Got to spend some valuable time this week interacting with communications and information folks learning about Joint Information Systems and Joint Information Centers. Joint = Collaborative!
The Queens of Information (in my opinion...) Kris Eriksen and Laura McConnell described these systems as collaborative agreements between groups (that don't give up any of their organizational roles or responsibilities!) to address the collective information needs of a community during an emergency situation.
Wow, is this possible? YES! With multiple examples from across the West, these systems provide the framework for folks from fire, law enforcement, school districts, public health, counties, cities, hospitals, Red Cross, etc., to work together collaboratively during fires or any other emergency.
What's the secret? Kris and Laura suggest that it's the ability of communicators to come together and "demonstrate necessary strategic thinking skills and ability to work together in a way that eliminates ego and territorial behavior for the goal of better information, collaboration and flow." Good stuff.
A great example of collaborative behaviors leading to better informed, fire adapted communities:
Mesa County Joint Information System
For more information about how to set up a JIS in your area, contact Kris Eriksen at firstname.lastname@example.org or PIOMcConnell@gmail.com.