Management of Issues, Crisis and a Disaster in Emergency Operations

Wildfires, Floods
and Chaos Communications Podcast

Join our team of information officers as we recount the intense 2023 British Columbia wildfire season, marked by 10,000 evacuees, theft and sabotage of firefighting equipment, protests, and nearly 300 destroyed or damaged structures. We navigate the challenges of crisis communications amid these wildfires and floods, compounded by a ban on news and the declining impact of Canadian news media.
We explore effective strategies for managing misinformation, coordinating resources, and maintaining public trust during wildfires and floods. Hear personal stories from the front lines, lessons from past emergencies, and insights on preparation and training. Our podcast offers valuable knowledge for professionals and anyone interested in crisis communications.
Follow Wildfires, Floods, and Chaos Communications to stay informed on managing chaos in disasters.
Wildfires, Floods and Chaos Communications Podcast
five: Released June 25, 2024

Voices in the Inferno: Emergency Communication

In the eye of the storm, communication is key.

In this episode, Tim Conrad and Kendra Stoner discuss the high stakes of emergency communication.

They discuss the challenges and rewards of managing emergency operations centres (EOCs) during British Columbia's intense 2023 wildfire season.

Kendra highlights the importance of effective communication, maintaining public trust, and the emotional resilience required for this demanding work.

The episode underscores the critical role of preparation, strong team dynamics, and the personal commitment needed to support communities in crisis.

Listen For:
03:14 - The Hybrid EOC Challenge
06:02 - Overcoming Burnout in Emergencies
11:37 - Personal and Professional Detachment
22:36 - The Importance of Preparation

Guest: Kendra Stoner

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Kendra freediving off Vancouver Island Messaging for the Bush Creek East Wildfire from multiple services Messaging part 2 The wind event caused significant fire growth and losses PSA from the CSRD created on the day of the wind event Kendra Stoner illustration
four: Released June 18, 2024

Crisis On the Ground: Public Outreach and Personal Recovery

From the frontlines of wildfires to the heart of communities.

This episode dives deep into the gritty realities of disaster communications. Tim Conrad interviews Lloyd Piehl, an experienced information officer, about their harrowing yet impactful experiences during the 2023 British Columbia wildfire season.

Lloyd shares compelling stories of working closely with firefighters and community members, illustrating the emotional and mental toll of such crises.

Their discussion covers the importance of public outreach, mental well-being, and the therapeutic role of art in processing trauma. Piehl's unique approach to healing through Lego art therapy provides a fascinating insight into coping mechanisms for those in high-stress environments.

Listen For:
02:34 - Life in the Firetruck
09:37 – The Reality of Disaster Zones
11:23 - The Importance of Public Outreach During Disasters
18:31 - From Anger to Healing: Transforming Community Emotions

Guest: Lloyd Piehl

Connect with Tim Conrad, APR
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Lego created by Lloyd Piehl's Healing with Lego project The bare trees of Nazko Some of the community engagement team Healing trauma with art and Lego Start of video Lloyd produced which was extremely effective at reaching our audiences Lloyd Piehl illustration
THREE: Released June 11, 2024

Crisis Calls: Navigating Remote EOCs

When chaos strikes, communication is key. In this episode of the Wildfires, Floods, and Chaos Communications podcast, Tim sits down with Leila Daoud, an experienced public relations professional, to discuss the unprecedented 2023 British Columbia wildfire season.
Leila shares her insights on the challenges and benefits of operating in a fully remote Emergency Operations Center (EOC), highlighting the importance of adaptability and clear communication during crises.
They delve into the complexities of media relations, the evolving role of social media, and the crucial need for trust and transparency in emergency communications. 

Listen For:
10:10 - The Role of Social Media in Emergencies
16:31 - Choosing the Right Spokesperson
20:38 - The Power of Graphics in Communication
32:27 - Building Trust Before Emergencies 

Guest: Leila Daoud

Connect with Tim Conrad, APR
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Media and spokesperson mentions rose and fell together Reverse side of postcard given to residents as they re-entered the Shuswap Positive and negative stories flipped as we put a new strategy in place An analysis of media in BC showed nearly 60 million impressions We worked to reverse a trend of negative stories once we began August 18 Leila Daoud illustration
Two: Released June 4, 2024

Inferno Insights: PR Strategies from the Frontlines

When wildfires rage, clear communication is the ultimate firebreak.

In this episode, Tim Conrad sits down with Mike Lupien, a public relations expert, to discuss his experiences during the 2023 British Columbia wildfire season and the infamous 2016 Fort McMurray fire.

Mike shares his insights on crisis communication strategies, the development of essential reentry guides, and the intricate dynamics within an Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Mike emphasizes the critical role of communication in managing public perception and facilitating recovery efforts.

Listen For:
02:39 - Fort McMurray Fire Insights
07:01 - Evacuee Challenges
13:18 - Reentry Logistics
21:13 - Recovery Communications Planning

Guest: Mike Lupien, APR

Connect with Tim Conrad, APR
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Front side of the re-entry postcard given to all residents Reverse side of postcard given to residents as they re-entered the Shuswap Mike Lupien (bottom left) works as Premier David Eby and Minister Bowinn Ma visit the CSRD EOC Mike Lupien working in the EOC for the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District, September 2023 Re-entry Guide for Residents for the Bush Creek East wildfire Mike Lupien illustration
One: Released May 28, 2024

Calm in the Chaos: Mastering Wildfire Communications

In episode one, Tim Conrad interviews Brie Thorsteinson-Ogle, an expert in strategic behavioural communication, about their experiences managing communications during the brutal 2023 British Columbia wildfires.

Brie discusses the critical importance of building trust, simplifying complex processes, and effectively engaging with communities under duress.

Together, they explore the power of listening and adapting in crisis situations, emphasizing that every gap identified is an opportunity for better solutions and community healing.

Guest: Brie Thorsteinson-Ogle
Website | LinkedIn

Connect with Tim Conrad
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CSRD building permit process Community engagement at the Sorrento Farmers Market Community Outreach Community engagement in Anglemont CSRD community engagement Brie Thorsteinson-Ogle illustration