Reservist Susan Greatorex, now Assistant External Affairs Officer for Planning and Products, for 4091-DR-MD, was Tony Jones’ supervisor during the North Carolina tornado disaster recovery in 2011.
Tony Jones was hired locally this past year in Raleigh, N.C. and when Superstorm Sandy hit the east coast in October he put his skills to the test using the FEMA External Affairs experience he had gained.
“The short time I spent with FEMA proved invaluable as it gave me a great sense of what to include in my releases,” said Jones, now working as a Public Information Officer for St. Mary’s County, Md., designated for Public Assistance.
Jones has issued 18 news releases to local and regional news outlets providing residents with vital information, such as where to get sandbags and how to locate shelters for families and pets. His comprehensive updates to the St. Mary's County Facebook page proved invaluable to their residents.
“The system I used, based upon my experience with FEMA, worked well,” said Jones. “In fact, my colleague in neighboring Charles County says she plans to replicate my approach during the next emergency.” Jones said media outlets continue to thank him for the information he provided during the storm.
Jones thanked his FEMA colleagues for emphasizing the importance of accuracy over speed and the need to keep news releases succinct, especially in emergency situations when the intended audience is being inundated with all sorts of information.