FEMA Support for Hurricane Harvey response including key safety messages

Key Safety Messages:

  • Continue to listen to local officials.
  • Only call 911 if you have an immediate need for medical attention or evacuation assistance.
    • If you can’t get through to 911 on first try, keep calling.
    • Another option is to place a call to one of five numbers for the Houston Command Center of the United States Coast Guard. The numbers are:
      • 281-464-4851
      • 281-464-4852
      • 281-464-4853
      • 281-464-4854
      • 282-464-4855
  • Don’t drive on flooded roadways. Remember – turn around, don’t drown.
  • If you are in a high rise building and need to shelter in place, go to the first or second floor hallways or interior rooms. You want to stay on floors above floodwater or storm surge, but do not go to the highest floors due to wind impacts.
  • If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately in the center of a small interior room (closet, interior hallway) on the lowest level of a sturdy building. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.

 

@rusnivek

 

NEO Public Information Officer quarterly training with WKYC 

Great to see the leadership at WKYC (NBC affiliate) for hosting our quarterly NorthEast Ohio’s (NEO) Public Information Officer (PIO) training!

Photo credit: K. Hyson, Cincinnati Health Department

Lots of discussion based around media relations focusing on timely and accurate reporting. Additionally, lots of conversation with good stories vs bad stories – which challenges the typical paradigm of news media’s “If it bleeds, it leads!” mantra.


“Off the record” conversation as well as immediate notification of incident dominated the early part of our conversation.

We moved into how strategy sometimes gets in the way of real emergencies and of course how our PIO narratives sometimes conflicts with how the story is produced.


To me, I was also surprised at how many reporters wanted txt msgs as compared to phone calls. In fact, desk assignment editors wanted a mention as well as a follow-up txt or notification of ongoing emerging issue.


I am very greatful to be able to have candid conversation with our partners in the media. And yes, sharing success stories as well as challenges will allow us to do a better job with our local media to communicate our safety messages. Very glad to hear that getting the story right is still the main drive of our local news agencies.

Many thanks to the pros at WKYC (NBC affiliate) Cleveland for the hospitality and generosity.


Reporting live from WKYC…

@rusnivek

PIO Tip: Frame your shot and reduce your onscene variables

I was finishing up my AARs and found a picture from the last night of the Republican National Convention (RNC).

Quick tip for you PIOs doing field reporting: Frame your shot.

IMG_5773

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams doing an interview with Time Magazine. Obvious chalked roadway with profane statement behind him. Videographer is recording at an upward angle to frame his subject.

During the RNC, we found that it was critical to frame the shot. Onscene shots were particularly tough because so many activist groups had signs, chalked, or painted words that are inappropriate for pictures or even worse yet, uncontrolled live broadcast hits (Periscope or FacebookLive or YouTubeLive).

Additionally, live outdoor broadcasts from the scene are challenging because it is difficult to control the natural and man-made variables.

So as PIOs we need to reduce any signs, ropes, wires, etc….that could affect your framed shot.

 

OnCameraDangers

Trust me, reduce the amount of variables to a bare minimum.

Focus your energy in delivering your message. #PIO

@rusnivek

 

Preparedness can be funny AND informative

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

CKTroblUkAACcQd

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)…

2011-06-26_071954

…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

YikYak now allows pictures! VoteUp right?

Breaking news: YikYak now allows pictures!

YikYak

For those that have not used it, YikYak is a social media mobile app on iOS and Android that allows people to anonymously create and view posts (aka Yaks) within a close proximity of the user. The Yaks that are posted can be voted up or down by other users which will propel them higher on the list of conversational threads. Many college and local high school kids are using this app as a virtual/digital message/corkboard.

Soooooo, is that a good thing or bad thing?

  • Good because pictures always help enhance information gathering.
  • Bad because…well…it’s anonymous pictures.
  • Bad because it’s anonymous.
  • Bad because it’s proximity…which means in order to use YikYak, you have to be close.

I bet you are thinking YikYak is all just fun petty stuff. But before you think it’s all just a playful game, think about the potential of menacing/bullying. Now think about it from the law enforcement side where we need to track anonymously posted information for evidence.

Ride the Yak.

Time is valuable, so Yak good stuff.

@rusnivek

Stop driving through flooded roadways! #TADD #OHFlood #OHWx #Prepared

Every time. Every. Single. Time.

I don’t get it. We preach the #TADD safety message so many times. But yet, it always happens every time we have a heavy rain.

TADDPeople

No kidding Sherlock.

C’mon! What else do we have to say to get people to listen!?!?!?!

Remember: It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters. #TADD

Kudos to WEWS News Channel-5 in highlighting the dangers of flooded roadways.

Just say it with me, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown! #TADD”

Again.

“Turn Around, Don’t Drown! #TADD”

Again.

“Turn Around, Don’t Drown! #TADD”

More tips on flooding can be found here at Ready.gov

@rusnivek