Rabbit ears on Aloha Friday and why I really do these things

Glad to see Friday amidst this Coronavirus. Just means a way to keep the rhythm going and keep our IAP and objectives in mind as we work to knocking those out.

Wait, did he say #AlohaFriday in March?

Always some Aloha in March right?

And as an added bonus as we look to the next Federal holiday (Easter), I opted for the rabbit ears accessory too.

Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy??????????????????????? Well, I really do these things to make people smile. Despite our current situation, we can all do some silly things that help take our minds off of work for a few seconds. These real moments allow us as humans to shine and share a few seconds of realism as we chart into strange territory.

Besides, my choices are far better than any zoom meeting background stolen from the internet.

Related note: during this disaster, I’ve had a bunch of people checking in on me and my health. Glad to see that change esp since the last few disasters have been a bit rough for me.

As we roll into another Saturday, I hope to see some reduction in hours. This breakneck speed that us PIOs, and EAOs have been working has been a bit stressful on the family life. Happy to have Emergency Management leadership who understands this. More thankful for their understanding. I hope your leadership has the same mindset.

Reporting live from the JIC…



Thursday PIO roll call on opening day and fielding media questions

With the week fast closing out, we gotta continue to keep our battle rhythm up. Our morning PIO roll call today was a bit different as today is MLB opening day. And yep, Don had to remind us. 

Me? I leaned to the USAR side of the house today.

And yes, I did bring a smile to John’s face.

Your External Affairs Officer can support the plan!

BTW, with what was reported last night, I anticipate lots of questions today from the media. Maybe we ought to hold a press conference.

Additionally, work does not stop for COVID19, we got ongoing Emergency Management continuing education still ongoing so we gotta make sure we check mark that box as we are serving all of our partners in the field.

And I would advocate that you continue to fill out your ICS-214s. Daily.

Why? Documentation. Documentation. Documentation. #AmIRight

That’s right, normal operations don’t stop for the Coronavirus.

But don’t give up now, we just got started. Lemme see your stamina.

Harsh reminder that disasters definitely don’t like whimps. Neither do I. So keep up the good work for your community!


PIO Conf call tech, helmet choice, and increase in deaths at LTCF

PIO huddle going to be on the fly today as we are all tasked to different actions.

FaceTime allows anyone of our all iPhone users to have easy access to this and can be initiated by any one of us. So by using this consistent tech with explicit instructions, we can easily overcome the tech barriers.

And yes, I decided to wear my tactical helmet from Team Wendy.

Did they notice?

John was driving but here’s the moment when he realized what was going on.


OK, back to the news. I wanted to make sure our media partners were aware of the rumor control page setup by FEMA HQ. This is helpful to discern incorrect information and share trusted information.

Seems like we as PIOs are constantly thwarting mis-information so this kind of static page is helpful as we continue to get the right information…out to the right people…at the right time…so they can make good decisions.

Truly glad that our media partners engaged on that subject and wanted to do story/stories on mis-information in this response.

And as we continue to be responsive from the Joint Information Center (JIC), we are trending up the long term care facilities (LTCF) action as we see a sharp increase in COVID19 patients there.

Sigh. Wash your hands peeps, this is going to be a long one.



All conference call platforms, helmet of the day, the right info at the right time, and a compliment

Tuesday morning and lots of conference calls to jump on. Trying to hit Zoom, Teams, FaceTime…..man, we minus well hit up Chat Roulette too!

Kidding. Not Chat Roulette.

But seriously, seems like we got things covered from local, county, state, and Federal….so I’m glad that we are participating as actively as we can.

Just make sure you got the right date scheduled for the meeting.


BTW – for those wondering what my choice was for helmet of the day. Well, I was feeling the need…the need for SPEED!

Hahahahaha. I’m a mess.

Glad to bring a few smiles to my fellow PIOs as we continue to work closely together.

Additionally, we are sharing consistent messages and aligning with national messaging. All of this to make sure we get the right information, to the right people, at the right time, so they can make the best decision(s).

No doubt on this one, thank you Phil. #FEMA #MPIO

Here are a few of the graphics we are using that align w/ CDC and HHS.

Use as you see fit too.

And at the end of the day, trust me, a small compliment goes far.

Shout out to Shannon Halligan means a lot to many of us that have been working our tails off. Thanks Shannon!

Keep your head above the water as we continue to serve our communities…


Monday PIO huddle, email lists, and a note from Arizona

Monday is here as we check in on our actions from the weekend. Seems like it’s all working out well.

This week, we gotta test the skills of our PIOs so since everyone knows how to engage on zoom meetings, I need to test the other technologies. Let’s do this on FaceTime. Totally on the fly, all on the mobile!

And to help spice things up this week? We are going to change it up and I’ll be wearing a helmet everyday this week. This week’s choice?

Awwww yeah, give it up for my fellow Brother Firefighters…

I know Don and John are jelly.

As we start to grow our media lists, we are starting to see more national stations chiming in. If you need to be added to our news media distro, LMK and I’ll be happy to add your trusted email to our daily push.

And a quick note from last night from Bonnie in one of the Arizona JICs.

Glad to hear the training provided is paying off for a few of my PIO friends in FEMA Region 9….

Flattered to hear that others are doing solid work to protect their communities from the Coronavirus.



Sunday streamlining our JIC Ops

Sunday is off to a bang as we need some formality to the process. Revamp what? What does that mean?

<Cue the Hawaiian music in the JIC because we are going to revamp a few things today.>

1. We are going to take a look at the press releases and move them to media alerts…because no one reads press releases anymore. Let’s not waste time and align it to be more factual and numbers. From a PIO perspective, this “trending” is what news outlets are looking for. Big upticks/spikes in numbers.

And in this situation, I doubt they are concentrating at the minutia of individual numbers esp since they are projected to dramatically increase over the next few weeks.

2. Accountability must be improved as we got the formal FEMA Disaster Declaration under the Stafford Act. So everyone gets a T-card and everyone must fill out an ICS-214. That includes me too.

3. Don’t forget to sign in on the ICS-211 form and your T-card is good to go.

4. Get a hard copy of the IAP and read through it. Don’t get caught not knowing the current plan. Maybe…MAYBE use those fancy tactical cargo pockets to hold your IAP (I’m judging).

5. Daily morning briefs with your PIOs….we call them our PIO roll call. Not longer than 10 minutes, allows us to get a handle on our daily activities and allows us to coordinate with each other. SA/COP baby!

I hate to break the news to you but the PIO’s job isn’t easy. So much more work goes behind the scenes and talking on camera is really about 5% of the job. Your main bread and butter work comes from the preparation and planning that goes into that.

Additionally, most reporters aren’t going to catch you live and want to do interviews. This new fangled invention called the cell phone makes it easy to communicate with all your reporters.

I honestly can’t tell you how many phone calls and interviews I did standing in my garage at 11p at night.

Yep, it never ends.

Get some sleep peeps, it’s going to be a long week ahead.


Drive through testing for Coronavirus #COVID19

Rolling in on a Saturday to the EOC….

Wait a sec…WAIT A SEC….

Did one of our partners get their drive through testing station up and running already?

PIO to SITL: How do copy?

Man, the news is going to be all over this one…