Media Briefing: Disaster Reporting and COVID-19 - Shared screen with speaker view
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And Julie Husk at IAEM is at firstname.lastname@example.org
For Rob and Dr. Montano, it's Seth Borenstein, science writer at The Associated Press. In hurricanes, people in evacuation zones are asked to leave. In COVID-19, they are asked to stay put. Putting people in close contact in shelters as you said is an issue. Some are raising the issue of using hotels as evac shelters, where you have rooms. Essentially commandeering (and paying for) hotels and motels. And activating hospitality workers as ad hoc first responders. What are the pros and cons of such a suggestion.
Do the state/local EMs specifically address broadcast meteorologists in local markets, or just news organizations in general?
In media markets with hazards like tornadoes, don’t wait til the disaster to identify hot spots of, or drivers of, vulnerability. Mobile and manufactured hones are being built at a scary pace in the Southeast. Strader / Ashley call this #expandingbullseye. mappable. https://twitter.com/Revkin/status/1080291570153390080
George - Most EM’s have access to NWS chat which allows them to connect directly with broadcast meteorologists.
Are counties/jurisdictions making special plans to get vulnerable seniors out of a disaster zone (fire, tornado, flood) to safe spaces where their chances of catching COVID-19 are reduced? (KQED)
Is there a central department and contact person in FEMA addressing the combined emergency response to a natural disaster while the nation is responding to COVID 19 ?
Rob didn't mention it, but he along with others including myself who are members of the American Meteorological Society Emergency Management committee, are working on a statement that basically says that the need to take shelter from a tornado is more urgent than the potential risk of potential exposure to the Covid-19 virus. The statement is in DRAFT form right now, but will promote the use of CDC guidelines on social distacving and protective gear while in the shelter. Bob Goldhammer, IAEM Liaison to the NWS and former chair of the AMS EM committee.
I don't know about FEMA, but the contact person for this natural hazard-COVID junction issue at NWS is Doug Hilderbrand.
Helpful personal-care and practice message for journalist thrust into covering the COVID19 pandemic from Pulitzer-winning Laurie Garrett. It’s worse than war reporting (stress-wise). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZQY1Lf2WmI
FEMA regional contacts can be found here: https://www.fema.gov/fema-regional-contacts
For the delivery of Food to Vulnerable populations; http://northstarneighbor.com/
The Dart Center has tips sheets for emotional self care during disasters and other crises. www.dartcenter.org
Mark Bejarano, NPR. Two of the biggest problems journalists are facing are information gaps and inconsistent messaging from different authorities. Given the proliferation of "news organizations" that have few qualms about filling the gaps with speculation, what steps are EMs taking to consolidate and coordinate the messaging delivered to journalists?
The Committee to Protect Journalist has issued safety guidelines for covering Cover-19. Keep an eye on updates as the situation unfolds
Mark - We are making sure that the information that is getting to the media is the latest guidance from our local authority having jurisdiction which in our case is our county health department.
The key challenge is to keep the general public and officials thinking of all of the other hazards and risks while they are, not surprisingly, focusing on COVID-19.
I am a member of the LAC Council of the IAEM, I would like to reference Disaster and Emergencies that can happen in the Caribbean, Latin and South America, with the coming Atlantic Hurriciane season that starts on June 1st to November 30th, if the COVID-19 Pandemic continues even thought many countries are trying to flatten their curve. EM and DM personnel have to re-think and re-write, re-plan their Disaster and Emergencies Interopertability plans. The Caribbean areas also have the Cocos Plate for seismic activity (remember Haiti), plus Volcanoes, plus Tsunamis . Also the Mental Health psychosocial support has also be noted during this COVID-19 manifestation, if there is a cascade of multiple-hazards that affect the Caribbean, Latin and South America regions, we now will have to think about the new-normal and multiple responses and recovery.
when will embrace climate change as regional hazard? we focus on response and recovery more than prevention, reduction, and mitigation. we do not include climate change adaption as a component of our All Hazards approach. we chase the result.
Robert…correct! What will the reaction be? Double ‘fear’ = paralysis to act? Or perhaps “double” engagement since folks are paying attention to a crisis? Any thoughts from the group…this is a psychological/social challenge.
John, kindly have a read of my contirbution
Barry, I would hope that it would be "double engagement"; this is our EM window of opportunity.
Robert, Barry, Our audience research tells us people are already frozen and either unable to act or simply tuned out of climate issues because of the enormity of the problem. We focus on providing solutions in order to help our audiences get through this fear/overwhelm. I would expect the same would be true of adding disasters on top of COVID….we would pay a lot of attention to how to help the audience through this.
Robert…my worry is that the most vulnerable among communities may already be on fear/panic’s edge…and adding a layer of natural hazard (especially hurricane or flood) seems more likely to paralyze them rather than induce them to act. In my area, where high adherence to devotion (Catholicism) is dominant…I could see people giving their future fate to God and only God.
One kind of solution reporting around COVID is “how to” — how to clean, how to wash your hands, how to protect yourself, how to be outdoors, etc.
I believe the way to get the message through to the public regarding global risk is to state the fact that disasters like a pandemic, space weather, climate change all have the potential to impact the world all at once, just like COVID.
Great reference on post disaster mental health issues: "The Human Side of Disaster" by Thomas E. Drabek. A good read to be prepared for issues happening now with our health care workers.
Mary Ann Swendsen
Clarification - Pandemic outbreaks have been happening and tracked. Also, states understand their gaps. Its more of the risk and choice to spend money to exercise and prepare.
Good point Barry. We were in an "enhanced" threat yesterday and really had good connection with the public through social media / media / etc. I think people were taking protective measures. Long-term events like hurricane / flood would likely be a different story.
yes Kat, I would challenge that it’s invisible or that it’s happening elsewhere. we now sufficient research to narrow climate risk by zip code like we do FPIC. it was taken out of the FEMA strategic plan. I look forward to working with my colleagues on climate change and public health
Also, re mental health, during bad wildfires, we do stories about using somatic, breathing, and cognitive ways to calm the nervous system.
Thank you everyone
Yes, thank you for this session! I appreciate it.
This was really useful. Thank you John and everyone involved!
Thank you everyone
The topic of "climate change" is probably going to be a hard sell right now since too many people can't wrap their minds around it under normal circumstances, That said, trying to promote preparedness for specific threats is a strong possibility and will hopefully effect a reversal of the disaster paralysis.
Rob, thank you for your Service! Everyone else, thank you and God's Blessings to all
Great discussion…a lot to unpack but great to hear so many ideas out there. Thanks!
great discussion thank you everyone
Already working on that through IAEM.
Very helpful tips; doing our best to respond in urban informal settlements in Kenya where social distancing is unrealistic, and the sites are at risk of floods. Thank you everyone
Mary Ann Swendsen
Mahalo and IEAM, great job!
Thanks for doing it!
Thank you so much for this and for all that you do.
Great job, thanks.