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

Contingency plan for Big Pine Key Post office

Found out the US Post office in Big Pine Key was obliterated.  Deemed unfit for operations as the entire structure was condemned.


So the USPS continuity plan? Setup a field post office.


It is critical for disaster survivors to get mail.

Again, helping a community return to normalcy is incredibly important.

@rusnivek

Night ops for Response & Recovery #Irma 

Just because it’s dark, don’t think operations stop.


Just remember, disaster response and recovery is a 24-hour business. With 12-hour operational periods, there isn’t much time to fool around.

Sadly, PIOs are tasked with countless tasks all day/night long.

Get some rest peeps. I know I’m tired.

@rusnivek

A great additional flashlight for disasters #NatlPrep #PlanAhead

Flashlights (not just flashlight) are key components of your preparedness kit. But there are soooooo many kinds of flashlights to choose from. Keep in mind that handheld ones are important, but headlamps are AWESOME!

Headlamps are GREAT flashlights too bec they allow hands-free operation when gathering things to safely evacuate #NatlPrep

Planning with items like this is a great way to bring light to a dark situation. Yes, pun intended. Hands free makes life easier…esp in a disaster.

When writing up your families’ preparedness plan, don’t forget to include flashlights and a rugged headlamp!

@rusnivek

 

Bioterrorism discussion at IIT in Chicago

This past weekend, I was invited to swing by the Illinois Institute of Technology Graduate School in downtown Chicago.

IIT

Spirited discussion included bioterrorism, social media data/intelligence, explosives, nuc/rad release, mass panic/evacuation, and of course drone operations for large events.

taste-of-chicago

Participants included many members of Chicago Police’s upper administration and leadership from Chicago Police specialty teams.

IMG_6028

They asked Dr. Fagel if I was a Special Agent kinda guy. Clearly, my Aloha shirt on a Saturday really messed things up.

Tower

Overall, it was a great day to be in downtown Chicago.

Looking forward to sharing some SME knowledge with the graduate students this fall.

@rusnivek

JIS – JIC planning class for Tribal State and local PIOs

A fine day to teach the Ohio Emergency Management Agency’s JIS / JIC Planning for Tribal, State, and Local PIOs (G-291) course in Medina County!

1

A classic start with The Who.

One of the big points emphasized in this class is the differences between a Joint Information Center (JIC) and a Joint Information System (JIS). Both have merits in daily operations and each have strengths and weaknesses in disaster operations.

IMG_6533

Sometimes PIOs don’t understand that a JIC or JIS activation is just like a normal activation. If you can’t figure out the differences between the two, take the class from those who have actually worked a JIC or a JIS.

IMG_6546

On Tuesday/Wednesday in the Basic Public Information Officers’ Course (G-290), we talked about training and readiness efforts for any PIO. Go Kits were a hot button topic as everyone’s PIO kit would most likely be different. Resource manuals are great to have, but difficult to keep updated. Just maintaining a PIO contact list is a tedious task.

Much discussion about food in the kit. This was obviously NOT a good example of what you should be eating during an JIC activation.

2

Prob not the best lunch.

Healthy body = Healthy mind. Period.

As the day progressed, we facilitated several in-depth discussions on teamwork, joint efforts in responses as well as some pre-scripted messages that can be used by everyone. Planning now will reduce the amount of white hair during an incident.

Establish relationships now with local health departments, local and regional hospitals, local Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Teams, Special Technical Rescue Teams. Easily rely on your state staff and resources to support your actions. A great wealth of information is available to bring to the table. Just establish that connection before that awkward 0300 hit.

Additionally, tapping into local resources from other Federal Agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives(ATF), National Weather Service (NWS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs Border Patrol (CBP), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), etc…so many options to establish relationships!

3

“Building relationships now can only increase our response effectiveness during a disaster.” – K. Sur

Looking outside government agencies, public and private partnerships can support our safety and response initiatives – so we need to make a concerted effort to make those connections now. Build relationships before a disaster!

4

Sur and Mo!

So how can you bring all these resources together? Consider these actions to explore in your jurisdiction:

  • Train. Train. Train.
  • Open discussions with various providers.
  • Invite your all-hazards partners to meetings.
  • Meet regularly. Maintain contact.
  • Take classes together.
  • Share resource lists and contacts.
  • Support each other during operations.
  • Review After Action Reviews / Improvement Plans (AARs/IPs) together.

5

And if you were wondering, class participants did well on their post-tests.

6

Psssst…the answer is “C” #not

We had a great time teaching this week. Much thanks to the Medina County Emergency Management Agency and EM Director Christine Fozio for their hospitality. Super fun time.

7

So much ducking fun (duck face reference)

Special thanks to the Ohio Emergency Management Agency for sponsoring this all-hazards class for our partners in public safety.

8

(L to R): PIO Instructor Kevin Sur, Medina County Emergency Management Director Christine Fozio, and PIO Instructor Monique Witherspoon.

If you are looking to attend OEMA’s free PIO courses:

  • Public Information Officers Awareness course (G-289)
  • Basic Public Information Officers’ course (G-290)
  • JIS / JIC Planning for Tribal, State, and Local PIOs course (G-291)

**coordinate through OEMA State Training Officer Susan Traylor.

SurPaperTowels

As always, I’m looking forward to the JIC / JIS activation calls. I am excited for these new PIOs to put their new acquired PIO skillz in place. And yes, I said skillz with a Z.

Time is short so do good stuff!

@rusnivek

Teaching at the Hamilton County EOC aka ROC #Cinci

I had a GREAT time at the Hamilton County Emergency Operations Center aka the ROC.

1512415_10152899664198859_8928964572784672373_n

Much mahalos to Barry and his crews for the hospitality.

Looking forward to returning in about a month to debut a new FEMA project.

@rusnivek