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 ūüí©. 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

More Emergency Management interviews at #IAEM16

It was super fun to interview Jody today at the 2016 International Association of Emergency Management Conference.

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Emergency Management Officer Jody Hodge from the Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency (Alabama)

Why is Jody so awesome?

Yeah, we talked about preparedness, talked about disaster kits, talked about natural disasters…But to close the interview, he¬†said “Aloha y’all!”

Reporting live from #IAEM16

@rusnivek

 

Reporting live from the step-and-repeat #IAEM16 

On arrival to the International Association of Emergency Managers 2016 Annual Conference, I had a few minutes to spare.

Photo Credit: Don Fisher

As usual, reporting live in front of the #IAEM step-and-repeat….
@rusnivek

#AlohaFriday for paperwork and meetings at OhioEMA

On this #AlohaFriday РI report to the OEMA mother ship!

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I had to take care of some TPSReports for ICS classes. Talked about upcoming October/November schedules with both SAAs on a few ICS-300 and ICS-400 about registration issues as well as my¬†packed¬†IMT class for FEMA’s USAR¬†Ohio Task Force-1 (OH-TF-1).

I was fortunate to visit with good friends Jerry and Sima. Hilarious!

Lots of discussion on the RNC as well as National Preparedness Month.

And yes, all done with the Aloha Shirt on.

@rusnivek

 

Sharing preparedness tips with PIOs across the country #NatlPrep #PrepareAthon

I frequently present to Public Information Officers / Public Affairs Officers (PIOs & PAOs) across the country and talk extensively about preparedness.

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For those that were wondering about the class attire, many of my classes get scheduled on a Friday aka #AlohaFriday

Proud to say¬†that so many of them love the job¬†and enjoy sharing ways to increase safety¬†in all communities with FEMA’s Ready.Gov Program.

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Your local Fire, EMS, Law Enforcement, and Emergency Management agencies are a great starting point for preparedness activities. Then all state safety agencies and Federal partners cooperate top down with many key organizations across the country.

That’s right. Local works with state works with regional works with national.

 

Happy #AlohaFriday peeps!

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‚ÄúDon‚Äôt Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.‚ÄĚ

@rusnivek

Teaching the brand new DHS/FEMA Basic Public Information Officer Course

Awwww yeah! This past week, I got a chance to teach part of the brand new DHS/FEMA G0290: Basic Public Information Officer Course!

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Formerly known as G-290 course, this is the new FEMA Basic Public Information Officer course taught across the country for all public safety and emergency management professionals.

Thanks again to the Kentucky Emergency Management Agency and KESC for allowing me the opportunity. Also, special thanks to the ever fashionable Mike from NIOA.

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Shakas because we are reporting live from Kentucky…

@rusnivek

Friday talks with Ohio EMA leadership

It was great to spend some time with Ohio EMA leadership yesterday.

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Discussion on community resilience, task force deployments, Presidential Declarations, key initiatives, outreach, training, EMAC deployments, stakeholder engagement, public information officer, Emergency Management visibility, social media, Public Assistance, SBA loans, documentation and reimbursements, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Public and Private partnerships…heck-we even touched on the buzz words for 2015: Climate change and Cyber.

For sure, lots of notes!

It is so great to hear OEMA Executive Director Sima Merick passionate about all facets of Emergency Management.

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Also got a chance to hang with my Ohio EMA Training and Education peeps Lisa and Susan too. Solid discussion about the upcoming Mass Fatalities course (G-386), PIO Courses (G-290), JIC/JIS Courses (G-291), Intermediate Incident Command courses (ICS-300), and the Recovery from Disasters Course (G-270.4).

Lots of good free stuff upcoming from Ohio EMA!

BTW-If you did a double take on that first picture, yes sir Sur, #AlohaFridays are made for an Aloha shirt. Period. Also a historical note, Hawaii became the 50th state on August 21, 1959.

Don’t worry peeps, look closely as I had my Ohio pin on.

Have a great weekend!

@rusnivek

Bioterrorism discussion at IIT in Chicago

This past weekend, I was invited to swing by the Illinois Institute of Technology Graduate School in downtown Chicago.

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Spirited discussion included bioterrorism, social media data/intelligence, explosives, nuc/rad release, mass panic/evacuation, and of course drone operations for large events.

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Participants included many members of Chicago Police’s upper administration and leadership from Chicago Police specialty teams.

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They asked Dr. Fagel if I was a Special Agent kinda guy. Clearly, my Aloha shirt on a Saturday really messed things up.

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Overall, it was a great day to be in downtown Chicago.

Looking forward to sharing some SME knowledge with the graduate students this fall.

@rusnivek