Chayne in the ATL! #SMEM

Trust me when I say the world of Social Media Emergency Management is small…because today, I got a chance to chat w/ Shayne Sparagowski in Atlanta.

Look who I found. Great to meet @chayne_s & have breakfast this morning. #EmergencyManagement is truly a small world. #smem #hsem

Shayne is an Emergency Manager out of the Atlanta-Fulton EMA in Georgia and like me, loves to talk about social media.

Hilariously, we talked more about Emergency Management specifically mass care/sheltering and a whole bunch about weather decision for large planned events. You know, typical Emergency Management talk huh?

Sounds like the spirit of Emergency Management is alive and well in Georgia as it was great to chat w/ Chayne!

Reporting live from the ATL…..

@rusnivek

FEMA OEMA JIC/JIS Course today

Starting out the day with the FEMA OEMA G0291: JIC/JIS course.

So glad to see Father Fire….I mean Chief Warner….I mean Captain Warner here at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

While wearing a different hat, we can confidently say that no matter what uniform we wear, our efforts to protect our community goes beyond just the normal 8-5 job. It truly is a calling for public safety pros to serve their community.

While in module-3, we had a reporter from Cleveland-19 Action News WOIO show up here to do an interview with one of our participants in the class – the Lake County (Ohio) Sheriff Frank Leonbruno.

Solid, poised…

…and deliberate words for the current situation. Well done Sheriff!

<Must have had good PIO instructors huh?>

Fortunately, Cleveland 19 News Reporter Kendall Forward and Videographer Marty DeChant had a few minutes to spare as they were kind enough to share their thoughts on PIO interactions with public safety PIOs.

(L to R): Kendall Forward, Steve Bosso, Kevin Sur, and Marty DeChant

(L to R): Kendall Forward, Steve Bosso, Kevin Sur, and Marty DeChant

And since I had them with us, I had to ask my favorite question: On the record? Is that really true?

The afternoon provided us the opportunity to bring everyone together in the JIC scenario and collaboration with all attendees. This class addresses various participants but making it all work is the hallmark of Phil Politano’s vision – all culminating in the joint press conference.

Shout out to all participants in this week’s class. Proud of the work you’ve done as well as the contributions to your community.

Welcome to the world of PIO!

 

More importantly, I am glad to see so many familiar faces this week.Seeing all of you leading your respective departments is inspiring as I truly can say “I knew you when…”

Go forth and Tweet good stuff!

@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

Day-1 of the FEMA OEMA Basic PIO Course

Day-1 of the FEMA OEMA Basic Public Information Officer course here at Lake County EMA!

With a welcome from Joe and the gang here in Lake County.

For those wondering, how close are we to the nuclear EPZ?

Yeah, real close.

So let’s hit this PIO stuff!

Like all PIO classes, we hit the basics of being a PIO as well as what one can do with a few others tips as the emergency situation gets more complex.

And since we love the real-time training, we pull all participants into the mock interviews.

Awwww yeah, no hiding in our class.

Outstanding first day with all participants from across the state from various public safety agencies including Fire, EMS, Police, Emergency Management, Amateur radio, and other government services.

@rusnivek

Another FEMA PIO Awareness course in Lake County Illinois

Another fine start to the FEMA PIO Awareness course here at Mundelein Fire Station 1!

Special thanks to DC Brents and the whole crew!

Lots to talk about as we intro the magic of public information to a new class. Of course we had a few words of wisdom from PIO John Nebl.

Great perspective and stories from Schaumburg Police.

If you were wondering, we are in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC)…so that’s a good thing.

Making your peeps train in the location that they would likely be activated to…is a solid practice.

With a diverse class, we are able to cover lots of topics and various situations. The all-hazards nature of this FEMA class allows us to better prepare our PIOs for any emergency.

Additionally, I love to share my experiences from large events and disasters with fellow colleagues from across the State of Illinois.

Training together better prepares us to coordinate and work together before, during, and after an emergency. That’s right, come on in and form Voltron.

Special thanks to all the staff from Mundelein Fire for the warm hospitality to our staff from the DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Train like you fight!

@rusnivek

FEMA Basic PIO Day-1 at Summit County (OH) Public Health

Another fine start to the FEMA Basic Public Information Officer class here in Summit County, Ohio!

Many thanks to the pros at the Summit County Health Department who are hosting this week’s class.

Outstanding hospitality as always!

And of course special thanks to Jena Beckett and the team from Summit County EMA for enhancing their team’s knowledge on the fun of being a Public Information Officer!

