City of Chicago OEMC, JIC, PSAP, and other stuff while hanging in the Bat cave

Good morning from the City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications!

Located in the heart of the west loop, this multi functional location serves as a focal point for City EOC, JIC, Snow Command, PW EOC, Ops Center, 911 PSAP, etc….basically, I’m glad it’s a hardened facility.

Today’s Emergency Management topics have to deal with Disaster Assistance and Public Assistance. Hiya Wendellllllllllllllllllllllllll.

Of course, as a good Emergency Manager, we want to take a look at the host city’s EOP.

Lots to discern and digest from our partners.

Now, for those who refuse to share information and hold information tight to their chest….that’s dumb. You realize when the big one hits, your isolationist actions will prove to be detrimental to the success of the response/recovery of any emergency. Again, work closely with your partners BEFORE a disaster.

Looking down into the PSAP center floor, lots of call takers working the good for the community.

PSAPs and EOCs are kept relatively dark to help with eye strain. Telecommunications have a tough job. If you haven’t already done so, I’d recommend that you sit in their chair one day and observe. Quite honestly, I’d take working the squad any day.

Quick look into the City of Chicago’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) too.

And calm yourself PIOs….I found it.

Get your City of Chicago Joint Information Center (JIC) on baby! I sense I will be spending activation time here soon.

And yes, I’m wearing a tie.

As we close out response/recovery discussions for the day, we must spend more time thinking about cross training and enhancing our multi-jurisdictional skills. Working together is critical to any event or incident. We must overcome the stigma and the predisposed notion of kingdoms and fiefdoms. We must work together before a disaster. This will result in better response collaboration and recovery efforts.

Where am I? They threw up the bat signal so….

Reporting live from the Bat Cave:

I’m Batman….I mean @rusnivek

Internal Comms training for my #EmergencyManagement staff

As we continue our training, we want to be cognizant of all kinds of skills needed to be successful in Emergency Management.

Many of you have been apart of a training or exercise…and have indubitably identified that communications is an action that needs more work. But how can you make that fun? Well, enter one of my Thunderbolt-esque exercises.

Giving the nod to former FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, these types of no-notice trainings engage our staff and forces them to think outside the box.

How outside? In this exercise, we cover

  • Communications
  • Type/Kind resources
  • Staging
  • Incident Command
  • Terminology
  • Nomenclature
  • Scene size-ups
  • Operations
  • Sequential
  • Prioritization
  • Ordering
  • Tactics

And to boot, it’s non-traditional training cause there are no powerpoints. Zero. Zilch. No joy. Gonzo. Nada Ghostrider.

As adult educators, we often forget that people learn things differently. Additionally, we as instructors need to explore outside our comfort zone and teach things in a classic lecture AND non-traditional style.

I am incredibly fortunate to have a staff that loves to train and enhance their skills. Train like you fight!

Want to know more? Want to train better? Come and be a part of my Emergency Management Team. You’ll see.

@rusnivek

2019 National Preparedness Symposium Day-2

An incredible Wednesday as we continue our efforts to collaborate here at the 2019 National Preparedness Symposium.

I chatted with Acting FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor on the importance of continuing to build a culture of preparedness and how it is so critical to our audiences.

Super nice guy.

He then popped the morning plenary session to the entire conference and FEMA employees. Huge discussion on our strategic plan and then a few things in his role as a state director he wished he had when he started at FEMA.

Solid insight from the top at FEMA. Nice guy.

Lots of afternoon sessions including one with the National Disaster Preparedness Consortium (NDPC).

Great discussion amongst participants including

  1. Policy/procedure on admittance into courses
  2. Frank discussion on prerequisites for admittance into class
  3. Ongoing class challenges including rostering.

After the NDPC panel discussion was over, I quickly moved a few rooms over to check out a worthwhile discussion on the I–35 bridge and failing infrastructure. Also had some discussion about structural assessments.

Glad to be having ongoing discussions to maintain our critical access points in many cities across the US.

Then it was time to present my course: Social Media in Emergency Management. Woohoo!!!!

Glad to be sharing the knowledge with providers from across the country.

Engaged audience including a few questions on engagement as well as OSINT gathering and augmented reality. Great to peek the interest and maybe MAYBE be that catalyst for change with our industry.

Shout out to Bronlea the n00b as this was her first trip to the Center for Domestic Preparedness!

Looking forward to tomorrow’s FIT class with FEMA Director John Allen.

Reporting live with all the HQ peeps hanging in FEMA Region 4…

@rusnivek

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

Social Media Engagement Strategies for the AZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ peeps!

Thirsty Thursdays are here and we’re popping another Social Media Engagement Strategies class here at Pima County EMA (Arizona).

And of course we gotta keep it real to the course creator – our good friend Cheryl Bledsoe!

For those that know the origins of this picture, know how important it is for us to keep it consistent.

As instructors, we often love to incorporate pop culture references into class. This class was no different.

Oh yeah! Luckily it isn’t Wednesday.

So great to see collaboration with the NPS Wildfire folks. Also great to see a fellow Type-1 PIOs in the audience too.

Great minds think alike as we continue to prepare and engage various audiences…including during non-fire season.

Not only are we prepping tweets and Facebook posts, we are also diving deep into strategy.

Plans are soooooo important esp when we focus in on social media. Yes, many PIOs are responsive, but we also need to be strategic about our operations. When participants walk away from this class, they have in hand, a starting point for social media strategy that includes their partner agencies.

Since we can’t just run and gun, we must not cross the streams.

Ray, just don’t look at the trap.

Outstanding discussion amongst all participants as we share success stories and challenges we face daily on social media.

More importantly, it’s good to see genuine smiles in class. Lotsa smiles.

Facilitating discussion helps enhance relationships with all providers in disaster response and recovery. Additionally, people can address gaps and maybe…MAYBE find an agency that can assist or mutual aid in to fill that shortfall.

Proud to bring this engaging class to our partners in Arizona!

@rusnivek

FEMA basic Social Media for Disaster Response and Recovery #Arizona

Good morning Arizonaaaaaaaaaa!

Welcome to the Pima County Emergency Management Agency as we kick off another basic Social Media for Disaster Response and Recovery class. Welcome intros from Training Manager Sandra Espinoza.

Glad to see so many agencies from across the state represented here in class today. Additionally, also good to be teaching with fellow Tier-1 Instructor Mary Jo Flynn.

As you know, MaryJo is a Region 9er too (Sacramento, CA).

Like a good Emergency Manager, I’m always looking at what other agencies have and how they do business. And yes, I esp look at what kind of creature comforts they have in their EOC. And without a doubt, I’d swipe right for this amenity in my EOC.

The folks at Pima County EMA are most definitely proud to have this amenity. #TotesJelly.

As a basic class, we are constantly talking about new apps and features. Here’s MaryJo talking about the FEMA App and their Disaster Reporter feature.

And you know that privacy is a huge concern so we spend a bit on making sure your settings as a government agency as well as personal settings are up to date.

Yes, make sure all your social media stuff is in order before a disaster…or else.

Most seasoned pros know that real Emergency Managers can adapt to most any situations. Big or small, tough or easy, we are flexible and can adapt to anything.

For those are worried about MaryJo and little old me? No worries. We are assimilating in here just fine.

Giddup – reporting live from our stagecoach!

@rusnivek