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

Internal Comms training for my #EmergencyManagement staff

As we continue our training, we want to be cognizant of all kinds of skills needed to be successful in Emergency Management.

Many of you have been apart of a training or exercise…and have indubitably identified that communications is an action that needs more work. But how can you make that fun? Well, enter one of my Thunderbolt-esque exercises.

Giving the nod to former FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, these types of no-notice trainings engage our staff and forces them to think outside the box.

How outside? In this exercise, we cover

  • Communications
  • Type/Kind resources
  • Staging
  • Incident Command
  • Terminology
  • Nomenclature
  • Scene size-ups
  • Operations
  • Sequential
  • Prioritization
  • Ordering
  • Tactics

And to boot, it’s non-traditional training cause there are no powerpoints. Zero. Zilch. No joy. Gonzo. Nada Ghostrider.

As adult educators, we often forget that people learn things differently. Additionally, we as instructors need to explore outside our comfort zone and teach things in a classic lecture AND non-traditional style.

I am incredibly fortunate to have a staff that loves to train and enhance their skills. Train like you fight!

Want to know more? Want to train better? Come and be a part of my Emergency Management Team. You’ll see.

@rusnivek

ICS 300 for the Illinois Air National Guard 182nd Airlift Wing

Solid start to our FEMA IEMA DuPage County OHSEM’s ICS-300 class this morning with the Illinois Air National Guard with a welcome from Fire Chief Otto.

Making sure our DoD assets have the same training provides us an opportunity to have consistent interagency coordination in any disaster.

Group work provides a great chance to integrate various agencies and work into scenarios. Great dialog from all participants.

Since the 182nd is part of the Air Mobility Command, we also included several table tops to help incorporate the air branch for response logistics.

Incident command can be used anywhere…esp with prioritizing resources and supporting those who need critical needs from across the state and nation.

Great collaboration amongst all participants in preparation of disaster response challenges for all agencies involved. The time to discuss these issues is now in a bright lights classroom.

If you wait till the disaster, your poor decisions in crisis could be a disaster itself. So foundational multiagency training before a disaster is soooooo critical.

Proud to be here serving those who serve our country.

Many thanks to the hospitality from everyone here at the base.

Reporting live from the 182nd Airlift Wing…

@rusnivek

Day-2 of the new FEMA Region V COOP Course

Starting off day–2 of the new FEMA COOP class.

Solid discussion lead by Northwestern Medicine’s Continuity Manager Sam with our all-hazards pros on alternate locations including cold, warm, and hot EOCs.

Not only locations, but also triggers on when to move emergency operations centers. These kinds of discussions also spark debate on levels of activation as well as essential personnel. We openly discuss triggers and standards that help make it easy for COOP Managers and leadership to roll out their continuity plan.

As we identify specific incidents and actions needed, we can also assess viability of personnel and staff….ESSENTIAL staff to these secure national COOP locations like

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Additionally, we focus in on the importance of not only writing a plan, but also exercising a plan. Good dialog w/ Joe on the city of Aurora’s exercise plans.

While not as sexy as response or even preparedness, these kinds of continuity exercises test recovery. Can’t begin to tell you how important that is to your constituents esp when things are going to 💩. Catastrophic planning is only as good as your last exercise – trust me, when faced with crisis, people will not always do the most common sense thing.

Why is our agency leaning in on the COOP stuff? Well, if all goes according to my plan, we should have at five (5) Master Continuity Practitioners on our staff. Awwwww yeah!

As we close up, Sam leads the post test wrap up to evaluate that level II retention that FEMA EMI loves.

In the end, when you see the participants smiling and hearing their responses in how they are going to directly implement these new rollouts and changes to the plans….is so gratifying.

I am proud of the work we do in Emergency Management. As an instructor I expect a lot out of you. And your students most definitely do too.

As an instructor, your influence to your participants can generate enthusiasm beyond expectation. Dedication is critical to the success of your mission. I am thankful for all the smiles in our FEMA Region 5 COOP class on this #AlohaFriday.

@rusnivek

Brand new FEMA Region V COOP class Day-1

Kicking off the new FEMA Region 5 Continuity of Operations class here at the DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Proud to have Northwestern Medicine’s Continuity Manager Sam Boyle and DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Operations Supervisor Joe Joseph with us to share some of the changes with FCD-1, FCD-2, CC-1, HSPD5, PPD-8, NSPD-51, HSPD-20, and of course the NIMS update.

Mid-day discussion with Joe on the Continuity planning process with the new FEMA course materials for COOP focused around essential functions.

Look at those smiles!

All made to enhance the skills of our public safety partners.

Shout out to all the leadership and participants who took the time away from their desks to enhance their program’s ability to function beyond catastrophic incidents.

Also, for those that were paying attention on the day? Is it really the perfect date?

Hmmmm…

Boom.

COOP? Operations? Social Media? Public Information? Pop culture? Everything is a calculated because even in a FEMA class, we don’t miss a beat!

Welcome to my program. This is how we do things at our house.

@rusnivek

Day-2 of the FEMA EOC Management and Operations course (G775)

Day-2 of the FEMA EOC Management & Operations course here at DuPage County OHSEM.

Bonus points, I got to introduce our new Ops Chief to everyone today. Welcome Joe Jones!

We also talked a bunch about responder safety and how to bring a few moments of zen to the pros working your EOC. I think these comfort/therapy dogs are the best.

Timely post from FEMA on the work these dogs do for responders.

Trust me, they were a very welcome sight in the midst of chaos of a national disaster.

Glad to have so many pros from across Illinois for attending our class.

And yes, without a doubt, it is #AlohaFriday.

@rusnivek