3 reasons why you should have a family communications plan #NPM2020 #NatlPrep

Final day of the first week of the 2020 National Preparedness Month. So to close this week out, we are going to talk about your family communications plan…aka comms plan.

No, not that kinda plan.

An essential part of your emergency plan is the easy family communications plan.

WAIT…did you say “I already have their phone numbers in my cell phone. Why do I need anything else?”

<eye roll>

Your memory isn’t that great. You are human. And it’s been proven that during a crisis/duress, your critical skills and ability to recount precise information sucks.

This is precisely why you need a family communications plan.

Technology has proven to fail and fail at critical times in a crisis or disaster. While your cell phone is a critical piece of equipment, there are times where you lose your phone.

Yeah, I know all of you Apple Watch users have used the find my phone feature.

Regularly, we find evacuees after a storm, they report that they do not have good reception or adequate data service for their phones. This renders their phone useless when trying to communicate essential information to loved ones.

And we all know when we lose power to our phones that most definitely eliminate all critical phone numbers, emails, etc…

So three solid reasons why you want to consider having a hard copy family communications plan ready in case of an emergency.

Need some help? Here’s an easy template provided by our Ready.Gov campaign

Click to access Family_Comm_Plan_508_20150820.pdf

 

Easy peasy right?

Do the right thing for the safety of your family.

Reporting live and closing out the first week of the 2020 National Preparedness Month!

@rusnivek

BWC + Ohio EMS +Ohio SFM = free #Firefighter transition certification training

FISCAL YEAR 2017 STATE FIRE MARSHAL VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER I TRAINING GRANT PROGRAM OVERVIEW AND APPLICATION
Thanks to a generous allocation of funds from the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation, the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of State Fire Marshal (SFM) is pleased to announce the availability of the Volunteer Firefighter I Training Grant. This grant provides funding in State Fiscal Year 2017 (ending June 30, 2017) to pay for the costs of providing Firefighter I or Firefighter I Transition certification courses free of charge to select students by SFM approved class providers.

FY17+BWC+SFM+Volunteer+FFI+Training+Grant+package

FISCAL YEAR 2017 STATE FIRE MARSHAL VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER I TRAINING GRANT PROGRAM OVERVIEW AND APPLICATION
Thanks to a generous allocation of funds from the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation, the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of State Fire Marshal (SFM) is pleased to announce the availability of the Volunteer Firefighter I Training Grant. This grant provides funding in State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2017 (ending June 30, 2017) to pay for the costs of providing Firefighter I or Firefighter I Transition certification courses free of charge to select students by SFM approved class providers. By partnering with eligible class providers, it is the goal of the SFM to ease the costs to local governments, promote shared services and broaden the availability of these courses throughout the state. Grant funding is limited to $454,711.44 state-wide and will be dispersed to compliant course providers on a first come first serve basis. “Select students” are volunteer firefighters affiliated, as members, with fire departments that pay premiums (or local jurisdictions that pay on behalf of the fire department) to the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation state insurance fund in accordance with Section 4123.35 of the Revised Code and are otherwise in compliance with the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation regulations (“compliant fire departments”).

Now go and get your Fire/Rescue Department some free training!

@rusnivek

Its dangerous working with prop aircraft use #NatlPrep

It’s dangerous working with propeller aircraft use #NatlPrep

IMG_7269

No joke-do not walk into the props!

Safety is always the first priority when doing air operations of any kind.

The general public should take the time to watch the news and find out the areas that have active air operations. Stay clear of those areas.

Also probably a good time to remind you about these things.

stelprd3837335

Don’t wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today.

CKYhdyqUMAQdNj1

@rusnivek

FireChat – First look 

FireChat – First Look
There has been lots of discussion about mobile message apps using MESH networks. Just like my deployment to Hurricane Katrina/Rita in Louisiana’s Lower 9th Ward, we had no cell service which means no internet. Common in disasters, many startups are looking to bridge that gap using Bluetooth/MESH networking for any type of mobile technology.


MESH networks literally work by using other devices in your general vicinity to relay/transmit data to any available network. Devices can automatically network with each other via flood technique (overwhelming) or routing technique (hardware hoping). To put it into terms that we in government are more used to hearing, this type of networking is considered a mobile ad-hoc network that can operate independently with little or no internet connection.

Some advantages include internet use with at least one actual connection, increasing local networking by locality through mobile hardware, and of course an automatic mobile-to-mobile network.

Some dangers include lack of security, mobile device protection, connection reliability, and as the MESH network grows the more prolonged data delays occur.

Soooooooooooo, just like when ello was released, I downloaded the app and started using it. I engaged with various users over the course of the last 4 weeks. Here’s my notes.

