National Preparedness Symposium Day-3

Final day of the 2019 National Preparedness Symposium here at CDP! Lots to share as we open up the day with a long talk on cyber.

Hint to Emergency Managers, Cyber is the sexy incident now…so I suggest you plan and design with your training manager now. Yep, you heard me right, cyber = sexy.

Noooooooow switching from cyber to FIT – because we will all get a FIT!

Here to listen in on the deets for the FEMA Integration Teams (FIT) from my FEMA LNO in Hurricane Irma, ladies and gents, put your hands together for…….. John Allen!!!!!

John Allen, better known as FEMA’s Director of Preparedness Integration and Coordination out of HQ has been point person for this effort started when previous FEMA Administrator Brock Long started.

This program imbeds FEMA Planners at specified locations to support all state, local, tribal, and territory (SLTT) partners. Rollout has been ongoing as this is a phased effort. Many of the 56 FITs are not staffed yet.

Also fortunate to have one of the FIT Leads with us from Idaho – hiya Justin!

Great to see that kind of partnerships on all levels including building confidence in the SLTT’s efforts. The most beneficial aspect of the program would be that the FIT can provide RRCCs and NRCC accurate SA/COP for real-time operational assessment and needs. So more than just an FEMA LNO, these FITs are able to integrate and provide immediate support.

But truth be told, the FITs are really integrated into their community as they live there. They work there. They are part of the response, recovery side of any event or incident that state may have. Great idea!

Me? I’m totes interested.

Riding on the wave of productivity, we popped back into our regional groups again and talked about our lessons learned from this symposium.

We discussed at length how we can help each other under blue/grey skies time…and really support each other during event/disasters.

Here’s a little behind the scenes of the group. Everyone participated including solid contributions from our tribal partners.

After all, isn’t that the mantra of Emergency Management? Building relationships before a disaster?!?!? See, even the pros practice what we preach!

In breaking for lunch, I know many of you remember taking IS-100, IS-200, IS-700, IS-800 and remember this slide.

I wanted to dispel the rumor, that is NOT me.

Saw a few of the FIWA folks in the hall and thanked them for their help during our MRTs as well as our pre-disaster deployment support prior to Irma. While there, I had them check my FEMA phone and tuned up. They reminded me that I still needed to do my yearly compliance training on “Security Awareness”

#whoops

As the symposium closed out, we had the color guard from the Anniston Police stop by to retire the colors.

Everyone who attended work tirelessly in protecting our nation from emergencies and disasters. We all believe in helping out and supporting all our communities because a prepared nation is a more resilient nation.

On the door step of the Memorial Day weekend, we all pause to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect everyone in this great nation.

Be safe out there folks!

Reporting live from the 2019 National Preparedness Symposium…

@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

Class comments – Yassssss!

In reviewing my comments from yesterday’s class, I am reminded how much our impact and influence we have as instructors.

This is the reason why we as instructors, educators, and leaders share our experiences.

Without a doubt, there are clear differences between people who read the slides vs instructors who are passionate about improving our field.

It is imperative that we continue to push the envelope as we train and exercise our nation’s public safety professionals. During an emergency or disaster, there is no second chance. The community’s safety is of the utmost importance.

Our dedication to our public safety constituents is neverending and we must strive to be ready for any situation.

This is what we train for…this is what we do.

@rusnivek

JIC/JIS Course at IFD HQ – Day-3!

Day-3 of the Joint Information Center/Joint Information System course here at the Indianapolis Fire Headquarters.

This place is super nice…

…and a bonus welcome by the Chief of the department – Fire Chief Malone!

Outstanding to see that kind of engagement of a large metro fire department stop by to say hi. And of course the IFD PIO BC Rita Reith working the PIO magic too!

Great discussion on when situations get worse…ie disaster declarations and how as situations start to grow, how we as a nation respond to help assist others.

You know we had lots of discussion on JIC/JIS operations and needs.

