Local Response and Recovery
All disasters are local. People must first rely on local community resources. Well-integrated local communication networks are critical to creating resilient communities.
Crises happen at a specific place. True first responders will be members of the community, including neighbors, friends, and family. Local assets will be the first deployed. This means the first emergency messages must also be developed at the local level.
Local responders take responsibility for emergencies largely because of proximity—they are simply closest to a crisis. However, they are also uniquely positioned to speak to the needs of affected communities. Local communicators are likely to understand the traditions, values, and history of their audiences. As members of the community themselves, local communicators are apt to share the same information they want to protect themselves and their families.
Local communication plans that incorporate Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) principles can help communities reduce risks, respond more effectively, and recover more quickly.