Downburst with Thunderstorm at the EOC

Sometimes Mother Nature just wants to remind you of her power. Work this morning was a bit different as we saw the true power of how powerful a simple downburst can be.

As you can see, these gigantic trees were no match for the winds in excess of 50mph.

Like a pair of sticks, this thicc tree was split at the base, the thickest strongest point.

Dayum.

To give you some perspective of the size, take a look at this picture. See that Chief wearing the white shirt behind the tree? Yeah, that’s a big tree.

Keep in mind, there are two gigantic trees that instantly fell within seconds.

As you can see, our top notch ESF-03: Public Works pros are already at it with their chainsaw gang clearing priority paths for critical access.

For more detailed information on this downburst with severe thunderstorms, here’s the direct link to NWS-Chicago’s report: https://www.weather.gov/lot/2019Jul02_Severe

Stay safe and heed all the warnings of local public safety agencies.

@rusnivek

One more hour of what?!?!?!!? #FallBack

ONE MORE HOUR OF WHAT?!?!?!!?

Daylight Savings: Three Tips to “Fall Back” into Fall

Sunday, November 4, Daylight Saving Time ends and we set our clocks back an hour. Take advantage of extra sleep, then take a few simple steps to make your home more disaster-resilient:
  1. Verify your carbon monoxide and smoke detector work. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for testing the equipment to ensure it is functioning appropriately. Invest in new detectors if they’re near or past the manufacturer’s recommended replacement age.
  2.  Check your emergency kit. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you or survive on your own after a disaster. Ensure you have an adequate supply of non-perishable food, water and medications to last your family at least 72 hours, along with a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  3. Confirm your insurance coverage & home inventory list are up-to-date. Review your insurance policies and meet with your agent to ensure you’re fully covered for the hazards you face. Be sure to keep a written and visual (i.e., videotaped or photographed) record of all major household items and valuables, even those stored in basements, attics or garages. Create files that include serial numbers and store receipts for major appliances and electronics. Have jewelry and artwork appraised. These documents are important when filing insurance claims.

Find more emergency preparedness information and tips at www.ready.gov

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@rusnivek

Fall into November! 

Well hello Fall and hello November! No other deployment orders yet so phew! Back to steady state operations!


First week, I will be in heavy planning for the 2018 calendar and pop another one of my most favorite social media course!

Second week, it’s all about Columbus for FEMA/OEMA Basic Emergency Management Basic Academy at the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. Love to hang at the Mothership!

Third week, we will be doing some light logistical work and of course giving thanks for our friends and families.

The last week in November will be another solid ICS-300 class.

It’s almost time to close out the 2017 books as we are midway into 4Q!

@rusnivek

Few pet preparedness tips for 2017 severe weather preparedness week

It’s still 2017 Severe Weather Preparedness Week – today’s topic: pets!

Cold weather affects humans. But think about having to put more than just your two shoes into the snow…think about 4 paws.


I know your pet loves being outside in the snow, soooooooooo:

  • Keep their time outside to a minimum.
  • Consider brushing off their paws before coming into the house.
  • Examine the de-icing salt used for your driveway as some may contain harmful chemicals.
  • Harmful edibles or poisonous mushrooms are often buried under fallen snow.
  • Due to large snow embankments, cars on the road may not see you/your pet on a walk.
  • Flashlights or reflective gear at night will increase your chances of being identified by passing motorists.

Rain or shine, keep your pets warm and well dressed for the weather outside.


For more trusted information on your local weather, check out www.weather.gov for official weather predictions.

@rusnivek

Bioterrorism discussion at IIT in Chicago

This past weekend, I was invited to swing by the Illinois Institute of Technology Graduate School in downtown Chicago.

IIT

Spirited discussion included bioterrorism, social media data/intelligence, explosives, nuc/rad release, mass panic/evacuation, and of course drone operations for large events.

taste-of-chicago

Participants included many members of Chicago Police’s upper administration and leadership from Chicago Police specialty teams.

IMG_6028

They asked Dr. Fagel if I was a Special Agent kinda guy. Clearly, my Aloha shirt on a Saturday really messed things up.

Tower

Overall, it was a great day to be in downtown Chicago.

