Public Information consists of the processes, procedures and systems to communicate timely, accurate and accessible information on the incident’s cause, size and current situation to the public, responders and additional stakeholders (both directly affected and indirectly affected). Public information must be coordinated and integrated across jurisdictions, agencies and organizations; among federal, state, tribal and local governments and with NGOs and the private sector.
Well-developed public information, education strategies and communications plans help to ensure that lifesaving measures, evacuation routes, threat and alert systems and other public safety information are coordinated and communicated to numerous audiences in a timely, consistent manner.
Q. What does public information, within NIMS, include?
A: Public information consists of the processes, procedures and systems to communicate timely, accurate and accessible information on the incident’s cause, size and current situation to the public, responders and additional stakeholders (both directly and indirectly affected). Public information must be coordinated and integrated across jurisdictions and organizations involved in the incident to include, federal, state, tribal and local governments, private sector entities and NGOs. In order to facilitate that process, public information includes three major systems/components - Public Information Officers (PIOs), the Joint Information System (JIS) and the Joint Information Center (JIC).
Q: What is a Joint Information System?
A: A Joint Information System (JIS) provides the mechanism to organize, integrate and coordinate information to ensure timely, accurate, accessible and consistent messaging across multiple jurisdictions and/or disciplines with nongovernmental organizations and the private sector. A JIS includes the plans, protocols, procedures and structures used to provide public information. Federal, state, tribal, territorial, regional or local Public Information Officers and established Joint Information Centers (JICs) are critical supporting elements of the JIS.
Q: What is a Joint Information Center?
A: A Joint Information Center (JIC) is a central location that facilitates operation of the Joint Information System. The JIC is a location where personnel with public information responsibilities perform critical emergency information functions, crisis communications and public affairs functions. JICs may be established at various levels of government or at incident sites or can be components of Multiagency Coordination Systems. A single JIC location is preferable but the system is flexible and adaptable enough to accommodate virtual or multiple JIC locations, as required.
- NIMS Alert 35-07: Basic Guidance for Public Information Officers (PIOs) [12/07] (PDF 32KB, TXT 2KB)
- NIMS Alert 27-07: Basic Guidance for Public Information Officers (PIOs) [8/07] (PDF 24KB, TXT 1KB)
- NIMS Alert 009-06: NIMS Public Information Systems Training [7/06] (PDF 31KB, TXT 6KB)