  • GPS data is incorrect. I was in Dallas’ airport and it pegged me in Natchitoches, LA.
  • Bluetooth is another way for MESH networks to communicate but strength of mobile-mobile connections is fleeting/passing in an airport
  • Hyperlinks do work.
  • When you upload a picture, FireChat does NOT give a confirmation message or pop-up that your picture is uploaded (I found this out because I uploaded my picture six times before I realized what was happening). #whoopsies

  • Aaaaand you cannot erase pictures.
  • Users cannot erase comments.
  • Hashtags help users identify topic and discussion.
  • Hashtags are hyperlinked in FireChat to those specific groups.
  • Twitter handles do NOT hyperlink to Twitter accounts
  • Phone numbers hyperlink to phone app (list using xxx-xxx-xxxx). It also works using the xxxxxxxxxx format but it looks cleaner and easier to recite w/ natural “-” breaks.
  • FireChat does not allow cut/paste function.
  • GPS coordinates do not hyperlink to any maps (Apple Maps or Google Maps)
  • USNG does not work either.
  • Refresh rate is slow (when compared to Twitter’s network refreshes faster and is more streaming).
  • In a known dead spot for cell service, MESH network was slow and did not connect to internet.
  • Trolls are rampant and uncontrolled in the main chatroom.
  • Main chatroom has various and NSFW topics.
  • Many users do not identify themselves with a profile picture or descriptor.
  • Many users are using this service as a social network for personal PERSONAL reasons.
  • Bad words are censored on FireChat with “*****”. Unknown what those specific terms are.
  • You can like a comment from others or about yourself. Other users can see that someone has liked the comment/content by the red heart displayed. No amount is quantified. Just one lonely red heart.

If Emergency Management was to use FireChat, designate a specialist to monitor to observe and engage pertinent conversation in main chat room directing them to distinct #group in FireChat.

At this time, I only use FireChat when I’m bored and want to see if they have developed other functionality tools.

Just a few initial thoughts on FireChat.

@rusnivek

Your image on social by monitoring your name Safety-PIO-SM-14-007

14-007: Your image on social by monitoring your name
Agency: Lakewood Fire Topic(s):         Monitoring your name/branding
Date: Fall 2014 Platform:        Twitter

Monitoring your namesake has been debated for years. But with decreased staffing and less time to do more with less, many agencies are bypassing this critical piece of community relations and image/branding. A good example is when a citizen commented on Lakewood Fire’s SUV parking.

IMG_1372

Everyone has a camera these days. We use them not only to capture memories and precious moments, but also for documentation and shaming. I believe Todd was going for the public safety shaming factor here. I am unsure on the previous relationship between Todd and Lakewood, but there was never a response on Twitter back to Todd. Truth be told, these days, unanswered public questions are sometimes perceived as a government agency cover-ups/issues. Similar to the “No comment” – a non-response might even be worse.

How do you monitor your agency’s name or any derivatives? Try these free services: Google Alerts, search columns in TweetDeck or Hootsuite, or frequent basic vanity searches on any search engine or social media platforms.

While Todd’s use of hashtags is fairly standard social media malarkey, a swift response with a timely and direct reply to Todd’s tweet would help stop the perception that LFD is breaking the law or even setting a bad example. Remember, social media is about digital interaction.

The response could also be a teaching point so share with your audience some insight into your normal operations with a simple message on Fire Prevention activities – like hydrant testing. And using the hashtag #FirePrevention pulls up thousands of tweets about educating the public specifically in fire safety.

An effective @reply response to Todd’s tweet could have read:

@stwrs1974 During an emergency, it’s tough to find safe parking. FYI-we also check/flush hydrants twice a year too #FirePrevention 

By phrasing it this way:

  1. You immediately address the issue directly with the citizen citing the issue.
  2. You provide insight into scene safety during an emergency.
  3. You call attention to your normal operations (in this case-hydrant flushing).
  4. You use the hashtag #FirePrevention to call attention to…well…Fire Prevention.
  5. You show the general public you care about your image and want to get the story right.

Time is valuable, so tweet good stuff.

@rusnivek

***To download this as a single-page printable format, click this file:

YourImageOnSocialByMonitoringYourName-Safety-PIO-SM-14-007

 

NPM vs NATLPREP – Why you should use #NATLPREP #OMG

So…I think I found out the reason why Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) doesn’t use the term “NPM” for National Preparedness Month on the Twitter.

Drumroll……………

Apparently, the internets use “NPM” for No Pants Monday.

NPM = No Pants Monday

NPM = No Pants Monday

How about them apples?

And today is Monday. Oh boy.

So, as an Emergency Manager, I’d suggest you heavily consider using the FEMA aformentioned #NATLPREP – not just “NPM”.

I’ve also seen #NPM13 or #NPM2013 or #NATIONALPREPAREDNESSMONTH or #NATIONALPREPAREDNESS

Just a simple Emergency Management observation.

Just glad to help with this small nugget of info for you.

@rusnivek