Debris Management with MassEMA

Despite not wearing pink today, we got a solid start to a great response and recovery course here in Massachusetts today.

Great introduction to the DHS/FEMA/NDPTC Debris Management Planning class. Outstanding to work with the Emergency Management Pros again from MassEMA and FEMA Region 1.

Glad to share the same mission and goals as the MassDEP, all agencies need to work together as we decrease our response times in a disaster.

Often times, people believe Debris Management is only for recovery. It isn’t. Debris Management starts in the response phase with local public works resources supporting Fire, EMS, and Police in their initial response.

Yes that’s right, response phase.

Even more surprising is that public works pros (ESF-3) are an integral part of any response plan and should be included as agencies enhance their disaster plans.

Funding is often a challenge as agencies continue to struggle w/ funding and maintaining resources for public works. But sharing ideas and resources could help mitigate deficiencies and increase capabilities for our partners in ESF-03.

As we continue to facilitate good conversation, we often talk about burn rates and projections to ensure that we are consistently bringing in resources to any disaster to best serve the communities that are affected.

We get laser focused on our top-3 primary response agencies from Fire, EMS, and Police. However, Emergency Management Professionals will tell you that we should include more into our preparedness and response phase to better serve our communities.

Coordination will enhance

  • Asset allocation
  • Response priorities
  • Critical access
  • Reduce costs and burn rates
  • Operational coordination

These points are critical as communities deal with the initial hit of any disaster.

So no matter large or small, urban or rural, or even rich or poor – any community is vulnerable. Proper planning will help reduce the risk so that we can continue to serve those survivors who need it the most.

Also, glad to see participants getting a lot out of class and instructor enthusiasm on the importance of this Emergency Management topic.

I’d encourage you to look at your Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and realistically look at the response from Public works as they are truly a partner in our preparedness, response, and recovery of any big event or disaster.

@rusnivek

2019 May is cray!

Justin Timberlake better be busy too because this month because it’s about to get redic.

First week in May, our team was invited to teach ICS-300: Intermediate ICS to leadership staff at the Illinois Air National Guard.

Second week, will be the ICS-400 class and the solid bunch of social media classes (Basic Social Media, Social Media Engagement Strategies, Social Media Tools and Techniques).

Third week, we will be popping the FEMA G0290/0291 Basic PIO and JIC/JIS course with one of my favorite FEMA DSASers…Sister Michael!

Fourth week, I will be presenting at the 2019 National Preparedness Symposium at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Alabama.

And the last week is the full set of FEMA Basic PIO and JIC/JIS Course at Aurora Police.

If you are calculating that out, that’s 128 hours of straight classroom time.

Fortunately, I enhanced the playlist this past weekend.

Headphones in, affirm the mission and objectives, head down…No time for rest.

@rusnivek

Day-2 of the new FEMA Region V COOP Course

Starting off day–2 of the new FEMA COOP class.

Solid discussion lead by Northwestern Medicine’s Continuity Manager Sam with our all-hazards pros on alternate locations including cold, warm, and hot EOCs.

Not only locations, but also triggers on when to move emergency operations centers. These kinds of discussions also spark debate on levels of activation as well as essential personnel. We openly discuss triggers and standards that help make it easy for COOP Managers and leadership to roll out their continuity plan.

As we identify specific incidents and actions needed, we can also assess viability of personnel and staff….ESSENTIAL staff to these secure national COOP locations like

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Additionally, we focus in on the importance of not only writing a plan, but also exercising a plan. Good dialog w/ Joe on the city of Aurora’s exercise plans.

While not as sexy as response or even preparedness, these kinds of continuity exercises test recovery. Can’t begin to tell you how important that is to your constituents esp when things are going to 💩. Catastrophic planning is only as good as your last exercise – trust me, when faced with crisis, people will not always do the most common sense thing.

Why is our agency leaning in on the COOP stuff? Well, if all goes according to my plan, we should have at five (5) Master Continuity Practitioners on our staff. Awwwww yeah!

As we close up, Sam leads the post test wrap up to evaluate that level II retention that FEMA EMI loves.

In the end, when you see the participants smiling and hearing their responses in how they are going to directly implement these new rollouts and changes to the plans….is so gratifying.

I am proud of the work we do in Emergency Management. As an instructor I expect a lot out of you. And your students most definitely do too.

As an instructor, your influence to your participants can generate enthusiasm beyond expectation. Dedication is critical to the success of your mission. I am thankful for all the smiles in our FEMA Region 5 COOP class on this #AlohaFriday.

@rusnivek

Brand new FEMA Region V COOP class Day-1

Kicking off the new FEMA Region 5 Continuity of Operations class here at the DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Proud to have Northwestern Medicine’s Continuity Manager Sam Boyle and DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Operations Supervisor Joe Joseph with us to share some of the changes with FCD-1, FCD-2, CC-1, HSPD5, PPD-8, NSPD-51, HSPD-20, and of course the NIMS update.

Mid-day discussion with Joe on the Continuity planning process with the new FEMA course materials for COOP focused around essential functions.

Look at those smiles!

All made to enhance the skills of our public safety partners.

Shout out to all the leadership and participants who took the time away from their desks to enhance their program’s ability to function beyond catastrophic incidents.

Also, for those that were paying attention on the day? Is it really the perfect date?

Hmmmm…

Boom.

COOP? Operations? Social Media? Public Information? Pop culture? Everything is a calculated because even in a FEMA class, we don’t miss a beat!

Welcome to my program. This is how we do things at our house.

@rusnivek

Can Sharknado be real? Easy answer is…

It’s Wednesday – so on this fine hump day, I bring you this hump of a disaster…

…more like a movie that is a disaster. I can confirm, Sharknado isn’t real.

The possibility of a sharks flying around in a tornado are incredibly rare.

Don’t be a bozo.

@rusnivek

 

My favorite Superbowl commercials? #SB52

My favorite commercials from the Superbowl last night?

Thank you Budweiser.

(But what about the US Virgin Islands?)

Also, thank you Verizon for that breathtaking 1991 image of heroism and call to duty by FDNY Rescue-1 Firefighter Shea.

Trust me, every single #Firefighter worth their weight, knows this image and the events leading up to this.

Me? I am glad to be a small part of organizations and agencies that continue the good fight to provide safety to countless citizens. I am humbled by these companies that took the focus from their “widget” and turned the attention to those who have dedicated their life to serve.

Thank you.

@rusnivek

P.S. Good football game too.

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