Sunday streamlining our JIC Ops

Sunday is off to a bang as we need some formality to the process. Revamp what? What does that mean?

<Cue the Hawaiian music in the JIC because we are going to revamp a few things today.>

1. We are going to take a look at the press releases and move them to media alerts…because no one reads press releases anymore. Let’s not waste time and align it to be more factual and numbers. From a PIO perspective, this “trending” is what news outlets are looking for. Big upticks/spikes in numbers.

And in this situation, I doubt they are concentrating at the minutia of individual numbers esp since they are projected to dramatically increase over the next few weeks.

2. Accountability must be improved as we got the formal FEMA Disaster Declaration under the Stafford Act. So everyone gets a T-card and everyone must fill out an ICS-214. That includes me too.

3. Don’t forget to sign in on the ICS-211 form and your T-card is good to go.

4. Get a hard copy of the IAP and read through it. Don’t get caught not knowing the current plan. Maybe…MAYBE use those fancy tactical cargo pockets to hold your IAP (I’m judging).

5. Daily morning briefs with your PIOs….we call them our PIO roll call. Not longer than 10 minutes, allows us to get a handle on our daily activities and allows us to coordinate with each other. SA/COP baby!

I hate to break the news to you but the PIO’s job isn’t easy. So much more work goes behind the scenes and talking on camera is really about 5% of the job. Your main bread and butter work comes from the preparation and planning that goes into that.

Additionally, most reporters aren’t going to catch you live and want to do interviews. This new fangled invention called the cell phone makes it easy to communicate with all your reporters.

I honestly can’t tell you how many phone calls and interviews I did standing in my garage at 11p at night.

Yep, it never ends.

Get some sleep peeps, it’s going to be a long week ahead.

@rusnivek

Drive through testing for Coronavirus #COVID19

Rolling in on a Saturday to the EOC….

Wait a sec…WAIT A SEC….

Did one of our partners get their drive through testing station up and running already?

PIO to SITL: How do copy?

Man, the news is going to be all over this one…

@rusnivek

A few moments with my favorite JIC Managers

A glimmering light of happiness as I got a chance to spend a few moments with my favorite Joint Information Center (JIC) Managers Beth DeJesus and Erica Creech.

(L to R): Beth DeJesus, Kevin Sur, and Erica Creech. Photo cred: EllaMonster

Beth and Erica were my JIC Managers throughout the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Additionally, Beth was the Cleveland JIC Manager during the December 2016 Christmas plane crash out of Burke. Erica was my JIC Manager during the 2014 Ebola case in Cleveland, 2012 Hurricane Sandy Response, and the 2013 three girls missing in Cleveland case.

During our quick meet up, we talked about work/careers and ongoing efforts. And yeah, they tried to get me to move back to Cleveland.

But most importantly, we talked about family, kids, and the things that really mattered. Hard to believe but this PIO thing isn’t easy and in leadership roles, it’s hard to find people/friends who truly understand the complexities of the position and can sympathize in the daily challenging situations. We all have armor, we just need to decide how long we wear our protective gear.

Just like back in the day, we were able to slot back into our normal self and the redic things that come with Emergency Support Function ESF-15. I miss that kind of camaraderie and the cohesive bonds we shared with so many of our public safety partners from across the state.

Yeah, I miss my favorite JIC Managers…

@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

FEMA Basic PIO Day-1 at Summit County (OH) Public Health

Another fine start to the FEMA Basic Public Information Officer class here in Summit County, Ohio!

Many thanks to the pros at the Summit County Health Department who are hosting this week’s class.

Outstanding hospitality as always!

And of course special thanks to Jena Beckett and the team from Summit County EMA for enhancing their team’s knowledge on the fun of being a Public Information Officer!

We are in the command room this week so you know it’s serious!

As always, we lay the groundwork for successful operations for any PIO.

But we also share real-world experiences that could help in their daily routines to better their visibility. And yes, of course we still do all the media mock interviews.

Public health is a great partner when it comes to outbreaks and opioid intervention tactics so many of our participants opted to test their media skills on an outbreak and response.

Also great to have former Columbus newsies Rachel Feeley on our PIO side (now with Ohio Department of Health) as we continue our mock interviews for everyone.

See, deep down inside, some reporters want to be public safety PIOs. 🤣

For those newly assigned PIOs, we get them on camera as soon as possible!

The whole idea is that we expose new PIOs to this kind of media interview(s) so they aren’t shocked the first time they do it in real life. It’s always a bit more nerve racking when you are n00b PIO and have a bunch of mics and high intensity lights shoved in your face during the start of a major disaster or crisis.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand finally, a big shout out to my team across this great nation as FEMA turns 40 this week!

Here’s a quick video that External Affairs put together.

Proud to work along side all of you through countless disasters.
@rusnivek

FEMA Basic PIO Day-1

Starting off another FEMA G0290: Basic PIO course with our public safety pros from across the state!

I am fortunate to grab a few other PIOs for class today – suit up!

Aside from sharing concepts and theory, we also focused on interview skills…

…you know we did the oncamera interviews.

No bones about it, our mantra is to provide the best real-world training out there.

Lots of discussion on staging as well as single role PIOs and what they can do to get the ball rolling.

We also integrated a few activities and exercises into the mix too.

Don’t worry, we took some time to discuss communications strategies. We shared the 8-step communications model and introduced StratComms!

Planning ahead is always a good thing – esp for PIOs. Preparedness is essential in being a good PIO.

Successful first day with everyone. Looking forward to a solid day-2!

@rusnivek

Morning meetings w/ Chicago Police PIOs at CPD HQ

Morning meetings today with all the Chicago Police Department Communications Team at HQ!

Sharing some tips and news in workshop format about ongoing public safety operations as well as coordinated efforts will help all of us as PIOs. #PIAT

All the coordination enhances our ability to be a more prepared deployable asset to support other agencies of the like.

And for those wondering, the world of PIOs, PAOs, and ESF15 is very small. No matter the size of the disaster or hurricane, every good PIO knows other good PIOs.

Great to meet the team from CPD and looking forward to working with each other to support the mission of public safety for municipalities across this great country.

Special shout out to the CPD team Anthony, Tom, Michael, and Luis.

Me? Yep-proud to continue to serve so many great communities.

@rusnivek

Public Works (ESF-3) part of the response phase #Hurricane #Harvey #Port #Arkansas #Texas #Disaster

I talk about it all the time in class – Emergency Support Function-3 (ESF-3) is an important part of our RESPONSE effort in a disaster.

Why do I talk about this all the time? Public works isn’t considered the traditional Fire or EMS or Law Enforcement….but when faced with this….

Photo credit: Gabe Hernandez (@callergabe) from Hurricane Harvey in Port Arkansas, TX – 08-26-17

Public Works’ efforts with so many various resources allow all public safety to get to affected areas.

Photo credit: Gabe Hernandez (@callergabe) from Hurricane Harvey in Port Arkansas, TX – 08-26-17

Often times, people believe public works is only for recovery and clean up. That is not true. As you can see, we clearly need them during the response phase – just to get to affected areas.

Photo credit: Gabe Hernandez (@callergabe) from Hurricane Harvey in Port Arkansas, TX – 08-26-17

Get to know your public works professionals now. They are an invaluable resource for the response phase.

@rusnivek