Communicating During a Disaster: Inside Look into a FEMA Information Center

January 16, 2020
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

The Tangier
532 W. Market Street
Akron, OH 44303
Venue website

The January 16 Akron Chapter Public Relations Society of America luncheon meeting will offer an insider’s look into Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) communication strategies and tactics used during a national disaster by Steven Bosso, a Master FEMA-trained Public Information Officer.

The Public Relations Society of America asserts that crisis management will be a skill set communication professionals will need to grow in 2020. In that spirit, much can be learned from public affairs and government communicators. On the ground are public information officers—government employees who facilitate communication between the government, members of the media and the general public.

Steven Bosso, assistant fire chief and public information officer (PIO) for the Twinsburg Fire Department, will be sharing his insights on his experiences, with an emphasis on social media listening and monitoring, from his deployment to South Carolina for Hurricane Florence in 2018 to assist with communication in that state’s emergency operations center.

Steven recently completed a year-long FEMA professional development program and joins less than 70 others across the U.S. as a recognized Master Public Information Officer. Established in 2017, the national program is designed to prepare senior-level PIOs for an expanded role in delivering public information and warnings using a strategic, whole community approach. It is the Department of Homeland Security’s highest level of training and credentialing for public information professionals.

Networking for the PRSA luncheon on January 16 begins at 11:30 a.m. at The Tangier. Program begins at noon. Cost is $25 for PRSA members and $30 for non-members. Save $5 for early bird reservations before January 11. Students are $15, no early bird discount. Reservations are required by Tuesday, January 14.

Speaker Bio

Steven Bosso is the Assistant Chief for the Twinsburg Fire Department in Northeast Summit County Ohio, where he has been the Public Information Officer for over 29 years.  Bosso was the senior shift commander for the department for nearly 21 years and served concurrently as the fire chief of Ravenna Township for 12 years, where he authored grants totaling nearly $900,000.  He has focused training in strategic planning, command and control functions, as well as incident management and public information.

Prior to his career in the fire service, Steve was a photojournalist, photo editor and graphic artist for one of Northeast Ohio’s largest newspaper chains. Besides his formal education and advanced training in public information, joint information system/center and incident management functions, he has a vast experience of command, disaster and special event planning, public relations, crisis communications and arranging media conferences across all public safety disciplines.  


$25.00 Professionals: PRSA member of any chapter
$20.00 Earlybird rate before January 11

$30.00 Professionals: Non-PRSA member
$25.00 Earlybird rate before January 11

$15.00 Student Ticket