Bridges are out…now whut? #NatlPrep

As we near the end of the first week, we should also consider our planning and look at evacuation routes. As far as things go, most major routes should be open esp in emergency to allow for those who need to egress to GTFO of there right?!?

While in perfect situations, this would be the case. But lately, we’ve had some challenging situations across the nation that leads me to believe we may not have the option to evacuate safety out of the city.

While most days, all the bridges are down in Chicago.

Chicago Hotel Packages Add Spice to the Weekend

However the City of Chicago has had some bad luck and was forced to pop the bridges to curtail silly behavior at night.

With almost all the bridges up, that makes travel through the loop a bit more complex and challenging esp when things happen last minute and late at night.

To help deal with these challenging situations, subscribing to the mass notification systems would provide additional information on which roads are closed but amidst the ruckus, perhaps planning alternate routes out of your location would be best.

Easier said than done but necessary when faced with pressures of the safety of yourself and your family.

While it doesn’t have to be a straight shot out, you can exercise various options on how to exit your location and safely rondevous with loved ones in other places.

Remember, plan at least two alternate routes of egress from your location and try your hardest to reduce the amount of complexity after a disaster/emergency.

As always, remain vigilant and make sure you and your family are safe by planning now.

Reporting live on AlohaFriday…

@rusnivek

Site visit ending up at AFD Station-8

Is it kinda like the elephant march when we line up ambulances outside?

Overcast dreary morning as we continue to support our public safety pros in the field 24/7. No rest for the weary!

But after Chicago, I was able to switch out to Aurora Station-8 as we discuss some ongoing issues and see how we can creatively explore more training/exercises to increase partnerships/coordination.

Lots of discussion on our ongoing FEMA Emergency Management Basic Academy as we continue to share the good that the DuPage County OHSEM does for all  partners.

Sometimes it’s difficult for people to understand that Emergency Management is a different field than 30 years in the fire service or 30 years at the police department or 30 years working at an EMS service. Definitely not the same.

So in that same vein, we need to tailor our classes and exercises to address the all-hazards approach and address all partners.

We are fortunate that our classes are geared to hit all 15 Federal Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) in accordance with national plans. Our guidance is clear as we align with national doctrine, state grants/guidance, and local response plans to coordinate and execute any needed response plans.

The crux is that Emergency Management in the EOC will be the coordinating entity during any emergency or disaster. Period.

In order for locals to execute, State to manage, and Federal to assist and support, we need to have a firm understanding of what happens every step of the way. I am proud of my staff for taking the time to see these things through and explore options for our public safety pros.

No doubt, these are the kinds of things that make our EM stronger and solid at supporting our peeps 24/7/365. We in Emergency Management must continue to build a rock solid collaborative effort with our key players so that when we need to exercise or execute, we can do it seamlessly.

Special thanks to the men and women at the Aurora Fire Station 8 for their warm hospitality. Looking forward to seeing all of you in class and future exercises.

Reporting live from the bay floors between Truck-6 and Engine-99…I mean Engine-8…

@rusnivek

Assigned to Aurora Police for the day

This past week, I got a chance to spend some time with Aurora (Illinois) Police.

Like a good guy, you never want to show up empty handed. So yeah, I brought donuts for everyone.

Like lotsa power rings!

Lots of love to all our partners in public safety.

Rolling out with PO Weaver and instantly, we head out!

For those that were wondering if we did some karaoke?

Hmmmm, well you know we talked about TikTok.

But yeah, we did discuss lots on protocol and training.

Then roll call with Sgt Gallardo and the second shift crew.

Love the collaboration and shared deets – definitely embodies the situational awareness/common operating picture.

As we rolled out of the station, we were called to another call with a bit more challenges.

Involving Fire, EMS, Police – all safety forces were engaged on this complex situation.

Great to see all pros working together onscene!

At the end of the day, lots of discussion on training and exercises specifically addressing ESF15 and the JIC actions.

For those that want more details from Aurora (Illinois) Police, here’s how:

Twitter: @AuroraPoliceIL

Facebook: Aurora Illinois Police Department

Instagram: @AuroraPoliceIL

Special thanks to the Aurora Police for the fun stuff.

Stay warm and keep up the great work!

@rusnivek

FEMA Basic PIO course at the PSOC

Morning start to the FEMA Basic Public Information Officer course at the Public Safety Operations Center (PSOC)

Welcome and good morning by Mr. JB himself!

Packed house with multiple disciplines represented from Fire, EMS, Police, Emergency Management, ESF-12, higher education, Search and Rescue, Coroners Office, etc…

Like a good Emergency Manager, I found the EOC.

They have soooo many tools and toys to play with!

As all FEMA Basic PIO courses, we are staunch advocates of putting all participants in front of the camera. No matter what kind of experience level or years in the position, you can always learn by practicing your skills in front of others.

We typically hear complaints.

  • I didn’t get enough time to prepare.
  • I didn’t get the information in time.
  • I don’t know anything about plane crashes!

Blah blah blah. But the reality of the situation is….IT HAPPENS LIKE THAT IN REAL LIFE!!!!!!!!

So yeah, we want to train like you fight.

For those that were wondering “Has this ever happened before?” Yes.

Looking forward to tomorrow day-2 with our news media panel, interview reviews, and focus on social media.

@rusnivek

Call it whatever you want! 2019 #EMSWeek #EMSStrong

No matter what you call it…

…Squad…

…Ambulance…or Ambo…

…Rig…

…Box…

…Bus…

…Rescue…

…or Medic…

…Unit…

…or just a beautiful sight when you need it the most…

…all still a critical part of our fine EMS system here in the US.

Happy EMS Week 2019!