We are in the command room this week so you know it’s serious!

As always, we lay the groundwork for successful operations for any PIO.

But we also share real-world experiences that could help in their daily routines to better their visibility. And yes, of course we still do all the media mock interviews.

Public health is a great partner when it comes to outbreaks and opioid intervention tactics so many of our participants opted to test their media skills on an outbreak and response.

Also great to have former Columbus newsies Rachel Feeley on our PIO side (now with Ohio Department of Health) as we continue our mock interviews for everyone.

See, deep down inside, some reporters want to be public safety PIOs. 🤣

For those newly assigned PIOs, we get them on camera as soon as possible!

The whole idea is that we expose new PIOs to this kind of media interview(s) so they aren’t shocked the first time they do it in real life. It’s always a bit more nerve racking when you are n00b PIO and have a bunch of mics and high intensity lights shoved in your face during the start of a major disaster or crisis.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand finally, a big shout out to my team across this great nation as FEMA turns 40 this week!

Here’s a quick video that External Affairs put together.

Proud to work along side all of you through countless disasters.
@rusnivek

Preparedness efforts – continuing to build a Culture of Preparedness

Day-2 teaching at the Effingham County (Illinois) Emergency Operations Center on Preparedness for senior caregivers.

Great discussion from participants from all over the State of Illinois including various Emergency Management, Health Departments, Public Information Officers, Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), public works, communications, law enforcement, fire departments, hospitals, and emergency medical services.

Great to share and continue to enhance the capabilities of communities across this great nation which include DHS/FEMA, but also our local/state partners, private sector, and all citizens.

As usual, we are all proud to continue build our Culture of Preparedness.

@rusnivek

Instructing FEMA NDPTC Winter Weather Hazards at Effingham County EOC #Illinois

Starting out the morning in Illinois at the Effingham County Emergency Operations Center!

Glad to see sooooo many smiling faces here to learn about preparedness and science with our efforts to better prepare our public safety partners on winter weather hazards.

And sharing how critical the National Weather Service is to our daily response and every single Emergency Operations Center is essential for all professionals in any emergency. No matter where you are in the US, there is a NWS office to support your daily operations.

Sharing important information on the science of weather including how to discern these crazy charts, graphs, and data make it easier to understand how tough meteorologists have it when trying to forecast the weather.

And sharing real case studies and discussion the evolution of how response officials work together is critical for any community across this great nation.

Teaching at Effingham County helped me realize they got some really cool stuff here (aka Emergency Management toys resources!)

Special shout out to Pam and the entire crew at Effingham County EMA as well as everyone in Illinois Region-9.

Looking forward to seeing all of you at the next big one!

@rusnivek

Monday = Debris Management!

Starting out this week talking about Debris Management and the importance of Public Works and Logistics!

Yeah, doesn’t seem like a fun topic right? But if you look at the real deal, this is how Emergency Managers earn their keep. Cause it’s not in the response phase.

Emergency Managers work the magic in the recovery phase.

Collaboration in class means that we hash out a few issues prior to the actual disaster.

Working closely with all factions in government will ensure a smooth response from everyone involved.

The faster you get your community back on track, the better your community will be. Building resilient communities is critical!

You should address 10 major factors as part of your debris plan.

Is this difficult? Most definitely. Here’s a picture from the USVI in 2017.

Here’s a picture from the USVI in November 2018.

Can you think of any planning challenges? Any logistical issues? Any major environmental issues?

If you said a million yeseseses to the above three questions, you need to address your debris management plan with your Emergency Management official.

Special mahalos to my Co-instructor Ben.

Sharing a few stories about counter intelligence, we realize it’s a really small world.

@rusnviek

FEMA OEMA G0291: Joint Information Center/System class at the Cleveland EOC! #PIO

Happy AlohaFriday and a great start to the FEMA OEMA G0291: Joint Information Center / Joint Information System course here at the Cleveland EOC!

So naturally, we talked a bunch of JIC stuff including our third guest VIP – day shift Cleveland JIC Manager of the 2016 RNC and the led JIC Manager of the Christmas plane crash in 2016, Beth Zietlow DeJesus!!!

Not only sharing stories about coordination amongst local, county, and Federal agencies on the recovery process, Beth was able to share a few stories about the media on controlling the message and handling mis-information.

Great experiences to share with out new PIOs!

Outstanding class this week. Proud of the work and collaboration in class shared by everyone. Great to see these new PIOs as they increase their organization’s visibility.

Now go forth, and use your new PIO skillz for good!

Also, yeah.

@rusnivek