Forming the proverbial PIO Voltron for today‚Äôs FEMA JIC/JIS course

And now starting the FEMA JIC/JIS Course with our class here at the Defiance County EMA Emergency Operations Center.

And yes, if you’ve been in a JIC/JIS class w/ me before, you know I talk about Voltron. In the FEMA Basic PIO Course, we teach you to be an individual PIO and function with limited options…however, the JIC/JIS course allows you to join forces with other PIOs and work the magic despite being from different backgrounds and different factions for the emergency or disaster. That’s right-we can all get along in the JIC.

Starting out the day with a cold reality check on expectations and capabilities as we assess our options and ready our agencies for disasters. It would be a good idea to have a clear understanding of the situation and build from there.

Additionally, we bring our all-hazards partners into the fold. Here’s Sister Michael Marie talking about the complexities of what appears as a simple emergency that could quite result in bringing soooooooooooooooooooooo many partners to respond to this typical emergency.

Drawing too simple for you?

You need more description?

NO SOUP FOR YOU!

The whole point of the exercise is to get your mind thinking about various options as well as partners to call early as likely, they have a dog in the fight to help any affected community recover from any disaster.

Look, it’s more than Fire, Police, and EMS – it’s the #WholeCommunity to build a culture of preparedness.

Proud of every single one of these participants as everyone walked away with a new understanding and respect for the PIO. While some have been on TV before w/ a few interviews, all of them realize the dangers of an unprepared interviewee.

Looking forward to working with all of you on the next big one. And just think…in the midst of a disaster, you just might see these two smiling faces.

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

@rusnivek

Lots of flooding all around Illinois #TADD

Lotsa flooding going on around Illinois. Reported 34 counties and counting.

Remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

Daytime is easy to spot these dangers, however nighttime will be incredibly difficult. Travel with caution and always check roadways before you venture out.

Please be safe.

@rusnivek

The FEMA #PIO on #PirateRadio! Is that real? #FBF

I was asked if Pirate Radio was real….yeppers!


Pirate Radio based in the Florida Keys-Key West has a strong voice that not only hits audiences throughout the keys, but also into southern Florida too. They stream their shows so that any Pirate can listen in…even when yer a landlubber!


I was a regularly contributor to their morning shows with daily Hurricane Irma disaster updates. We also brought other public safety agencies in with us to showcase the unified efforts of countless government agencies involved and how we are all working together in the response/recovery effort.


Additionally, I was invited to be a regular guest on their Friday morning show to talk about the DHS/FEMA response and recovery efforts for the Florida Keys. Not only talking about the Florida Keys, but also the millions of $$ in financial support approved for the State of Florida.


Remember, AM/FM radio stations are a critical source of information in a disaster. After a disaster, cell service might be down, sat tv might be out, and it is highly likely that your neighborhood may not have power. Post-disaster, plan on AM/FM radio being a solid source of information.

Many mahalos to both gracious Pirate Radio hosts – Jack and Kim!

@rusnivek

Reviewing performance evaluations for Hurricane Irma’s response

Spending my Sunday reading through paperwork, demobilization emails, and my performance evaluations from Hurricane Irma’s disaster response.


“Mr. Sur is “a model for the agency.'” – FEMA Division Supervisor Mark Landry (Federal Coordinating Officer cadre).

*blush*

Just glad to be a part of the FEMA disaster response to help my fellow Americans.

@rusnivek

Demobilized from Hurricane Irma, now headed back out again

I just demobilized from Hurricane Irma. Total of 42 days.

One thought as I repack: I have never worked so hard and had to use ALL my learned PIO skills and tricks in just one disaster.

Few hours to make the turnaround in Cleveland.

Now headed to support another DHS mission with the US and Canada.


Evoking the famous quote from Ray Stantz: “Oh, I got to get some sleep, I’m dying.”

@rusnivek

Moving another DRC in the Florida Keys

In efforts to best serve the communities that were hardest hit by Hurricane Irma, we (FEMA) moved the Marathon Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) to a new location


As you guessed it, this new DRC has much easier access to the highway.

6805 Overseas Highway in Marathon, Florida

Stop on by to update your records and/or check on your status for disaster assistance.


Reporting live from the new DRC location in Marathon…

@rusnivek

Disaster communications – FEMA’s MCOVs and IRVs

When major disasters strike, many local communities lose the ability to communicate.


Whether hardline communications, cellular service, or data – communications is the life blood of any public safety initiative.

So vehicles like FEMA’s MCOVs and IRVs provide a great service re-establishing disaster communications for areas who have nothing.



MCOV: Mobile Communications Office Vehicle

IRV: Incident Response Vehicle

Several vehicles like this are currently deployed out supporting various missions now.

Fun fact, did you know these types of vehicles are

Everything about disaster response isn’t easy. I continue to share that logistics make the world go round.

@rusnivek