2019 National Preparedness Symposium (Day-1)

Early morning start to this Tuesday waiting for clearance from tower.

But before you know it, we are off heading 150 to the 2019 National Preparedness Symposium!

Awwwww yeah, training & exercises and all the FEMA peeps in one place here at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Alabama!

Started off with a talk from the National Integration Center on the new National Response Framework and Community Lifelines.

Chad walked us through soooooo many programs that Doc talked about previously. Glad to see his work has carried through to inspire a new generation of Emergency Managers.

Continued with spirited discussion from my friends at FEMA EMI on the ongoing efforts for the Emergency Management Professional Program.

Lots of recs on what to take and complete as they could (hint hint) require this for EMPG grant funding employees. Yes that’s right, they can mandate these courses to qualify for grant funds.

So yeah, I’d suggest you get on those courses right away.

Then we hopped deep into a FEMA Region 5 meeting w/ our partners from Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, and of course Illinois. Overview of exercises “Basically, June is going to be insane.”

Grrrrreat.

Then, it happened. One of the Training & Exercise Managers called me out as “The Legend! We have a picture of you on our wall!”

Me: Blush

Joliet Fire Deputy Fire Chief gave us the biggest shoutout as they said to the entire region “Did you know DuPage trained all the Aurora Police PIOs? Their first day of the job was the day they had that shooting.”

Either way, it was good to report out for DuPage County OHSEM and their significant efforts in training for all provides from across Illinois.

And of course got a chance to see a few familiar faces in the crowd from Rhode Island, Vermont, Texas, California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Tennessee, New York, Kentucky, Louisiana, and of course Illinois.

Great to catch up to FEMA Region 8 James Taylor who served as my Disaster Recovery Center Manager during Hurricane Irma for the Florida Keys.

Glad to hear he is doing well.

Proud to see soooooooo many old disaster friends too.

Looking forward to hearing from Acting Administrator Pete Gaynor tomorrow morning as he will surely touch on our strategic mission objectives as well as building out a culture of preparedness.

Follow the hashtag used: #NPS19

Reporting live from the CDP….

@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 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

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

 

Day-1 Ohio EMA Emergency Planning

Welcome to another solid start of Ohio EMA’s G-235: Emergency Planning course!

Thank you to Ashtabula County EMA for hosting this class for participants from three different FEMA regions. Here’s Ashtabula County EMA Deputy Director Tim Settles welcoming message to all our participants.

I immediately started involving them on identifying solid planning system characteristics.

Great discussion among Fire representatives, Emergency Management, and Red Cross professionals.

Additionally, CERT and HAM radio operators’ involvement was critical in plan writing as they will be testing/using those annexes.

Team leads from the Ohio National Guard / 52nd Civil Support Unit attended and worked closely with leadership from local/county EMAs.

Outstanding first day of class!

@rusnivek

Day-2: Basic Public Information Officers Course #PIO #PAO

Day-2 of FEMA / Ohio EMA Basic Public Information Officer course.

Many of our participants wanted to know what is was like to implement a media pool for an international audience so we obliged¬†by showcasing the May 2013 landmark case of the Cleveland Survivors’ Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight.

After discussing interview tips, we reviewed all media interviews. Everyone got a chance to openly review their newly acquired PIO interview skills.

PC: E. Creech

PC: E. Creech

Sharp PIOs providing some sharp witty responses to the fictitious disaster.

Great discussion on redirection…


…and phrasing…


…and transitional phrasing or bridging…


…and reversing a negative…


…and of course the “no comment” conundrum.


All these in class activities help better our PIO on camera TV interviewing skills.

Meanwhile, a few participants tried to manually control the interview by holding my mic hostage.


Fun times.

Looking forward to our G291: Joint Information System / Joint Information Center class tomorrow on #AlohaFriday.

@rusnivek

 

Instructing the National Emergency Management Executive Academy at FEMA

Pretty excited to¬†instruct again on Monday at FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute.

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My class is the newer National Emergency Management Academies EM Professional Programs (EMPP) – Executive Academy.

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I’m truly honored to be chosen to instruct the National Emergency Management Executive Academy that¬†focuses on Strategic Leadership and Critical Thinking. My part? Crisis Communications, Public Information Officer, and Social Media Exercises.

shades

Sunnies on and pin on point!

I hope to see you in class on Monday!

Totes excited.

@rusnivek