An Emergency Communications Shortfall: The Elliott Lake Mall Collapse

The preliminary findings of the Public Inquiry into the Elliott Lake Mall Collapse leads to a communications shortfall.

The Elliott Lake Public Inquiry is getting it correct. Much of the frustration both Elliott Lake community members and the broader Ontario audience experienced, resulted from lack of implementing an up-to-date emergency communications strategy.

As the preliminary findings of the public inquiry indicate, there was not skilled communications personnel on site or on the emergency response team in the Elliott Lake community when needed most…at the onset, during the response, and in the recovery of this disaster.

Both municipal governments and emergency managers need to take note of these findings. Your reputation is at stake when you fail to meet the fast paced demands by the community when such incidents occur.

Gone are the days of ‘issuing a news release’ and all will be well. The convergence of social media and smart phone technology has thrown the media cycle timetable out the door with yesterday’s trash. Sadly, local government, emergency managers and much of the broader emergency response community have still to learn this simple truth.

I’m posting the following CBC North news clip for your reference…it’s well worth a listen!