendly, centralized and uniform, accessible to all sections of the society.
Austin, E.W. and Pinkleton, B.E., 2015. Strategic public relations management: Planning and managing effective communication campaigns. Routledge.
Barnlund, D.C., 2017. A transactional model of communication. In Communication theory (pp. 47-57). Routledge.
Bohensky, E.L. and Leitch, A.M., 2014. Framing the flood: a media analysis of themes of resilience in the 2011 Brisbane flood. Regional Environmental Change, 14(2), pp.475-488.
Rakshit, S.K., International Business Machines Corp, 2014. Communication management method and system. U.S. Patent 8,775,530.
Ryan, B., 2010. Community communication during the Queensland floods.
Wattegama, C., 2014. ICT for disaster management.
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