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

Crisis Comms meetings at ARC Chicago

Afternoon meetings with the Communications team with the Red Cross of Chicago!

Case studies? Social media? Response training? Media training? Yeppers, all of that stuff for for the L-team to boots-on-the-ground staff.

Looking forward to some upcoming Crisis Comms training with all their staff.

@rusnivek

FEMA Basic PIO – day 2 with media!

Day-2 of the FEMA Basic PIO course here at DuPage County OHSEM and I wanted to pay my respects…..I mean focus in a bit on press releases.

While just one tool in the tool box, press releases were the primary way to get the info out to media partners about 15 years ago.

Yes, don’t ask. I remember writing my first press release. And no, it wasn’t good.

I am old AF.

However, we wanted to share the dangers of writing bad press releases…so I opted to share one of my favorite ones from Cleveland.

Thanks LeBron.

Mid-morning stop as we open our class up for our media panel.

(L to R)

Daily Herald (@dailyherald) Justin Kmitch (@JustinKmitchDH)

NBC Chicago (@NBCChicago) Chris Coffey (@ChrisCoffeyNBC)

WGN News (@WGNNews) Shannon Halligan (@ShanHalligan)

Lots of discussion including field PIO questions, staging areas, no comment, availability, and of course the dreaded “off the record” conversation. These kinds of conversations are incredibly important as we continue to network with others and enhance our relationships with our partners in the media. Also tweeting from the front of the class is totally acceptable too.

We also had some discussion about the outstanding work that the Aurora Police Department did during their active shooter incident in February. Kudos to all involved including the six new Police PIOs who were immediately pressed into service on their first day of being PIOs.

Literally “Learn it today, use it this afternoon.”

I’ve heard some great panel discussions, but the straight forward information in this panel was refreshing and honest.

I even pressed – if a PIO says to you “No comment” how does that make you feel? Justin’s comment was poignant and worth hearing.

Stay tuned for that interview to be published on #MediaMinutes.

We closed out the day reviewing the interviews and had solid conversations around social media.

Special thanks to our Media Panel guests from the media,

Outstanding class with all our participants!

@rusnivek

 

 

Fugly little thing messing up weather today #Groundhogs day

PIO message –

Friendly reminder: REAL weather predictions should be based from real science (like our professionals from the National Weather Service @)…not a fugly little fat groundhog on one-single day.

C’mon peeps! Common sense right?!?

@rusnivek

 

Severe cold weather is here with wind chills at…

Holey moley it’s frickin freezing Mr. Bigglesworth!

Am I the only one out here? Hello? Hello? Anyone? Anyone?

Well, I dressed appropriately. If you were wondering, my OOTD was this.

Yaaaaaaaaaaasssssssss!!!! PPE! PPE! PPE!

So how cold is it?

Yikes. Is that right? 🥶

The wind chill is -50ish, however some of my electronic devices aren’t working quite right.

What does it feel like?

Reporting live from the planet Hoth

Cold weather prep and our strong partnership with NWS Chicago

On the ready! So many things happen behind the scenes as Emergency Management Pros continue to plan and coordinate in prep for the severe cold weather inbound to our area of responsibility (AOR).

Our rock solid partnership with the National Weather Service Chicago continues to shine as we share information to our partners as well as the general public. Incorporating additional info like the Frostbite vs Hypothermia fact sheet from CDC is a bonus as we look to temps falling into the mid -20s with the windchill to reach -50 to -60.

Yikes is right.

If all predictions are correct, the forecasted temperatures are historic lows.

Our staff is currently conducting a conference call with police, fire, public works, and emergency management agencies within to discuss the extreme cold weather event tonight through Thursday.

All hands working!

Also, thanks for the briefing Ricky from the NWS Chicago!

@rusnivek