State of Ohio EMA G291 Joint Information Center / System class at Medina County EOC

Packed State of Ohio EMA Joint Information Center / Joint Information System course today!

Started everyone into group work as well as ongoing discussion on the role of SMEs at a press conference.

Just in case, we also tasked participants to start thinking about a policy/protocol for their agency on sneak attack aka ambush interviews.

We found as we leverages our strengths and capitalize on our skills, we as JIC Managers can better meet the needs of any situation – we just gotta find the right PIOs for the job.

As our groups collaborated, we found that despite crossing state lines, we still have the same problems as other areas – thus proving our point that we need to consistently train together and exercise our plans together.

Many of our participants enjoyed working in the JIC setting and were excited to work in a JIC during the next activation. Most excellent as we build a strong cadre of PIOs across this great state.

My Ohio Peeps!

Reporting live from Medina County’s Emergency Operations Center….

@rusnivek

Sharing preparedness tips with PIOs across the country #NatlPrep #PrepareAthon

I frequently present to Public Information Officers / Public Affairs Officers (PIOs & PAOs) across the country and talk extensively about preparedness.

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For those that were wondering about the class attire, many of my classes get scheduled on a Friday aka #AlohaFriday

Proud to say that so many of them love the job and enjoy sharing ways to increase safety in all communities with FEMA’s Ready.Gov Program.

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Your local Fire, EMS, Law Enforcement, and Emergency Management agencies are a great starting point for preparedness activities. Then all state safety agencies and Federal partners cooperate top down with many key organizations across the country.

That’s right. Local works with state works with regional works with national.

 

Happy #AlohaFriday peeps!

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“Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.”

@rusnivek

How Emily Austen got fired in ~25 min bec of FacebookLive #SMEM #PIO Safety-PIO-SM-16-003

Fox Sports reporter Emily Austen made the news…yes, she was the news this week when she FUBARed her career on FacebookLive. (If it helps, fast forward to 25:33)

Wait, did Emily just say “Like, I didn’t even know Mexicians were that smart.”

WTF!?!?!?!?

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Fox Network immediately fired her because of her comments on FacebookLive. Let that sink in for a moment. Fox Network fired her for all the inappropriate comments in this unaffiliated FacebookLive broadcast.

Yeppers-you can get fired for stuff you do on social media.

To be fair to her, Austen did post a statement about it here.

But, to add more fuel to this fire, here’s a story about it from Complex News.

Again, I repeat:

  • You can lose your job over a picture.
  • You can lose your job over a 140-characters (tweet).
  • And yes, you can lose your main job on a couch during a live broadcast.

All thanks to social media.

For more case studies on others who lost their jobs because of social media, check out this link.

In this case, what would have helped?

  1. Not saying dumb things.
  2. A behind the scenes PIO to help coordinate conversation.
  3. Sticking to the “script” of the interview/session.
  4. Professionally maintaining topic relevance and choice of words.
  5. Sticking to communications strategy and abiding by identified corporate Policy/Procedures and SOPs/SOGs.

Or just straight up – don’t say inappropriate things.

Now phleeeze – go out there and use your social media live broadcasting powers for good!

@rusnivek

 

Preparedness can be funny AND informative

There are times when preparedness messaging needs to make people smile. Take this lion…

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Got the point across? Did it make you smile? Or roar? Either way, it caught your attention.

Yeah, it would be easy to post this image from the National Weather Service (NWS)…

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…because gets the job done. But which one grabs your attention?

The answer is both.

However, by taking a few seconds to create this meme, we as public safety can address an unreachable/uninterested population who enjoys humor and likes animals. Rawr.

Soooooo, it is imperative that we constantly explore and outreach to audiences with creative safety messages. As professionals, we should always explore new avenues and bridge gaps.

Yes, preparedness can be funny AND informative.

@rusnivek

Press amenities…because they are our partners in safety right? #PIO

Media considerations: Press amenities.

aaa

Aside from giving the media the juicy story they crave…we should do a better job in considering their needs during a disaster.

However, in this day/age of media involvement and constant interaction, it would behoove us PIOs to better meet the needs of our partners (that’s right, I said partners) in safety.

For prolonged incidents, it would be nice if your agency:

  • Provided a bunch of plugs and/or outlets to use. Power seems to be a mandatory necessity during every day life. Just look at any airport with weirdos hunched around an open power plug.
  • Setting up a separate WiFi for media use only so they can meet their timely deadlines or push valuable info via social media. They are data hogs just like the rest of us. It has been proven for humans to exist, we need WiFi.
  • Held up white cards for white balance during setup…or better yet warm cards to help the videographers get their color scheme setup right. It does make you look like you just got back from someplace warm and now have a nice tan.
  • A simple cup of coffee would be a welcome olive branch in the midst of disaster/emergency. First informal rule of any disaster or emergency? A cup of coffee regularly ranks high on the scale of requests and necessities from everyone. Available 24/7.

Since we are breaking down barriers, we need to explore a few options to support our partners in safety. Look at this setup…

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…no seriously, look closer.

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What do you see?

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Build your relationships before a disaster and strengthen them as you continue to train exercise your skills. Partners in safety.

Let’s work together to better our response and enhance communications skills with just some basic needs for the press. Trust me, a little goes along way.

After all, the old adage goes: you can attract more friends with honey than vinegar…right?

@rusnivek

Firefighter on Truck Company rescues cat from house fire

It’s Friday…and I bet it’s been quite a week for everyone.

We all need a few moments of hope and smiles for this weekend.

Fresno Firefighter Cory Kalanick chalks another one in the save column with this interior rescue effort using a GoPro Camera.

Even if you don’t like cats (or kitten savers), you just gotta love it.

Way to go Brother.

Best. Job. In. The. World.

@rusnivek