How I find out the latest deets on stuff #NatlPrep

Since this is only the second day of 2020 National Preparedness month, we needed to focus in on your plans before, during, and after an emergency.

On the regular, I get TONS of calls/inquiries from people trying to figure out what’s going on. Many of our friends/families can glean this same info I get from the mass notification systems already in place.

The City of Chicago (IL) Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) has an easy system called NotifyChicago.

By inputting your information and particular way to be contacted, you can get the most up-to-date information about any part of the city. This includes warnings, hazards, and of course major street closures due to riots, protests, or other weird things that happen in Chicago. Choosing to be notified via text message ensures that no matter where you are, you can be alerted to dangers in your area 24/7. Subscribe for free here: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/oem/provdrs/alertchicago/svcs/notifychicago.html

At the county level, DuPage County (IL) Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (OHSEM) uses the Smart911 system which is a mass notification system to alert anyone on issues at the county level.

This could include severe weather, road closures, as well as critical information for anyone living/working in the area. You can sign up here: https://www.smart911.com/

From the region:

I rely heavily on our partners from the National Weather Service. While not the primary way, I think their social media work on Twitter is excellent and pull lots of info from them using the alert feature (notifications on) function on Twitter.

Consider following Mike Bardou and the crew from the NWS Chicago or follow your own local NWS office for immediate weather info. There are 122 Weather Forecasting Offices across our great nation.

More details can be found here: https://www.weather.gov/srh/nwsoffices

And finally, with the amount of info and the onslaught of information being pushed to our mobile devices, it’s good to know that IF it’s too much, you can always unsubscribe to any these services.

IF you have family in other parts of the country, consider subscribing to their area notifications. Doesn’t hurt to help a loved one out as they maybe be too busy, sleeping, or incapable of understanding the severity of their situation. More on that tomorrow.

Keep it safe during this first week of National Preparedness Month by making your plan!

@rusnivek

Downburst with Thunderstorm at the EOC

Sometimes Mother Nature just wants to remind you of her power. Work this morning was a bit different as we saw the true power of how powerful a simple downburst can be.

As you can see, these gigantic trees were no match for the winds in excess of 50mph.

Like a pair of sticks, this thicc tree was split at the base, the thickest strongest point.

Dayum.

To give you some perspective of the size, take a look at this picture. See that Chief wearing the white shirt behind the tree? Yeah, that’s a big tree.

Keep in mind, there are two gigantic trees that instantly fell within seconds.

As you can see, our top notch ESF-03: Public Works pros are already at it with their chainsaw gang clearing priority paths for critical access.

For more detailed information on this downburst with severe thunderstorms, here’s the direct link to NWS-Chicago’s report: https://www.weather.gov/lot/2019Jul02_Severe

Stay safe and heed all the warnings of local public safety agencies.

@rusnivek

DuPage County partners w/ OHSEM to lead the way with Outdoor Weather Event & Planning TableTop Exercise

As our office continues to work the magic for all of our partners in public safety, today we continue to rollout the new Event Ready Weather Decision toolkit that helps any agency with critical command decisions.

Our office has worked closely with the National Weather Service Chicago in developing this process.

And of course to pair with the class, we have a Outdoor Event Planning TableTop to help concrete the points to all participating agencies.

Not only developing, but making sure that the information is compliant….

…like HSEEP compliant TableTop exercise compliant.

That’s right – welcome to the #EmergencyManagement pros!

Success? Does it work? Hellz yeah it works! Just ask Lombard’s PIO Avis Meade who used this planning guide for their 2019 Lilac Parade.

Their actions based on NWS Chicago data and critical command decisions likely saved lives as severe weather rolled into the area with an exposed and completely vulnerable population.

Let me say that again, the planning and preparedness efforts from everyone in Lombard saved lives.

Let me translate that for you (think FEMA Core Capability): Sharing good info (Intelligence and Information Sharing), working closely with local, county, and state partnerships (Operational Coordination), and known trusted information (Public Information and Warning)

Decisions made in advance with partnerships with the local National Weather Service can save lives?!?!? YES IT CAN!

In Emergency Management, our decisions are collaborative and based on a combination of historical data and past industry practice. This is what Emergency Management is all about. Repeat after me: Planning and Coordination. Planning and Coordination.Planning and Coordination.Planning and Coordination.

I am proud to be a small part of many agencies doing the right thing for communities across this county and this great country.

Me? You know, I’m always willing to serve.

@rusnivek

Fugly little thing messing up weather today #Groundhogs day

PIO message –

Friendly reminder: REAL weather predictions should be based from real science (like our professionals from the National Weather Service @)…not a fugly little fat groundhog on one-single day.

C’mon peeps! Common sense right?!?

@rusnivek

 

Cold weather prep and our strong partnership with NWS Chicago

On the ready! So many things happen behind the scenes as Emergency Management Pros continue to plan and coordinate in prep for the severe cold weather inbound to our area of responsibility (AOR).

Our rock solid partnership with the National Weather Service Chicago continues to shine as we share information to our partners as well as the general public. Incorporating additional info like the Frostbite vs Hypothermia fact sheet from CDC is a bonus as we look to temps falling into the mid -20s with the windchill to reach -50 to -60.

Yikes is right.

If all predictions are correct, the forecasted temperatures are historic lows.

Our staff is currently conducting a conference call with police, fire, public works, and emergency management agencies within to discuss the extreme cold weather event tonight through Thursday.

All hands working!

Also, thanks for the briefing Ricky from the NWS Chicago!

@rusnivek

 

As we prep for the extreme cold weather #EOC

As we prep for the upcoming extreme cold weather, I am so proud of our staff at DuPage County OHSEM.

So proud to see our EOC readiness levels all blued out as we continue to serve our communities through incredibly cold winter weather.

Yep, we’re all in.

Keeping our partners informed and working the Emergency Management coordination is the magic behind the scenes we hope not to have to use.

While we are prepared to handle anything, I hope we have to handle nothing.

@rusnivek

 

Blizzard Warning in effect – NWS

Yep, I was right.

aka the official Blizzard Warning

@NWSChicago: As has been emphasized, we urge you to postpone all non-emergency travel tonight. However, if you absolutely must travel, for IL road conditions via , call 1-800-452-4368 or go to: Keep this phone no. & link handy for Mon AM commute.

*Sigh*

I had a sinking feeling that no one was going to show up for class this morning.

No pun intended.

@rusnivek

 

Sharks in the HOV lanes? Cmon! #SharkWeek #2018

And for the second disaster trick, this picture….

IT AIN’T REAL!!!

Don’t be a dingbat, stop sharing this fake picture during disasters and/or flooding.

Aaaaaand yes, an easy twofer here too: TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!!!

Be a good steward of social media information.

@rusnivek

What does the term “Heat Index” really mean? #HOT

Ever wonder what “Heat Index” means?

The Heat Index is a measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature. To find the Heat Index temperature, look at the Heat Index Chart above or check our Heat Index Calculator. As an example, if the air temperature is 96°F and the relative humidity is 65%, the heat index–how hot it feels–is 121°F. The red area without numbers indicates extreme danger. The National Weather Service will initiate alert procedures when the Heat Index is expected to exceed 105°-110°F (depending on local climate) for at least 2 consecutive days.

NWS also offers a Heat Index chart for area with high heat but low relative humidity. Since heat index values were devised for shady, light wind conditions, exposure to full sunshine can increase heat index values by up to 15°F. Also, strong winds, particularly with very hot, dry air, can be extremely hazardous.

Information provided by the NWS – the official source of weather related information.

@rusnivek