How to get the right and timely information to as many people as possible in plain and easy language to understand is key to communicating in the face of disaster, an important lesson conveyed to roomful of reporters this past week as members of the media learn how to better communicate in the face of disaster.
Extreme weather conditions that Palau had recently experienced, Typhoon Surigae in April and recent heavy monsoon rains in the past two weeks provided examples and starting points for both young and veterans reporters in the local media to learn how to communicate better in face of disaster.
To learn more about the weather, the terminologies, the reporting from key agencies, local media reporters met with Palau weather meteorologists and National Emergency director as well as attend zoom presentation with Guam’s Warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service, WFO Guam. They also shared experiences reporting disaster information amongst themselves, learning best practices.
Marcus Landon Aydlett, Warning Coordination Meteorologist from Guam explained, “when facing weather threat, people want to know what that threat is, what it means to them (impacts) and when.
In one single simple email for example, should contain all the necessary information a person needs to know to be prepared. “Text is plain language, easy to read/understand, tells reader what they want to know, when to expect new information and where to go for information.”
Local media members believe that the information being disseminated, especially coming from national offices responsible, are too full of jargons, too technical and do not provide necessary information a person need to make a decision.
The training continues this week to raise local reporting capacity, building right communication skills critical to disaster preparedness. (By: L.N. Reklai)