Date of Award

5-2016

Document Type

Capstone-Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Program Name

Public Administration

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Christi Bartman

Abstract

Emergency management agencies have not, historically, adopted bi-directional communication models to support how information is shared with the citizens. The goal of this project is to develop a recommended communication plan, for the City of Manassas Park, which includes the use of social media platforms to support the emergency management principles. Action based research is being used to develop the recommended communication policy. Four research questions have been identified to structure the research around: 1) What are the communication priorities of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command Structure (ICS)? 2) What are the social media trends in emergency communications? 3) What communication needs should be addressed with the revised communication plan? And 4) What social media platforms can be used to support those identified communication needs? The adoption of bi-directional communication tools is essential to modern emergency management practices. The structure of the traditional NIMS system does allow for the adoption of such tools, however, the development of a dynamic team able to manage bi-directional information must be addressed if the employing of such resources is to be successful.

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