Sunday streamlining our JIC Ops

Sunday is off to a bang as we need some formality to the process. Revamp what? What does that mean?

<Cue the Hawaiian music in the JIC because we are going to revamp a few things today.>

1. We are going to take a look at the press releases and move them to media alerts…because no one reads press releases anymore. Let’s not waste time and align it to be more factual and numbers. From a PIO perspective, this “trending” is what news outlets are looking for. Big upticks/spikes in numbers.

And in this situation, I doubt they are concentrating at the minutia of individual numbers esp since they are projected to dramatically increase over the next few weeks.

2. Accountability must be improved as we got the formal FEMA Disaster Declaration under the Stafford Act. So everyone gets a T-card and everyone must fill out an ICS-214. That includes me too.

3. Don’t forget to sign in on the ICS-211 form and your T-card is good to go.

4. Get a hard copy of the IAP and read through it. Don’t get caught not knowing the current plan. Maybe…MAYBE use those fancy tactical cargo pockets to hold your IAP (I’m judging).

5. Daily morning briefs with your PIOs….we call them our PIO roll call. Not longer than 10 minutes, allows us to get a handle on our daily activities and allows us to coordinate with each other. SA/COP baby!

I hate to break the news to you but the PIO’s job isn’t easy. So much more work goes behind the scenes and talking on camera is really about 5% of the job. Your main bread and butter work comes from the preparation and planning that goes into that.

Additionally, most reporters aren’t going to catch you live and want to do interviews. This new fangled invention called the cell phone makes it easy to communicate with all your reporters.

I honestly can’t tell you how many phone calls and interviews I did standing in my garage at 11p at night.

Yep, it never ends.

Get some sleep peeps, it’s going to be a long week ahead.

@rusnivek

Drive through testing for Coronavirus #COVID19

Rolling in on a Saturday to the EOC….

Wait a sec…WAIT A SEC….

Did one of our partners get their drive through testing station up and running already?

PIO to SITL: How do copy?

Man, the news is going to be all over this one…

@rusnivek

JIC up and accounting for staff

Oh yes….did someone say the Joint Information Center (JIC)?!?!? BRING. IT. ON. BABY.

Not only are we activating the JIC, we need to keep in track and record of all of our staff/personnel.

As a good PSC, you know I wouldn’t leave home without my trusty T-cards right?

Let’s see how many of my ESF friends will be here with us…

Reporting live from the JIC…

@rusnivek

HD’s CMT = Command and General Staff

As we all settle into a regular cycle of command and general staff meetings, we all try to abide by the social distancing that seems to be setting this response differently than others.

Note: The Health Department calls this their “Crisis Management Team (CMT) – prob better known in the All-hazards world as the Command and General Staff meeting. While lax on the formality, I think our health department would benefit from standardizing this meeting and abide by the guidance provided by the ICS templates on how to run the meetings.

Also, as you can tell, it’s a bit awkward for all of us to sit so far away.

And as we continue to prep and lay the ground work for our ongoing efforts for our communities, Incident Commander sits with the director of the Health Department to lay out our operational response.

Glad to hear Murray say to Karen, “Whatever it takes to support” on this Coronavirus incident.

Now that we are in sync, let’s continue to work the magic.

@rusnivek

Tuesday’s CMT aka Command and General Staff

Morning briefing with DCHD.

At first blush, this is looking like a full response vs a silo ESF response.

So I gotta put more thought on the ESF15 strategic path lays out. Likely lots of turf battles as this is a ESF-06 and ESF-08 kinda thang.

Glad to lean on my past experiences from Fire/EMS and hospitals to help me glide through this.

You know I’m going to say it…”External Affairs can support the plan.”

Reporting live from the health department…

@rusnivek

Monday looking like a full response as we ramp up

Things got real serious for a Monday.

Where. Did. Everyone. Go.

Is it me?

Additionally, as things start to get serious, let’s recap today’s PIO fun.

  • OHSEM’s IAP in motion (well done PSC).
  • ICS-205 up (nice work COML).
  • Insight provided by our Liaison Officer (LOFR to the rescue).
  • External Affairs’ JIC plans/format laid out and pushed (meeeeeeeee).
  • “Do what you gotta do” orders from the Director (roger that).

And then radios were distroed.

Test test. Clarance, do you have clearance?

Heh. My COML is going to kill me. Where’s my radio strap?!?

Reporting live…

@rusnivek

 

Sunday full press conference with leadership

Sunday funday right? #PIO

Looks like we got a prime spot for our presser today. Flag is up so let’s do this.

Assigned: Sunday Press Conference with senior leadership from County Health Department and County Chairman.

Me? I definitely burned the midnight oil but talking points all done. All reviewed and approved.

Let’s get this started because it looks like all my media friends are here. Welcome media partners!

Getting that angle just right….

But don’t forget, pic or it didn’t happen right?

And it’s Sunday so I didn’t a tie was necessary.

So let’s not delay.

Thanks to the friends at NBC5 Chicago for the live streaming of the presser.

Successful press conference with a few issues to review.

Shared learning points:

  • Trust your more seasoned PIOs to make solid strategic decisions.
  • Don’t be star-struck with national news media.
  • Lack of hard copy printing caused some hiccups.
  • Lack of skills will be very apparent within a few minutes of operation.
  • Lots to work through as this response will be a long response and even longer recovery.

Moving into the role of External Affairs Officer starting tomorrow. Likely turning on the lights for the Joint Information Center (JIC) too.

Hope your Sunday was good.

Reporting live from the presser….

@rusnivek

Big cameras vs phones?

Sunday reflection – just some quick screen shots of the ongoing press conferences from the back on the rotorwing aircraft crash in CA. Take a look.

Do you see it?

Count how many phones vs big cameras.

Amazing to see the change in technology as we move from

My PIO observations

  • Try your best to make room for those reporters w/ phones only. Obviously, they can’t pool, so maybe a stand for video.
  • Media should be considerate of the notification of next of kin. Loved ones should NEVER find out of death from media reports.
  • Malt boxes are nice for secure locations, but likely in an outside field setup (like this one), it might not be possible.
  • At the close of the presser, clearly state the time of the next press conference so that media will have a good idea what info will be delivered and of your partners on what to prepare.
  • In the mass/swarm of the location, consideration to elevate your primary talent. If that’s not possible, perhaps give them some room around the podium to deliver message.

Good work on an undoubtedly difficult incident.

@rusnivek

 

Breaking news from the official State of Columbia PIO… #APIO

Wait a second…WAIT A SECOND!!!!

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2020 FEMA Advanced PIO class. Photo cred: TheGabeLugo

Is that the State of Columbia Public Information Officer making a solid appearance at the 2020 January FEMA EMI Advanced PIO class?!?

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OMG~!!! I’m #famous

“I’d like to thank the support of the State of Columbia Governor Düsseldorf (aka Maryland EMA PIO Ed McDonough) for his unwavering support through these years as the State of Columbia PIO…”

Special thanks to Super CCN Reporter Mr. LukeSkyWatcher on his outstanding stories on this evolving incident here in Central City and Emerald City in the State of Columbia.

Photo cred: Niki Bender (@NikiBender)

“We vow to work the recovery for our cities, who are the true beating heart of our State of Columbia. We will dedicate resources to strengthen and rebuild affected areas. Together, we will continue to build a prepared and resilient nation.”

I’ll take a few questions at this time….

@rusnivek