Demobilized from Hurricane Irma, now headed back out again

I just demobilized from Hurricane Irma. Total of 42 days. 

One thought as I repack: I have never worked so hard and had to use ALL my learned PIO skills and tricks in just one disaster.

Few hours to make the turnaround in Cleveland.

Now headed to support another DHS mission with the US and Canada.


Evoking the famous quote from Ray Stantz: “Oh, I got to get some sleep, I’m dying.”

@rusnivek

Moving another DRC in the Florida Keys

In efforts to best serve the communities that were hardest hit by Hurricane Irma, we (FEMA) moved the Marathon Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) to a new location


As you guessed it, this new DRC has much easier access to the highway.

6805 Overseas Highway in Marathon, Florida

Stop on by to update your records and/or check on your status for disaster assistance.


Reporting live from the new DRC location in Marathon…

@rusnivek

Aerial operations is critical in a Type-1 disaster #PIO

Large type-1 disasters are complex. Not only complexity but in pure size.

In the Florida Keys, destruction was not just limited to houses and commercial structures, but he Category-4 storm + storm surge + possible tornadic events affected so many ships and vessels. 

Aerial operations are so important esp when gathering information on resource management and triaging. This picture is of one of the many ships in the bay that were inoperable and uninhabitable.


However, as response agencies go, we need to prioritize things and see what needs to be done first. Therefore pictures like this are critical to tactical and operational pros.


If you only had a roadside view, you would have only seen this small portion of this disaster.


Yes I said it, rotor wing WTF! Additionally, your favorite PIO can get a better grasp on the situation and report out to stakeholders of ongoing joint operations.


Again, your command element should consider an aerial element with HQ photography to aid in SA/COP.

@rusnivek

Live spot with News13 in Cudjoe Key for #Hurricane #Irma Response & Recover #Miami #Tallahassee #Orlando #Tampa

Got a chance to do a live spot with News13 out of Orlando in Cudjoe Key, Florida.

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Inside, it’s a whole different view​.

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As you know, Cat-4 Hurricane Irma made eye wall landfall here with incredible high winds and storm surge leaving heavy devastation throughout this neighborhood.


Lots to see and do esp w/ their field producing and staff onsite. I counted at least 7 cameras for their 6p live shot.

They even had a jib camera. 


People will stare including our staff and state director.


Lots of steadycam shots leading into the first interview with former State of Florida Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon.


Next live segment was with our Division Supervisor (DIV/SUP) who happens to be an Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) member. 


Solid questions on response efforts and good inquiries for ongoing operations for recovery phase.


Great interactions and questions from the anchors.


Lots to discuss in response as well as recovery.


As you know, the recovery phase is the hardest part of a disaster.


Glad to be partnering with news agencies who get the story right. The Anchors and producer was super nice…so of course I had to take a selfie w/ them. Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeze!


Making sure we represent FEMA – particularly Branch V Division Alpha. 

Reporting live on News13 from Cudjoe Key, Florida…
@rusnivek

Necessity items because recovery is a long term operation 

Not everyone has the best access to daily needs. There are plenty of places that people can go to acquire food and necessities including government buildings.


Providing necessity items is a big piece of the  recovery process. 

But helping the community back on it’s feet is crucial to normalcy. 


The Florida Keys are on the road to recovery!

@rusnivek

Debris management isn’t easy! #Hurricane #Irma 

Aside from all the response stuff that goes on in the disaster, I think the mainstream public doesn’t understand debris management. In fact, I would go so far as to say that many communities across the US don’t have a debris management plan.

Here’s the current situation here in Monroe County, FL (aka Florida Keys).


This is one of several locations for debris.


What makes this so complex is that because of the smaller geographic location of the islands, it is hard to manage space too.


Emergency Managers should also think about transportation of debris. I’ve had to already roll out my evasive driving maneuvers. Not good.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Response is easy. But true Emergency Managers know that Recovery is the hardest phase in a disaster.

@rusnivek