Central Florida Communicators Meeting Reflects on Hurricane Irma and Emergency Preparedness

Community & Services

Communication professionals from across Central Florida recently met at Orange County’s Emergency Operations Center to discuss lessons learned and the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Maria.

The keynote speaker was Stacie Miller, public information officer for Kissimmee Police Department. Miller’s presentation reflected on the tragic deaths of Kissimmee police officers Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter.

“It’s important for public information officers to share their experiences with each other, the good, the bad and the ugly,” Miller said. “It provides opportunity for others to learn from accomplishments and mistakes. My experience may be very different from anyone else, but sharing how I handled our tragedy may lay a foundation for another PIO who may have to handle a similar incident. It’s imperative for those in our field to lean on and learn from each other.”

The Central Florida Communications Meeting, attended by more than 50 communicators and public information officers from area hospitals, municipalities, universities, utilities, regional transportation and mobility agencies, theme parks and hospitality organizations, is hosted quarterly by Orange County’s Communications Division as part of the County’s emergency preparedness planning.

The meeting focused on press conferences, media releases and social media communication between municipalities, residents, businesses and news organizations during Hurricane Irma.

Featured Photo: Central Florida communicators joined together at the Orange County Emergency Operations Center to share lessons learned during Hurricane Irma and Maria. Central Florida communicators meet quarterly to improve communications between Central Florida municipalities, residents, businesses and news media.  

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