Also discussed how the executive policy room could affect actions of the field PIOs as well as the JIC – which stresses the need for solid, one voice communications from the Emergency Operations Center.

I know, I know, coordination again huh? But it’s the truth! If we don’t work together, we will likely fail our constituents. We must work together to support our ongoing efforts of safety with all our partners.

Great dialog on mutual aid partnerships. Regardless of the situation, we can all work closely with each other and share ideas.

Me? I am very proud of the work from everyone in the class this week.

Looking forward to working with all of you during the next big one.

Until then, go forth and tweet good stuff!

@rusnivek

Day-2 of the DHS/FEMA G0290 Basic PIO Course!

Day-2 of the DHS/FEMA G0290 Basic PIO Course!

We had time to discuss a myriad of topics including the importance of press releases.

While antiquated, there is some value. I think.

Lots of group work as we continue to move to support our agencies’ goals and mission.

As usual, we were fortunate to have excellent coordination with local and national media for this class.

Good Morning America Elyna Niles-Carnes (@encproducer)

WISHTV-8 Emily Kinzer (@EmilyKinzer8)

RTV6 Paris Lewbel (@PLewbel)

and Indiana State Police PIO Sgt John Perrine (@ISPIndianapolis).

So glad to have this candid media panel to discuss ongoing PIO operations with everyone.

Got a chance to facilitate this panel discussion as we had spirited discussion on “no comment”, realistic expectations, favoritism, “off the record” vs truth. Outstanding discussion from everyone from Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Florida, and of course Indiana.

And if you were wondering, no doubt, we did review all in-class interviews.

Solid discussion on tips/tricks to use during oncamera interviews as well as some great techniques to use during a crisis.

Looking forward to tomorrow – final day as we form Voltron and move into JIC/JIS!!

@rusnivek

Day-1 of the FEMA Basic PIO Course in Indianapolis

Day-1 of the FEMA Basic PIO course here in Indianapolis!

Glad to be teaching with FEMA Master PIO Erica Creech…

…and WTFD Capt Mike Pruitt…

…and oh a quick surprise….FEMA Master PIO Rita Reith!

That’s right, for those of you keeping score, this is the first time 3 FEMA Master PIOs have taught the Basic PIO Course. Whoop whooop!

Don’t worry, we did some on camera interviews as well as some fun dialog with out class that hail from Indiana and Kentucky!

We talked about press conferences and the importance and the need for onscene communications not only with the news media, but also the general public. Like the breaking news coming out of Mercy Hospital in Chicago.

Also sharing some stories of breaking news in Cleveland.

Great dynamic and solid discussion from everyone who attended today’s first day of FEMA Basic PIO!

@rusnivek

FL National Guard supporting recovery mission in Florida Keys #TAG

Got a chance to work with the Florida National Guard today. Their tasks set by Florida Governor Scott was clear to support Floridians in disaster recovery. FEMA’s role has always been to support and coordinate actions of resources in disaster response and recovery.

Here’s FEMA LNO John Allen greeted Brig General Canzoneri at the Key West International Airport.


Military partnerships are critical in a successful mission…esp this one. Hurricane Irma was devastating for almost all commmunities in the Florida Keys. Glad to provide Federal support to this team.

We were able to see the Florida National Guard working hard to cleanup one of the residential houses from a disaster survivor. We witnessed first hand those dedicated soldiers were giving to so many communities throughout the Florida Keys.


Hole in the roof? Roof ops? No problem. The National Guard has you covered.


A quick talk from the TAG to the troops and thanking them for their efforts…


…as well as a few words of wisdom from other leadership attending today’s events.


…but the work continued on for the entire team.

A handshake from leadership goes a long way.

Proud of their efforts in so many communities in Florida. Each one of them giving their time away from home, away from family…just so they can help rebuild another family.


This is what any American would do when someone needs help.

Believe me when I say, I am so glad to be a small part of this team and to tell this story. Great people helping out great people. Straight up, this is America.

This is what we train for. This is why we prepare. This is what we do

@rusnivek