MONDAY! MONDAY! MONDAY! THIS IS A DRILL!
That’s right, our office comes out the gate hard with a full scale exercise focused around our Emergency Management staff and EOC.
Welcome introductions by Murray today…
Player briefs, controller briefs, observer briefs…basics of any legit Master Exercise Planner designed exercise stuff. Who’s who in the zoo right? Yep, that’s basically what’s happening in our EOC.
If you were wondering how it actually starts? This is it. Referencing the NIMS/ICS Planning P, this is the first stem of it.
The initial notification to the EOC.
As the scenario rolled out, my first assigned role was to the call bank center to setup our operational call bank.
<Sur is departing EOC heading to call bank location>
Take note of the office’s dedication to legacy system with the hardline phones and stations. Now, if they were only red….
As the call center went inservice, I was instructed by the EOC Manager that our PIO needed some help now.
<Sur on the move to external affairs>
Report in to PIO.
Initial brief of HAZMAT chemical on Metra train.
1. Fully operational social media station.
2. Geolocation/datamine deets for PIO and command officials.
3. SA/COP to support our ongoing operation.
Roger that. Let’s go.
1A-Using Twitter but not really posting on it (obv an exercise). Tweetdeck up. Categories include searching Metra trainline name, hashtag searches, geolocation search, and then a location identifier search.
2A-pulling tweets w/ pertinent info. Map and plot. Searching any IPs and live broadcasts from area. See if there are some open source cameras to hit for plume. Pull live helo feeds from news on screens-4(ABC), 5(NBC), 6(CBS), 7(FOX), 8(WGN), 9(split CNN/MSNBC/).
3. Maps and scene pics up for the EOC. Share SA/COP w/ Intel Branch Chief, EOC Manager, and EM Supervisor (aka Liaison).
PIO onscene reports needing help w/ talking points. No prob, drafting some from initial worksheets/notes.
PD of another city reports a building collapse (occupied hotel).
Main PIO shift from talking points to now SA/COP w/ PD for more info.
Sur to finish press release and pull talking points recapping train incident.
Dual role now as I start searching for SA/COP from site including pictures of collapse and building. Approx size, volume, collapse zones and evac areas. Searching social media for any onsite pictures, videos, or first hand witness reports w/ pictures to verify. All pics must be geolocated to verify time/location for accurate truth.
Hotel identified and now assessing occupancy w/ Fire Department and State Strike Team USAR element.
EOC moved up to higher level of response.
Primary PIO receives request for COML support. Now finding resources and staffing for COML and ITECS deployment to scene to support operation.
PIO onscene phones primary PIO. Needs help w/ critical messaging and talking points. We discuss and decide a quick video living on YouTube will be good messaging is good for push on all social sites (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, NextDoor, and our media partners).
PSA shot off the EOC w/ location of Who, What, When, and avoid the area due to traffic/allow responders to do their jobs. Typed talking points held against camera side. 1 take. IPhone. Lab mic direct into phone. 30 seconds. Done.
Edited for title, lower third added. Action item provided. Cut and uploaded to YouTube. How long doesnt’ake.
Setup lav mic=15 seconds
Uploaded to YouTube=1:45
Total production timeframe was 4 minutes and 15 seconds.
With the upcoming disaster scenarios, we had lots of other things to work on for the onscene Police PIO.
Throughout the rest of the morning, we found that three more videos were needed to inform and address the incident. All video hits are from the incident that was news worthy and or timed w/ significant changes in the event. Like the last one was the long term family reunification center with callback numbers for family/friends in and around building.
Solid team of 2 in External Affairs.
Super fun to see one of your former students in class assigned as your external affairs evaluator. Special thanks to Arin Thrower for assisting our agency during this exercise.
With all the EA smiles, I can assume that things went well.
This was not your typical Monday morning. Not at all. But the dedication and teamwork made this exercise fun.
As the controllers and designers called a hard stop to the exercises, we all paused and looked at each other. Exercise went well! Whohoo!!!
In the afternoon, we all sat down and discussed more for our formal After Action Report (AAR).
We as a professional EM organization review all exercises. If you want to be a professional, you should be doing the same.
Great start to the week as we showcase the talents of the EOC and how they can support the field operations
Reporting live from the EOC…
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