Raid on Area51? #NarutoRun? NO!

Soooooo, today is the Raid on Area 51. The Facebook group that gandered all this interest is really…interesting. Not because of the actual action, but participants’ engagement as well as marketeer’s actions to bolster sales of widgets and services.

While I know many people are excited to break through a government facility, I would caution you to NOT BREAK THE LAW.

I don’t work at Area51.

I have never been to Area51.

I don’t know where Area51 is located.

I don’t have a pass to enter the gate into Area51.

**If you don’t have approved access to Area51, you should not attempt a break in.**

As for aliens? That is not my AOR.



However, maybe my meetings today will include this theme. Ha-I kill me!


Please don’t do anything illegal.

Follow the direction of local authorities.

Don’t do anything dumb.

Happy AlohaFriday peeps!


The new 2019 ICS 300 – last day including Demob, Employee Evaluations, and post tests

Final day of ICS-300 and we continue to bring things together on day-3. We cover demobilization, evaluation, corrective actions, and of course After Action Reports (AARs). As for our class? I have been committed to sharing the most current examples and realistic actions from disasters. I was able to share my FEMA employee evaluation from my most recent deployment and share our demobilization procedures to help supplement the ICS forms that is discussed in the class.

Sharing your AAR is critical component of EM is key so that we can share our best actions as well as our toughest issues with others.

That’s right, lemme say that one more time: SHARE YOUR MISTEAKs…I mean MISTAKES!!! Don’t be shame. Be a professional. Because by sharing your mistakes, you are now contributing to the body of knowledge for all disaster response and recovery.

Does it suck to say you made a mistake? Yep! But aren’t you a professional and want improve our profession? Remember, a rising tide raises all ships.

After a spirited discussion, we started on our closed-book post-test.

A fun way to spend a Wednesday afternoon.

Back in the saddle here to serve our all-hazards statewide public safety providers.


Day-2 with a special visit from…

Day-2 of the new 2019 ICS-300 course. Everyone’s here to discuss ongoing operations for response and recovery – awesome!

A special guest stopped by our class too….

Shout out to Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s Acting Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau on addressing our class and rallying them to continue to train and collaborate.

It is always great to have leadership share some insight of the ongoing issues that are occurring statewide. In this case, TN shared how specifically ICS-300 applies to everyday operations for our all-hazards public safety professionals. Ongoing, as Illinois pushes through for the disaster declaration, how NIMS and ICS play into ICS-300 as many people work through flood recovery operations for so many communities across the State of Illinois.

Looking forward to day-3 in ICS-300!


Starting the new ICS-300 at DuPage County OHSEM

Back at it because there is no rest for the weary. Welcome to ICS-300 here at DuPage County OHSEM! Here’s DuPage County OHSEM’s Director Murray Snow welcoming everyone to the start of our class.

Glad to see so many of our partners here to learn and contribute good disaster information. Participants from 4 counties and 12 different municipalities from across the State of Illinois.

Being the first agency to deliver the new 2019 version of the ICS courses in Illinois, we are able to showcase the efforts of Emergency Management through collaboration and coordination.

New version also has more time for classroom activities and group work.

Using the infamous….I mean famous Central City, we are able to work through several scenarios to help better allocate resources to any disaster or emergency. And unifying efforts on any disaster can make all of us more agile in response/recovery.

As we continue on, we talk about transfer of command, unified command, hit up some SMART Objectives, and critical PIO activities that can help pass information on to other partners in public safety.

Glad to share this information with our most trusted partners from across the State of Illinois.

As we continue to nurture solid discussion, we want to be cognizant of our agency’s contributions to the effort. We discussed Type-5 incidents that eventually turn into Type-1 incidents and the disaster pace of the escalation.

Hard discussions about effective response vs response and how much emotion plays into command efforts. In fact, we had some debate about comfort level and experience in an actual disaster.

Trust me, you can’t be picture perfect in a disaster.

Things will inevitably go wrong and your measure of a pro is how you respond accordingly. And believe you me that you are being judged as soon as you enter into theatre. No second guesses.

And yes, I’m wearing a tie. Calm down..

Looking forward tomorrow to day-2 of ICS-300!


Family support allows deployed pros to do a job that we love

Despite the response effort…

Despite the challenges…

Despite the job…

Despite the disaster…

The one consistent factor that affects all deployments….is family.

Families across the US support their loved ones as they deploy out for days, weeks, months, and years. Regardless of service and disaster, families support those who are deployed – and proudly support their work wherever they are.

We all owe our gratitude and love for our families.

I cannot thank my family enough as they are the main drive that allows many deployed pros like me to do a job that I love.

Much alohas.


FEMA External Affairs team in Nebraska – my peeps!

As we finalize the declaration period for disaster assistance, I wanted to take a few moments to recognize my FEMA team that worked the magic behind the scenes for all of Nebraska.

Say hello to my 2019 Nebraska Disaster Flooding FEMA External Affairs Team!

L to R: Donna, Tarisha, Cynthia, Charles, Rosie, Zuni, Jay, Fabian, @rusnivek, and Jessica.

This team worked tirelessly to help all 28 counties and one tribal nation recover from the ics jams, straight line winds, and catastrophic flooding across the State of Nebraska from March through July.

I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of the FEMA External Affairs efforts by everyone in the Joint Information Center (JIC). Not only playing their primary roles, but also several other roles as our staff got chopped due to the ongoing response to Hurricane Dorian.

Proud to share information to support all disaster survivors.

It was NOT easy covering the entire state as the lone FEMA PIO, however a strong External Affairs staff makes my job as the PIO much easier all thanks to the help from the JIC.

Trust me, one individual alone cannot make magic happen.

It takes a strong team with the same mission to make magic happen.

A rising tide raises all ships.

Catch you on the next big one peeps!