State of Ohio EMA G291 Joint Information Center / System class at Medina County EOC

Packed State of Ohio EMA Joint Information Center / Joint Information System course today!

Started everyone into group work as well as ongoing discussion on the role of SMEs at a press conference.

Just in case, we also tasked participants to start thinking about a policy/protocol for their agency on sneak attack aka ambush interviews.

We found as we leverages our strengths and capitalize on our skills, we as JIC Managers can better meet the needs of any situation – we just gotta find the right PIOs for the job.

As our groups collaborated, we found that despite crossing state lines, we still have the same problems as other areas – thus proving our point that we need to consistently train together and exercise our plans together.

Many of our participants enjoyed working in the JIC setting and were excited to work in a JIC during the next activation. Most excellent as we build a strong cadre of PIOs across this great state.

My Ohio Peeps!

Reporting live from Medina County’s Emergency Operations Center….


17-001: A Shake That Never Happened #PIO #Safety #SocialMedia

17-001: A Shake That Never Happened
Agency: US Geological Survey (USGS) Topic(s):      Error message / human error
Date: 06-23-17 Platform:      Twitter/Email

Sometimes, US Geological Survey (USGS) computers have 6.8 sized hiccups which automatically pushed out info this past Wednesday. This caused serious concern as numerous Emergency Management professionals and PIOs desperately searched to verify information on any earthquake in California. None was to be found on Wednesday June 21, 2017.

As you can see, the date listed in the email notification isn’t consistent with Wednesday’s date as well as the time stamp of publication.

Even worse was the 140-character tweet with even less text/info that initially went out to their 679K followers (@USGS). With the magnitude and epicenter location in a well populated area (Santa Barbara CA), it is crucial that we have multiple sources to verify critical information.

As humans, our attention span has shortened. (SQUIRREL!) Likely thousands misread the initial date/time listed on the email. Even less took the time to click the link in the tweet.

USGS noticed the error and posted this explanation of the errand info. Emails were sent to explain the deleted event.

Obviously more than 140 characters, they screen shot a typed response and posted the image to twitter referencing their errant tweet. The USGS used this tactic to get more information and characters into an otherwise short 140-character tweet.

Whether computer or human error, fessing up to an error on social media is embarrassing. However, the ramifications of arbitrarily deleting info without prior public notification will gander your agency a rash of criticism from the most loyal of followers. Government agencies should strive to foster trust and transparency with all of their constituency. Not to mention, deletion of your posts must match your agency’s policy/procedure or SOP/SOG.

Three important tips to consider if an agency posts something weird:

  1. Trust, but verify information. Trust your social media intuition.
  2. Correlate data from various sources to make an informed decision for ongoing operations.
  3. Admit your mistakes. It happens. Human error is a thing.

Mistakes happen, but how you recover will either make you a hero or a zero. Maximize your efforts on social media including screenshots of your more-than-140-character-response.

Time is short, so tweet / email correct stuff!


****Or download the one-pager here: AShakeThatNeverHappened-Safety-PIO-SM-17-001***

Maybe watch a quick video from USA Today

Ohio Emergency Management Agency’s November ICS-400 class in Belmont County

Kicking off Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA) ICS-400: Advanced ICS this morning in Belmont County, Ohio.


Great to see so many familiar faces from the previous ICS-300 class too!


Diverse participants from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia makes for a great class.


Additionally, participants represent local, state, and Federal Officials – this makes it an incredible group.


Dynamic activity discussion on Area command as well as spirited discussion on resource allocation for priorities – all the hallmarks of a great engaged class.


Looking forward to Friday – the final day!



Day-3 Ohio EMA ICS 300 course with 911 PSAP & Belmont County EMA EOC

Third and final day of the Ohio EMA ICS-300 course at Belmont College.

PhotoCredit: @BelmontCollege

PhotoCredit: @BelmontCollege

Mid morning, we had lots of great discussion for formal demobilization plans as well priority release procedures.


Our class had some serious discussion on cost vs expectations on resources. If you’ve ever been deployed to a disaster, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Rounding out to the last module, almost test time!


After the class was over, I was able to score a visit to Belmont County 911 dispatch center for our class. So I invited the whole class to attend too!


Special thanks to Mr. Hudak for the tour and detailed explanation on normal operations in their Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) / 911 call center.


Our class then moved over to the Belmont County Emergency Management Agency where our class was given a formal tour of their Emergency Operation Center (EOC).


They just happen to be monitoring Hurricane Matthew – so that made it even better for all participants to see how this EOC can monitor any situation in real time. Thank you Belmont County EMA!


Positions ready…Executive Policy Room ready…ARES Comms center ready…fully operational…who could ask for anything more?!!?!? Even the bonus resources they have were great to see how they could support operations and paint a better picture to increase situational awareness / common operating picture (SA/COP).


Gah, I see this EOC being a great resource for many all hazards partners in public safety.

Great to showcase the efforts of local emergency management professionals and how they pair with Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA).

Special thanks to Glenn Trudo and Belmont College for being such gracious hosts for the OEMA ICS-300 class.


Don’t worry, I didn’t preflight this aircraft #NatlPrep

Don’t worry, I didn’t preflight this aircraft #NatlPrep


Saturday shakas on the flight line.

Make sure your agencies are safe. Follow protocols and abide by all safety minimums.

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


Enjoying National Preparedness month so far?


Safety-PIO-SM-14-010-Appropriate-for-Social-Media ?

14-010: Appropriate for Social Media?
Agency: The back of the ambulance Topic(s):         Posting on SM
Date: Fall 2014 Platform:        Instagram

At times, social media is very emotional and many users like to share intimate moments with all their followers. The reality of social media is great…except when it is done inappropriately. That’s just what Instagram user rnashleeyyy_xx did in the back of an ambulance.



“Love is in the air…” are great lyrics, however, I don’t believe this type of behavior is appropriate for an ambulance. This isn’t a hotel…real patient care occurs in the back of the ambulance! This is a professional environment. Keep it that way.


Also, I am fairly sure Zeus didn’t write that in his SOGs. No matter the justification, people will immediately judge and in the court of public opinion, these actions are not considered professional. And no, the caption/description will not deter or change focus as the visual image hits the news.


So basically, stop making out in the back of the ambulance.


The amount of stuff that happens back here is enough to scare an entire country. Infection control alone should be enough of a deterrent. Think about it.


Any agency on social media should have a social media strategy and a plan that includes guidelines on how employees should use social media and who they interact with. The plan can outline how members should conduct activities on social media as well as identify dangers on how, if used inappropriately, will reflect poorly upon the agency. No matter your threshold of acceptance or approval, monitor your employees use of social media. They are a direct reflection on your agency, your brand, and you.


General social media tips to keep in mind:

  1. Know what your employees are posting on social media platforms.
  2. Your employees are a direct representation of your brand/image on social media.
  3. The disclaimer “My views expressed here do not reflect my employer’s views” will NOT hold up in court.
  4. Regularly search for your agency’s name to monitor the online discussion(s).
  5. You work hard to build your brand on social media…Keep it that way.


Time is valuable, so tweet good stuff.


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