Plan for shelter and outside meeting location with your family #NatlPrep

We’re still in the first week of National Preparedness Month, we need to examine shelter locations. Yes I said planning for shelter locations.

Because if this is your shelter idea…

…you might want to rethink your plan.

If you plan for a proper shelter location WITH your family, you’d likely be rewarded with a more comfortable situation. Food, water, etc….are nice things to have. But the last thing anyone needs during a crisis is more things to think about and burden you down.

No one has time for that!

Ain't Nobody Got Time for That… – Danny Dainton

Interior rooms with no windows is always a good shelter location esp during a tornado strike. Not only is it interior, but you can seek further shelter/cover underneath the counter top.


After the danger passes, a simple meeting place outside is a good idea too.It should be a relatively easy to find location that everyone knows and can rally up. Also be identifiable from great distances. Something tall and unique could be used too.

Don’t be the bearer of bad news…make sure everyone knows the plans!

Since most of you are home, consider taking the time to assessing your situation, evaluate your options, and make good decisions. But no matter where it is, be sure to tell the rest of your family where to go in case of emergency.

Plan for stuff to happen right? Just look at us now.

2020 Sucks - Year 2020 - Sticker | TeePublic

Worst. Year. Ever.

Reporting live from the first week of National Preparedness week!


How I find out the latest deets on stuff #NatlPrep

Since this is only the second day of 2020 National Preparedness month, we needed to focus in on your plans before, during, and after an emergency.

On the regular, I get TONS of calls/inquiries from people trying to figure out what’s going on. Many of our friends/families can glean this same info I get from the mass notification systems already in place.

The City of Chicago (IL) Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) has an easy system called NotifyChicago.

By inputting your information and particular way to be contacted, you can get the most up-to-date information about any part of the city. This includes warnings, hazards, and of course major street closures due to riots, protests, or other weird things that happen in Chicago. Choosing to be notified via text message ensures that no matter where you are, you can be alerted to dangers in your area 24/7. Subscribe for free here:

At the county level, DuPage County (IL) Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (OHSEM) uses the Smart911 system which is a mass notification system to alert anyone on issues at the county level.

This could include severe weather, road closures, as well as critical information for anyone living/working in the area. You can sign up here:

From the region:

I rely heavily on our partners from the National Weather Service. While not the primary way, I think their social media work on Twitter is excellent and pull lots of info from them using the alert feature (notifications on) function on Twitter.

Consider following Mike Bardou and the crew from the NWS Chicago or follow your own local NWS office for immediate weather info. There are 122 Weather Forecasting Offices across our great nation.

More details can be found here:

And finally, with the amount of info and the onslaught of information being pushed to our mobile devices, it’s good to know that IF it’s too much, you can always unsubscribe to any these services.

IF you have family in other parts of the country, consider subscribing to their area notifications. Doesn’t hurt to help a loved one out as they maybe be too busy, sleeping, or incapable of understanding the severity of their situation. More on that tomorrow.

Keep it safe during this first week of National Preparedness Month by making your plan!


2020 National Preparedness Month!

Welcome to the 2020 National Preparedness Month!!!

As described by so many, this is the most perfect year to plan for the unexpected.

Join me and my esteemed colleagues as we help share preparedness tips all month and help get you through this rotten year.

Reporting live in my favorite month…..


How long will this take? Will we be done soon? Better or worse than…

One of the reporters asked me (off the record) today if we are close to abolishing Coronavirus? I immediately responded back and said said, “No, not even close.”

For those wondering why I was quick to respond, was that we are still in the response phase. We are assessing the threats and making sure we have enough resources to handle things.

And no, we don’t have enough stuff.

To illustrate this point, let me reference a chart that we use in ICS-300.

As you can see, we are waiting for the response to match the need of resources. But right now, we are at a lack of resources, equipment, and supplies to stop the spread or mitigate any future spread. Basically, we ain’t there yet!

It is inappropriate to place an end date with all of this as we are still “responding” to the emerging threat.

