News conference signage

Don’t forget…as your media partners roll in for your presser, support them a bit as many of them may not be from the area.

Your favorite EAO had a few national reporters call in with questions on parking, directions into the building, etc…

To be gracious hosts, these signs are helpful in directing some of our media partners.

More importantly, I want the media to be ready to go in capturing that clip or that soundbite as they are helping us spread the word from our senior leadership on ongoing operations.

Remember PIOs, the media are our partners in this ongoing fight against Coronavirus.


Reconfigured the press briefing room

Your favorite EAO knew there would be much news interest on our fight against COVID19. But to follow the rules setup by HHS/CDC and others, we had to change the setup for our friends in the media. (We are tasked with their safety too ya know)

Yep, our press briefing room has been reconfigured to the 6ft guidelines.

Kudos to Sabit on the great ideas.

Reporting live from the JIC….



Creative ways people are exhibiting good social distances

April 1, 2020….don’t even think about a practical joke today.

However, I can tell you that I have witnessed some genius methods of respecting social distancing by modifying some daily interactions that include physical separation.

Pull! Pull! Pull! Pull! Pull!

Who doesn’t love the TT!?!?!

Great idea peeps! Proud of your ingenuity.

But not everyone has a car or a long driveway so here’s an idea for those that live on the second floor or higher.

Outstanding use of techniques as well as incorporating some science principals into the day for the kiddos to learn.

Bravo to all the parents out there who are trying their hardest to keep up with school work, work-work, home work, etc….it’s a big much huh?

Why are we trying to be perfect in this?

That map looking kinda red.

Reporting live from the JIC….


Data from Illinois on COVID in the last day of March 2020

As we sift through the data and numbers, here’s just one projection that shows as of today March 31, 2020 – we should hit peak deaths in mid June.

Let that one sink in for a minute…mid June.

Additionally, the deaths per day are looking to spike at April 15th so if we hit this projection, we are in the final two weeks as we skyrocket to the top of the charts w/ 4,500 deaths per day. 

My interpretation of this data? I doubt that we will get that high because so many peeps are following the social distancing guidelines set forth by various agencies. Additionally, the hand washing and masks are sinking in with people so I expect this number to be lower than the mean (dotted line above).

The info above on deaths do correspond to the data below showing that in 14 days will be at the highest number of infected COVID patients.

Keep in mind this is just ONE projection that is being used to measure success and operational effectiveness against the Coronavirus. There are other models out there that show a different cone and hump that correlates to their data. Their interpretation is different because these computer models lean on various data points in how they discern information and stats.

Sobering thought at this #Coronavirus thing continues to mess with our daily lives.

This Coronavirus / COVID19 thing was def not on my 2020 disaster bingo card.

Deuces from the JIC…


Monday morning w/ call after call after call #COVID

Started out the early Monday morning with calls from 8 reporters all inquiring about COVID related cases throughout the county. Aside from asking all kinds of questions, the one I seem to get the most is “Do you think we are going to see a peak anytime soon?”

My consistent response has been “I am unsure on a peak based on our data that does not show a slowing of cases in our area. Furthermore, this is a complex situation where there are multiple factors that play into the reduction in spread in various communities.”

I have been including various quotes and lines that is in concert with our leadership and senior officials so we all have the same voice.

Despite some variances in tactics, as the External Affairs Officer, I was able to refocus our energy to resolve a few issues and place us positively.

Additionally, we are amplifying the same infographics shared by the CDC.

I hope this helps concrete their message to the public when they share their news story.

To stay healthy, my rec is to eat one fruit a day. For this incident, it’s been a daily orange.

Reporting live from the JIC…


It isn’t easy being green! #PIO reminder

Good reminder from my friend Emily on what we should wear while on TV…

It isn’t easy being green! 

Ahhhh yes, the famous green screen and green dress don’t make such a good combo.

I know 2020 St. Patrick’s Day has already passed but it’s always a good reminder while doing TV interviews in the newsroom or TV studio – do not wear green.

BTW-I did a quick interview w/ Emily when she was part of WISH-TV. Check out that interview here.

So if you are heading down to the station for an in-station interview for prevention of Coronavirus, just remember, do not wear green!



Zilcho on the toilet paper acquisition this morning

This week has been so busy. After a busy morning of emailing reporter after reporter after reporter….

So I gotta make a quick morning run to the store for some toilet paper for the family.

Son of a……

Zero, zilch, nada, the big bagel…nothing left in the paper towel isle!

Me: “I wonder why people are hoarding carts of toilet paper and paper towels.”

That also brings up a good point because I am now really wondering how much toilet paper people use on the norm or are there rumors abound that talk about a sign/symptom of the Coronavirus is diarrhea?

Cough? Yes.

Fever? Yes.

Shortness of breath? Yes.

But the runs? At this time, I am unaware of any sign/symptoms of diarrhea w/ the Coronavirus diagnosis.

Here’s a link to the CDC’s page on the official Coronavirus issue.

C’mon people, we are only a few weeks into this thing…let’s rethink our community’s TP strategy. Please.

Reporting live from an empty isle in Target…


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!