Looking forward to sharing some SME knowledge with the graduate students this fall.

@rusnivek

Safety-PIO-SM-14-010-Appropriate-for-Social-Media ?

14-010: Appropriate for Social Media?
Agency: The back of the ambulance Topic(s):         Posting on SM
Date: Fall 2014 Platform:        Instagram

At times, social media is very emotional and many users like to share intimate moments with all their followers. The reality of social media is great…except when it is done inappropriately. That’s just what Instagram user rnashleeyyy_xx did in the back of an ambulance.

IMG_1752

 

“Love is in the air…” are great lyrics, however, I don’t believe this type of behavior is appropriate for an ambulance. This isn’t a hotel…real patient care occurs in the back of the ambulance! This is a professional environment. Keep it that way.

 

Also, I am fairly sure Zeus didn’t write that in his SOGs. No matter the justification, people will immediately judge and in the court of public opinion, these actions are not considered professional. And no, the caption/description will not deter or change focus as the visual image hits the news.

 

So basically, stop making out in the back of the ambulance.

 

The amount of stuff that happens back here is enough to scare an entire country. Infection control alone should be enough of a deterrent. Think about it.

 

Any agency on social media should have a social media strategy and a plan that includes guidelines on how employees should use social media and who they interact with. The plan can outline how members should conduct activities on social media as well as identify dangers on how, if used inappropriately, will reflect poorly upon the agency. No matter your threshold of acceptance or approval, monitor your employees use of social media. They are a direct reflection on your agency, your brand, and you.

 

General social media tips to keep in mind:

  1. Know what your employees are posting on social media platforms.
  2. Your employees are a direct representation of your brand/image on social media.
  3. The disclaimer “My views expressed here do not reflect my employer’s views” will NOT hold up in court.
  4. Regularly search for your agency’s name to monitor the online discussion(s).
  5. You work hard to build your brand on social media…Keep it that way.

 

Time is valuable, so tweet good stuff.

@rusnivek

***To download this as a single-page printable format, click this file:

Safety-PIO-SM-14-010-Appropriate-for-Social-Media-a

 

Precise Emergency Messaging Safety-PIO-SM-14-002

14-002: Precise Emergency Messaging
Agency: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Topic(s):         Emergency Messaging
Date: Summer 2014 Platform:        General

Mass notification and public messaging about dangerous inbound weather is the latest hot button topic in emergency management because no matter the location, everyone is susceptible. This year has been especially deadly with numerous tornadoes.

You can argue the use of automatic Emergency Alert System (EAS), Integrated Public Alert & Warning System’s (iPAWS) messages, and public address systems are good enough, but successful delivery still comes down to basic messaging.

On May 25, 2014, this message was put up on the main billboard on the field during the Indianapolis 500, which had 300,000+ fans during race time. The National Weather Service (NWS) declared a Tornado Warning before the start of the race.

5

Race Fans? C’mon, you have a captive audience at the motor speedway. And you are addressing everyone there, not just race fans. Most likely, your audience is saying “Great, now what is a Tornado Warning?

Clear and concise messaging is incredibly important because seconds will matter in an immediate evacuation or leading others to shelter…especially with large, open, and unprotected public venues. This particular message was unclear, poorly worded, and definitely not concise.

A more effective messaging and follow-up post should have read:

DANGER! TORNADO WARNING NOW – SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY!

Safe SHELTERS are located at AREA X and GATE X

By phrasing it this way:

1. Your message is short, sweet, and to the point.

2. Capital letters will grab the attention of your audience and convey urgency.

3. Have clearly identified safe locations IN CAPITAL LETTERS will assist those reading your message.

4. Shorter messaging could allow your followers to retweet/repost and amplify your emergency messaging.

5. It is still tornado season so make sure you are prepared by having pre-scripted messages on “what is a tornado warning” and messaging on how to “shelter-in-place”.

 

All concurrent Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, etc. should reflect this messaging. If a Tornado warning is issued, timing is of the essence. Do not be lax when it comes to emergency messaging because you don’t want to ruin the fun. For the sake of your constituents, it is better to error on the side of safety.

Time is valuable, so post good stuff.

@rusnivek

 

***To download this as a single-page printable format, click this: Safety-PIO-SM-14-001