In the organized world of emergency response, the Incident Command System (ICS) and the language that is used is the standard for coordination of a safe and efficient method of response to an emergency or disaster.
If you are a community member or local government staff new to the world of emergency response or recovery and find yourself as a participant or just listening to a conversation involving first responders, you might think it is a new language that no one told you about. Basically, it is.
Once the incident is deemed safe; the evacuees have gone home; and recovery is underway, there is the luxory of more time to think and consider your language and conversations.
However, at the front end (i.e. in response ) to remain efficient and attempt to maintain clear communications in tense situations amongst different people, there are many words and phrases that have been shortened into acronyms for brevity.
You can go here for a healthy list of acronyms that will help in understanding some emergency management conversations and perhaps keep you from feeling something like a deer in the headlights when listening or taking part in these kinds of discussions in future.
And this article helps to explain further the potentially confusing world of emergency management language and why it is a very good idea to understand and instill ahead of time, the language of EM into your daily routine – so when it is needed everyone will understand the conversations taking place.