@rusnivek

 

FEMA Basic PIO Course here at Defiance County EMA

It’s just another Manic Monday as we start another FEMA OEMA Basic PIO Course here at Defiance County Emergency Management Agency (Ohio). Cue the Guns n Roses intro music!

Not going to lie, all signs point to a large contingent from our law enforcement community here today.

Lots of new PIOs in the audience today as we try to share the good word from so many agencies. Almost every ESF is represented!

All-hazards coolio on Monday!

As an added instructor bonus, we get a chance to see what campaigns that Ohio EMA has worked for previous outreach activities in Ohio. Hi Nancy!!!!!

My lunch time views include a few red fire trucks.

Ahhhhh, I feel better now.

And in classic fashion, we are most definitely doing on-camera interviews.

While seemingly insignificant, this is the part of the class that participants find is the most valuable for their ongoing career.

Me? I’d rather you have that experience and training and never use it vs never having that training and then being thrown to the wolves in a crisis or emergency.

Train like you fight right?

Reporting live from the EOC as I ask those challenging media-esque questions…

@rusnivek

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

Day-2 of the FEMA OEMA G0290: Basic #PIO at Cleveland EOC

Day-2 of the FEMA Basic PIO Course in Cleveland, Ohio!!! Starting out the day with one of the best JIC Managers in the biz, ladies and gents, one of the orig FEMA Master PIOs put your hands together for ERICA CREECH!!!!!

Sharing her experiences with the class on PIOs and coordination was critical in countless EOC and JIC activations.

In a heartbeat, I’d work for Erica any day in the JIC.

Don’t worry, we jumped back on the train (FEMA’s powerpoint slides) to talk and debate about press releases.

Since Steve is from media, he loves his inverted pyramid. But are press releases valuable? Needed? Seems we had quite the spirited discussion on the necessity and timely appeal of press releases.

After lunch, we were fortunate enough to grab, IMHO, the best of the best media talent in Cleveland.

Fox8: Jennifer Steer (@jensteer)

WOIO-19: Chris Tanaka (@Chris_Tanaka)

WEWS-5: Homa Bash Ball (@HomaBashWEWS)

WKYC-3: Barry Wolf (@photowolfTV)

Cleveland PlainDealer: Ginger Christ (@GChristCLE)

These pros not only talk a good game, but their social media skills are top shelf! I submit to you Barry’s fashion selfie from the front of the room.

Solid!

These folks were able to dedicate their time to answer any I mean ANY questions that our new PIOs had.

Proud to see new relationships and transparency with all parties involved.

Why? We hear of soooo many bad interactions and exchanges with the media. This kind of engagement showcases that if we work together and we share our knowledge of ongoing issues, we can help each other out.

I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am to see this kind of action happening in class.

Like nurturing new PIOs and helping them network…OMG THIS IS WHAT EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IS ALL ABOUT!!!!!!!!

Yeah yeah, I’ll get off the soapbox now.

But seriously, this media panel has been one of my absolute favorites to have because….well, because of this…

Brah, Tanaka’s got some seriously good selfie skillz. Many mahalos to all of my media panel that showcased the best of TV news media.

After the media panel left, we reviewed all of our on camera interviews.

Sharing our challenges but learning from others in a productive and positive way increases participant on camera skills.

To close out the day, we also had our second and most lauded PIO stop by. Ladies and gents, the orig filmmaker himself, raise the roof cause it’s Cleveland Fire very own PIO Mike Noooooooooooorman!!!!!!!

Glad to spend a few minutes with fire’s new PIO who jumped head first into the role for CFD. FYI-Mike was a participant in a class that Steve and I taught in Summit County Ohio so we are proud to see him flourishing in his role at CFD.

Outstanding and super fun day with everyone. Back at it tomorrow with another special guest and to talk about JIC/JIS!

@rusnivek

FEMA OEMA G0290: Basic #PIO at the City of Cleveland EOC!

Outstanding start to this week’s FEMA G0290: Basic PIO course sponsored by Ohio EMA and the City of Cleveland Emergency Management!

Special thanks to CEM Alex Pellom for the invitation to hang for a few days in the Emergency Operations Center!

Guess who I get to teach with this week? Fresh off the disaster wheel, Assistant Fire Chief Steve Bosso!!!

Don’t mind his grumps face, you’d be a bit tired if you were EMACed to work Hurricane Florence too. I’m excited to hear about his experience working with South Carolina’s Emergency Management Division PIO Derrec Becker.

And yes, if you were wondering, we are holding class IN the actual City of Cleveland Emergency Operations Center!

Interviews? Heck yeah – you know we did!

Incredibly valuable time on camera.

Spent some time doing group work and communications strategy with many partners from across the State of Ohio and the State of Pennsylvania.

Showcasing partnerships and strengthening collaborative messaging during the preparedness…

…will help during response phase planning and support for ongoing operations.

Additionally the blending of resources embodying the all-hazards mentality, is critical when dealing with larger disasters/emergencies. Here’s Police, Fire, EMS, Health, Public Works, and Executive Policy working together for a coordinated message.

Steve had a few injects too…like branding. Steve is a former photojournalist so he’s got the photog eye for these kinds of things¬†with some fancy camera work…

And not to worry, in order to share real world experiences, we had our first subject matter expert – Cleveland Police Public Information Officer Jennifer Ciaccia stop by to talk about her experiences as the PIO for CPD.

So many issues to deal with esp during a National Special Security Event (NSSE) – the 2016 Republican National Convention! And of course a whole bunch of other cases including the 3 girls missing for 10+ years (Castro case), Facebook killer, CJ Saves CLE, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, etc….

Whew – full day! Great dynamic class.

Solid first day. Looking forward to day-2 of the Basic PIO!

@rusnivek