Quick chat with FEMA Deputy Administrator Dan Kaniewski

I was fortunate this week to sit down this week with FEMA Deputy Administrator for Resilience Dan Kaniewski at FEMA HQ.

Dan’s efforts across the country has helped pushed the importance of preparedness and strength for any community. With regular talks on flood insurance and hazard mitigation, his ability to bring pre-disaster planning to the forefront has been solid as we continue to help many communities better prepare for any disaster or emergency.

Dan’s hard fought efforts is not only with government agencies, but various partners in the public and private sector too. The importance of their efforts will only help better their community when disaster strikes.

Glad to see our top brass pushing for more preparedness every single day too.

Reporting live from FEMA HQ…Happy Aloha Friday peeps!

@rusnivek

Monday morning with FEMA HQ staff

Solid Monday morning here at FEMA HQ.

Catching up to a few friends in External Affairs because preparedness doesn’t stop! I knew Jana starting back in the day as we were (and still are) huge advocates for the Ready.Gov Program.

For more details behind the FEMA Ready.Gov program, check out www.ready.gov

And since we are talking about External Affairs, I got a chance to take a deep dive with FEMA External Affairs Director Jessica Nalepa.

Lots of discussion on the complexities of External Affairs and how our actions are so critical in a disaster and of course the public perception. Also lots of discussion on dedication to career and service.

Looking forward to having more discussion with her on how to improve our response and elevate External Affairs for FEMA and the nation.

Suit up because I’m reporting live from Washington DC….

@rusnivek

Why is my mailbox OOS?

For those that inquired about mailboxes on the marathon route, this is what typically happens a week before the race.

Sometimes, the USPS actually removes them.

For Emergency Managers, this is just one of the many tasks that need to get completed prior to the start of the big events…however, think about the logistics of any large sized item along the 26.2 mile race. Think about the logistics of removing them and the coordination.

Now you see why it’s so important to have an Emergency Operations Center?

@rusnivek

Emergency Management and Disasters for Glendale Heights’ Leadership #EPIC

Back in Illinois with the team from Glendale Heights – good morning everyone!

Today, our Emergency Management Agency is bringing the heat as we talk about Emergency Management, crisis and how the magic works…esp during a disaster Starting out the morning welcome with Glendale Heights PD Police Chief Douglas Flint.

To start the morning off, I am honored to share the Incident Command System (ICS) to the leaders and directors from Glendale Heights and beyond.

(Truth be told, I kinda like being the opening act.)

I tailored the ICS part of the class to match the audience. Illustrating the need for ICS as well as the true responsibility in a disaster is critical esp for our peeps!

Our partners like Glendale Heights deserve to get the best info when providing for their community. And when the big one hits, they want a seamless working environment to operate.

Emergency Management = the perfect answer as we collaborate and coordinate with our all-hazards partners to provide resources, staff, etc….

Trust me, when the big one hits, the small stuff counts.

After lunch, we went over the Illinois law re: Emergency Management (301), talked about weather decision modeling, plans, crisis communications, and COOP/COG.

Check out Craig! He can turn on the charm when talking about COG!

Outstanding day with Glendale Heights leadership. Proud to work closely with our partners and leaders here.

Looking forward to tomorrow’s tabletop exercise.

@rusnivek

Day-2 of the new 2019 ICS-400 course!

Day-2 of the new 2019 ICS-400 course! This morning, we start out talking about the deadly 2005 Hurricane Katrina/Rita response with the US Coast Guard.

Facilitated discussion allows our participants to openly discuss perceived issues. Lots of response actions from all of our participants that can contribute to a successful response. Glad we had fruitful discussion prior to the actual disaster.

Our class also acknowledged the national Emergency Alert System Test today for TV and radio.

Everyone in class knew about it…aka prepared leadership and pros. Love it!

Midmorning and afternoon class-time was spent on the capstone activity with heavy discussion on the use of area command and how we allocate resources for multiple jurisdictions.

And you are right if you said that the rotor wing options are high on the list of valuable recourses.

Channeling my best FEMA EMI Bob Ridgeway, “…and don’t worry sports fans” moment, we included the infamous State of Columbia!

This fictions town is always a disaster.

Great to see so many partners discuss overarching goals including challenges with the big three public safety providers. Like pros, they included a large bite into health intelligence, DoD assets, and of course addressing various audiences like the tribal nations. Solid!

Proud to serve my fellow public safety pros from all professions this week in the ICS-400 course.

@rusnivek

The new 2019 ICS-400 this week!

Good morning peeps – welcome to the new 2019 ICS-400: Advanced ICS!

Proud to be one of the first instructors to roll this course out to our public safety partners that popped in late July. This week’s class? We have a bunch of pros from all backgrounds including Fire, EMS, Police, Healthcare, Public Works, Communications, Health Department, National Guard, Civil Support Teams, State, VA, Intelligence, and Tribal nations. I’m proud to serve all these pros.

Lots of discussion on preparedness efforts esp with some of the projected large disasters from across the country. In fact, discussion on preparedness for Cascadia Rising, New Madrid Fault, and national infrastructure failures were consistently discussed through the day. Related note: Proud to hear of sooo many prepared pros in class this week.

Classically, lots to share as Emergency Management pros continues to coordinate response through training and exercises. Train like you fight right?

Aside from powerpoints, the new ICS-400 has a bunch of in class activities that talk about complex incidents, Unified Command, and area command. Productively discussing issues in class BEFORE a disaster can only help to understand challenges that many agencies face…which could be exacerbated during crisis/emergency.

Glad to have engaged professionals in class this week.

Get your ICS on!

@rusnivek

TacoTuesday and I’m hangry already!

Sometimes people stress eat. And sometime people just get real hangry. Either way, being hungry isn’t a good situation.

Speaking of hungry, it’s #TacoTuesday.

That’s why today might be a good day to assess your options in your preparedness kit or else this….

I don’t need you mouthing off to me. If you had the time to prepare, I will not be responsible for your hunger pains. So take a good look at your preexisting kit.

Double check for expiration dates.

Always consider packing fresh snacks. #SNAX

Hot sauce always works (I keep a big bottle of Sriracha in my desk at work and in my deployment kit).

Some favorite beverages will compliment that dry granola bars.

Sporks work well in a kit.

Can/bottle opener is equally important.

Maybe even refreshing your MRE cache…making sure you have the right flavor is totes important.

Let’s be real honest, once you review your preparedness kit, you’ll always revamp a few other things too.

So don’t delay, double check your preparedness kit today!

@rusnivek