Please do not think I am being elusive on the date but I still believe the recovery process will be longer and more drawn out since we now have HHS/CDC, and DOD assets being used in the operational theater across the country.

Also, don’t ask me to compare our situation to King County or New York City…that’s rude as we should never compare disasters against each other. It’s a low blow and petty. Be a professional and find real metrics with data…not just fodder to fill time.

Again, every situation is different and needs vary from location to location. No cookie cutter response will ever meet the needs of every community across the country. #fact

Be cognizant of the ongoing situation. Lives are at stake…

Please be good and do good stuff for your community.



Small reminders of hope

Despite the tough times for countless communities across our area, there are small reminders that can help us through.

Yeah, I needed that. I needed to see that tonight.

Thankful for those who understand the time it takes to make it happen.

Thankful to so many kiddos out there who know something is wrong and can sense that Mom/Dad need some extra help. Thankful for sharing their creative minds with the rest of us. Allowing us to peer into their hearts is so pure and healthy for us to digest with a breath of fresh air.

These things make me more thankful to be working alongside good people to combat COVID19.

I hope all this ends soon.



EMS working hard and PPE clean up

The evening is shift is supposed to be calm, but I don’t think the news wants to hear that as my phone has not stopped ringing.

Repeated call after call after call after call….does not bode well for your sanity. Trust your PIO when he/she/they said they will call you back with more info. I doubt any PIO has the intention to blow you off or to tease you with no call back.

Medical calls are harder with the increased focus on PPE. Paramedics and EMTs have been working their tails off this week and it’s only Tuesday.

However, we are seeing a surge in discarded PPE…like people are carelessly tossing your gloves everywhere.

Please, PLEASE clean up after yourself. Just dumping your gloves on the street isn’t a good look for you or your neighborhood.

Be responsible will ya!?!?!!


Breakdowns from residents vs LTCF; Being nice to everyone

Quick morning phone call for the upcoming 2020 Democratic National Convention. So glad to hear public safety from both the 2020 DNC and 2020 RNC in attendance this morning. Hope to see all of you in July.

But back to your regularly scheduled program…#Coronavirus. As we continue to respond, our metrics are starting to improve. With this, I am starting to see a trend from the local news as they are focusing in on the congregate living…aka nursing home facilities.

As the External Affairs Officer, I believe that breaking the chart down and having clear cases of residents vs Long Term Care Facilities (LTCF) might help the news media in separation to better tell their narrative of the congregate living.

Media in our area seems to be focused on the proximity of residents at nursing home facilities and their separation. Sounds about right as a county in the State of Washington was the first to see exponential growth of cases and deaths. My guess is they want to see/forecast the same issue in our area.

Conversely, nursing homes are scrambling to manage their current staff as well as accommodate the increase in distance between their populations. Remember, the majority of those in nursing homes have compromised immunity and frequently go to the hospital for injury/illness. Lots of challenges and every LTCF is going to have a different response and hazard level. No two places will be similar.

For every reporter that has called me for information, facts, interviews, press conferences, etc…..I have managed to eek in a few personal questions for them.

  1. How are you doing/doing OK?
  2. Like me, are you tired about this Coronavirus thing too?
  3. You safe? Protected with proper PPE? Do you have a mask?

Despite some real unfriendly and impatient reporters, I am happy to be able to provide some breath of relief to their hectic schedules. Some of them aren’t working their normal shifts, which I am sure it makes them uncomfortable. Additionally, there are some reporters who are operating outside their scope, which is very apparent to me.

Regardless of your role and agency, I am happy to talk to all of these reporters and pitch them stories too. Like always, I am keeping a log of who I talked to and hope to check back in with all of them once this thing is over.

Whether you are a international star, national news feature reporter, or just the local newsie, lets all try to be nice to each other because we are far from being done with this story. I project this issues to continue on through 2021…so now is the time to be real nice to each other. Please.

Reporting live from the JIC…