The above, being a fact of life, is why we so strongly urge the ACS approach to those desiring to serve government with their communications talents.
ACS? Yes, Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS) with its mission: find a communications need and fill it.
In any government there is a communications need that can be aided by an astute team of volunteers. It's that need that may take some effort to discover, and then to find a way to supplement.
Communication covers ALL forms of people-to-people information flow. This includes the many ways that we inter-communicate: telephone, fax, mail, E-mail, Internet, cellular, 911 system, any public safety radio, microwave, or satellite system. Even how to demobilize after an emergency, how to handle critical stress of an emergency, how citizens can be better prepared; all of these are a form of essential communications. Providing or maintaining a Web page for a local city is a prime communication related need. Getting small groups of neighbors together in their common interest against any form of threat to their communities is a form of communications that an ACS unit can address. As you can see, it often takes time and effort to dig deep and come up with local needs. Once done, then design constructive and helpful solutions to the specific local need.
Once the ACS finds a need and begins to fill it - no matter how unrelated it may SEEM to emergency communications - there is the beginning of a long-term relationship. As the ACS becomes relied on to do the one program or situation you originally undertook, you begin to develop a connectedness that can stretch into infinity given the right chemistry of the involved people. It is limited only by the interest and abilities of the people that are brought into the ACS. The broader their interests the greater their potential.
Apathy won't go away just because it gets shoved and moved around. It goes away when an administrator or a staff person sees an opportunity or a benefit. People always reach for benefits as they perceive them.
Your task - should you undertake this assignment - is to work around apathy by finding out the benefits that WILL be sought. In time the unit will flourish into a full-fledged emergency communications unit; one that is capable of supporting many and varied systems, and needs of the people in your local government.