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Colorado Springs prepares lines of emergency communication

Public relations representatives from across southern Colorado got together Tuesday to discuss the best way to handle major emergencies and get information out to the public.

What is today’s workshop all about?

“We’re all gathering together today to get better in our own jobs in managing crises here in the Pikes Peak region,” said Andrew Montgomery, president of the Pikes Peak Public Relations Society of America.

Why is it so important to talk about a plan now?

“In the middle of a crisis, everything starts going crazy, stress levels are high and there are a lot of times people just think that they’ll figure it out on the fly and that just doesn’t work. Coming to something like this gives people those first steps to understand what they would do in a crisis,” said Montgomery.

Is it important for schools to be planning ahead of time too?

“We know that 80 to 90 percent of a crisis is all about planning. It’s not when you’re in the midst of the planning. If you’re doing it then, it’s too late. It’s not going to go well and the community is not going to be well-informed,” said Allison Cortez, communication director for school District 20.

Why not just only hold drills? Why hold a meeting like this?

“If you think about a crisis you always think about a drill with an active shooter or a bomb or a threat and that’s great we want to think about that. But if we don’t communicate it out well, it doesn’t matter if we have mitigated the crises if no one knows about it, or if there’s confusion about what everyone knows. So really the communication needs to be strategic, timely and well planned,” said Cortez.

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