August is going to be tight!

Can’t believe it’s August already. Seems like summer just got here!

First week: COOP class and functional exercises as we prep for upcoming activations. COOP-a-Roop baby!

Second week we got another ICS-400 class then an activation for the BMW Classic PGA tournament. My position? Deputy Intelligence Branch Chief and PIO (I know, you are shocked huh?)

Third week will be back-to-back-to-back with a debris class, Basic PIO class, and JIC/JIS class.

Fourth week, I’ll finally get to take that NDPTC flooding Course at our office. Lord knows how much flooding we’ve had across the country including Illinois.

A busy month indeed with tight schedules in 5, 10, and 4. Not much room for error but hoping to make the magic happen for our public safety partners.

Hope to see you out there.

@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

Second day of ICS-300 at our house OHSEM

Second day of ICS-300 at the DuPage County OHSEM as we continue to share tools and tips to enhance response and coordination. Here’s Dave talking about some of the weather tools we use to trigger activation/response.

And yes, don’t worry, we talk a metric TON about Incident Action Plans (IAPs) as well as some event action plans.

I often share IAPs from real world disasters and events. This way, it showcases the actual use of the ICS forms as well as ways to improve them for future occurrences. Wat? Hold the phone. Don’t lie now, your IAP isn’t always perfect. You are human. Stuff happens.

I do shred some IAPs that need work, and then I show the IAPs that look pretty dang good. No shame in my game because if we don’t share what we learn, we will never prepare our future disaster peeps for success.

But more importantly, that’s right, I said it – we should share our failures with others so that we can better our profession. Rising tide raises all ships right?

Don’t be that amateur and hold all your mistakes close. Be a pro and share your errors so that others may learn. Inspire a new generation with stronger leaders.

In the end, despite the test, you can still have an ICS course where your participants are smiling.

Just gotta find the right ICS course…and instructors willing to inspire.

See you on the next big one peeps!

@rusnivek

Starting the January ICS-300 course at our house!

Another great start to our ICS-300 course! Welcome to my house – DuPage County OHSEM!

Packed class with sooooo many public safety partners here.

This class has a bunch of activities so our participants can apply what they are learning immediately to the fictitious town of Central City.

Note: Central city is a fictitious town that we use in almost all of our classes. It’s not a real place. However, if it was, I would definitely not want to live there. Or eat the Coho salmon from there. Just sayin…

Great engagement from everyone here.

Proud to be hosting this course at our house.

Looking forward to class tomorrow!

@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

 

Fun stuff on the final day of ICS-300!

Day-3 final day of ICS-300 starting out with another in class exercise!

It is imperative that we push all agencies to think outside of their normal comfort zone and look to alternate resources and like-minded professionals.

Not only other pros, but also standardizing the response so that everyone is on the same page, using the same terminology, same forms, and same plans and objectives.

Your agency’s mission is very important.

Your organizational goals are super important too.

But those SMART Objectives are SOOOO critical to everyone onscene as well as future operational periods.

And yes, the same truths still apply: coffee and collaboration are totes critical when a disaster first strikes.

But it also takes a consummate professional to continue the work after the response phase…but into recovery and mitigation. Thus ensuring your community some protection as we are always in a state of preparedness.

Our class also had lots of discussion on this slide as we view credentialing as a preparedness activity as we look to standardization and qualifications.

Great week and proud of the work from all participants in this class.

Looking forward to seeing all of you on the next big one.

@rusnivek

Day-2 of ICS-300 w/ our DoD assets and public safety professionals

Day-2 of ICS-300 started off with some class discussion on other classes that newer Emergency Management Professionals could attend to help broaden the expertise.

As we roll into module-4, we have lots of in class exercises to help participants understand the importance of coordination in response.

Proud to see so many here from various disciplines as well as a few familiar faces in the crowd too.

And again, if you look closely, you can see participants smiling…IN MY ICS-300 CLASS!!!!!

Lotsa smiles!!!!

Again, great to see solid collaboration here in class. Sooooooo many great ideas exchanged in the room. Even more proud to see it done BEFORE an emergency or disaster.

Also, one day, someone will recognize my hand puppet skills.

Kidding.

Day-2 dunzo. Great participation from everyone in the class!

@rusnivek