FEMA Basic Academy graduation – first one in Illinois

The time has come to welcome all of our graduates of the FEMA Basic Academy here at DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management!

“This is the first FEMA Basic Academy offered here in Illinois and we are proud to bring this Emergency Management foundation education here to DuPage County.” said Academy Instructor Kevin Sur. “The skills learned during this intensive course from November through March builds the framework for all Emergency Managers combining knowledge of all fundamental systems, concepts, and practices of leading actions for future leaders.”

The course started in November 2019 where participants were exposed to all mission areas including a myriad of case studies that highlighted the importance of collaboration and coordination in the response and recovery phase of any disaster or emergency.

In January 2020, participants took a deep dive into the science of disasters as well as planning to better help and understand the threats and dangers to each of their own communities.

To understand our hazards, we must understand legit science so that we can use the right resources to solve the problem.

The last week in March 2020, the class focused on the hot button topic of Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program and the Public Information and Warning course. Special thanks to new FEMA MEPP DuPage County OHSEM Sup Corey Mulryan for teaching with me on this one.

Participants debated the use of mass notification systems, social media in targeting specific audiences, and the value of the Public Information Officer (PIO) who’s role is so vital to the success of the agency.

Proud to be a part of the Instructional delivery team to get this first class here at DuPage County OHSEM.

Who’s who in the zoo? Well, we had participants from 6 different states, 3 different FEMA Regions with a diverse crowd from local, county, state, and Federal partners.

OUTSTANDING!!!!!

As we rolled into the graduation, I was able to make some opening remarks and thanking our most esteemed guests in the room.

Glad to hear from the new FEMA Region V Deputy Regional Administrator Kevin Sligh.

Deputy RA Sligh is a graduate of the program and is proud to see this foundational course being used as the marker of success for local Emergency Managers.

We also got a chance to hear from FEMA Region 5 Training & Exercise Manager Jessica Mitchell on the value of training. She is a proud resident of DuPage County.

And finally, to close things out, ladies and gents….put your hands together for Former IEMA Director and former Director of DuPage OHSEM….FEMA Region V Regional Administrator James Joseph!!!!

@rusnivek = #HypeMan

Great to hear his words of wisdom as his start here at DuPage and move on up has been solid.

Oh yeah…..social media. Yeah, I haven’t been posting a ton of stuff. Been concentrating on instruction and delivering the best class stuff.

Buttttttttttttttttttttttttt since I am one of the few FEMA Master PIOs, I figured it was only appropriate that I take a class selfie right?

#engagement #selfie

But seriously, I’m super proud of all the work that everyone contributed in class.

Lots of love for all of them.

More importantly, I know who I can count on during an activation/disaster.

Rusnivek’s 2020 Objective-1: Instructor certified FEMA Basic Academy – completed.

From the bottom of my heart, mahalos to my colleagues for the support throughout the academy.

Reporting live with a huge smile on my face…..

@rusnivek

L0105: Public Information and Warning

About to start the final day of the FEMA Basic Academy…aka L01015.

As always, a fine welcome from our Emergency Management Director Murray Snow.

Glad to have our staff support this event.

Also even more happy to have so many of our most trusted partners in the audience today as we continue to chat about Public Information and Warning.

Here’s Pete starting up the day.

Lots more as we continue on.

Sabit’s got some big plan for graduation.

Not going to lie….I kinda love it.

More deets on the graduation shortly.

@rusnivek

 

FEMA OEMA Basic PIO Day-2 in Lake County’s EOC

Day-2 of the FEMA OEMA Basic Public Information Officer courses. Back at it for the morning sunshine in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) here in Lake County.

Loving how they still have the nod to the older Civil Defense logos here.  

Steve opted for a faster pace today so he blew through Palumbo Plastics scenario.

After walking through a few tabletop exercises, we shifted into the classroom review of all PIO on-camera interviews. Legit on camera interviews.

The realistic scenario has been shared hundreds if not thousands of times. All of which point to crisis comms, PIOs sharing (or not sharing) information and how they can improve their on camera presence to their audiences through spoken word and non-verbal cues. Pretty much the hallmark of any PIO on camera.

In the mix, Steve shared his EMAC deployment w/ to South Carolina for Hurricane Florence.

Another outstanding day in Lake County as our participants are fully engaged in another class. Looking forward tomorrow with great engagement for the JIC/JIS class.

@rusnivek

Final day of the FEMA Basic Academy Planning Emergency Operations course

Final day of the FEMA Emergency Management Basic Academy here DuPage County OHSEM. Lots of discussion about EOPs and #THIRA planning.

Enhancing the skills of our most trusted partners from Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois.

More group work as we address planning for our Whole Community response and recovery in this planning class.

Solid collaboration from all public safety representatives from local to Federal level.

Final group activity as we continue to enhance our Emergency Operations Plans.

Lots of discussion on sharing timely and critical information with access & functional needs populations.

Closing out this week’s packed FEMA Basic Academy on Aloha Friday.

Many thanks to local, county, state, and Federal officials/leaders attending representing FEMA Region 5 and FEMA Region 7.

@rusnivek

FEMA Basic Academy Science of Disaster Day-1

Starting out the full second week of the FEMA Basic Academy!

Welcome to DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management from Director Murray Snow.

Glad to have our partners from NWS Chicago Mike Bardou joining us today too.

Our DuPage resident weather geek….I mean weather enthusiast John Nebl is here to share his weather emergency management knowledge too.

FEMA EMI Instructor Lenora getting into the meat and potatoes as we hit science big time this week.

Do you need the FEMA L0102: Science of Disaster Participant Guidebook?

Download it here –> L0102-ScienceOfDisaster-PG.

And if you were wondering #OOTD…

The socks match the tie.

HA!

Are you in our class this week?

@rusnivek

Day-2 of the FEMA Basic PIO Course here in KY

Day-2 of the FEMA Basic Public Information Officer Course here.

Glad to finally meet Lexington Fire Capt Jessica Bowman who is also one of the FEMA Master PIOs.

Great day to share some of the tools we use as PIOs. Here’s Sherelle and John talking about the importance and fashionable safety vests are for officials onscene.

Additionally, we discussed media being well visible as their safety is incredibly important. We can’t have our friends in the news business get hurt or become part of the incident.

And trust me, the more people who get injured in an incident, the more paperwork we all have to fill out….so be safe!

As usual, we had a very seasoned media panel from WLEX18 Bill Wilcox and Herald Leader Peter Baniak. Many thanks to both news organizations to spend time out of their busy schedule to spend with PIOs from across the state.

With all Basic PIO classes, we talk about the ability and flexibility for PIOs to do field reporting. Often times, reporters can’t get to a scene because of traffic or lack of staffing. Either way, we as government PIOs can help them out by packaging information they need from the scene. The tools needed to produce this kind of info is fairly easy to get, however the challenge is to put them into play.

By sharing the tactics and tools in class, I am able to improve the skills of any PIO by enhancing their ability to share solid timely and TRUSTED information with any of the targeted audiences.

As PIOs, we are beholden to so many audiences.

  • Public
  • Media
  • Leadership
  • Our internal teams.

At times, our job seems easy however once you dive into it, you can see the complexities of our efforts.

Don’t worry, we reviewed all mock on camera interviews. Tackled key concepts like redirects as well as some tips on how to give more positive non-verbals while being interviewed during crisis.

Super fun day with everyone. Lots of contributions from our partners from Fire, EMS, Police, Emergency Management, Energy, Coroner’s Office, Higher Education, Search and Rescue.

Looking forward to tomorrow’s FEMA JIC/JIS course!

Reporting live from the EOC….

@rusnviek