This post was written for a uni assessment in which it was important to specify a particular job of interest. Although I have an interest in disaster management I am interested in a number of different career paths at the moment. Thankfully I have another two years to figure out where I want to start.
In order to be successful as a media and communications strategist for disaster management in the future, I have involved myself in several relevant activities now. Firstly, I have joined the SES to help in the development of my communication skills as well as gain valuable knowledge in the area of disaster relief whilst giving back to my community. Secondly, I am making a conscious effort to develop my social media skills, a valuable competency in our technologically driven society.
I am a newly inducted community member (lowest rank) in the Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) following three months of introductory training which honed in on the basics. In order to become a media and communication specialist for disaster management I think it’s important for me to have practical experience in dealing with people who have been affected by a disaster. I believe having strong and effective communication skills requires experience and understanding. You can’t begin to communicate effectively with someone if you don’t have the experience or understanding. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with those who are in potentially devastating or stressful situations. I still have a lot to experience and learn from the SES but I know that in time my experiences will help me understand why certain procedures are in place.
The Importance of Social Media
This image is an example of a post I made during the January 2013 floods. As you can see, this tweet was retweeted by 10 different users including QPS Media Unit which is the Queensland Police Service twitter account. During an emergency it is important to restrict travel. Driving over this bridge was causing a traffic hazard as people were having to turn around and drive back over a bridge which had rising flood waters below it. No emergency services had arrived at this stage to direct traffic so not only did my tweet potentially provide new information to QPS but it advised locals who are on twitter of the hazard so they could take an alternate route.
This slideshow presents pictures that I took during the 2013 January floods. All of these images were uploaded to twitter as a means with which to provide consumers of news with immediate updates of the disaster.