It’s all smiles in day-2 of ICS-300 at DWFD

Starting off our day-2 of ICS-300 here at DWFD with Jake and Elwood!

You know those two jokers executed their plans…to get the band back together.

This morning, we are joined by another representative from Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Region 4 Trainer Wendell Brewer!

Hope to lean on his recent expertise as a MEPP throughout the day.

Additionally, I got several inquiries on training that pertains to timely and proximity to the holidays (specifically any classes in December).

Look, it’s only December 6th. You need to calm down. You’re being too loud.

In short, disasters don’t take holidays or extended vacations. And neither do we. I am proud to see so many public safety partners attending our class from across the country.

Today, we hit the Planning P in full force as we brief our partners with the deets on the tactics meeting. We also dive deep on how important the ICS forms are (esp the 215 and 215A) for all tacticians and deployed personnel. I believe these two forms are critical to every single Incident Action Plans (IAP).

And for those that took ICS courses and thought they were boring and a waste of time or had poor instruction….that’s your fault.

Here’s proof that ICS participants, if provided solid instruction, can enjoy training and smile throughout class. I would say that the smiles probably help nurture transparent and dynamic conversation in class to solve legit problems that face any government agency. Sooooooo critical for any agency leader.

So go ahead and continue to complain about your experiences. Perhaps you just haven’t found an agency that provides solid instructors with real-world experiences that nurtures coordination and collaboration.

And as a true marker that I believe what we teach is impactful in all of our communities, I submit my sock choice for today. If we as leaders of our organization do not plan accordingly, we will likely become extinct.

Rawr.

Reporting live from the front of the class…

@rusnivek

Quick chat with FEMA Deputy Administrator Dan Kaniewski

I was fortunate this week to sit down this week with FEMA Deputy Administrator for Resilience Dan Kaniewski at FEMA HQ.

Dan’s efforts across the country has helped pushed the importance of preparedness and strength for any community. With regular talks on flood insurance and hazard mitigation, his ability to bring pre-disaster planning to the forefront has been solid as we continue to help many communities better prepare for any disaster or emergency.

Dan’s hard fought efforts is not only with government agencies, but various partners in the public and private sector too. The importance of their efforts will only help better their community when disaster strikes.

Glad to see our top brass pushing for more preparedness every single day too.

Reporting live from FEMA HQ…Happy Aloha Friday peeps!

@rusnivek

Today at 1017 #ShakeOut

Today is International ShakeOut day where at 10:17am (your time zone) we should all practice earthquake safety!

Soooooo, in case you need some ideas on what to do, here is my plan.

Seems like FEMA Region-8 approves!

Shout out to the FEMA Region-8 peeps who ran the Twitter #ShakeOutChat yesterday. Lots of great ideas on preparedness as well as what to do during an earthquake.

So no matter who or where you are…

Take a moment and assess your options BEFORE an earthquake strikes.

For more information on earthquake preparedness tips, check out Ready.Gov earthquake‘s page!

@rusnivek

The new 2019 ICS-400 this week!

Good morning peeps – welcome to the new 2019 ICS-400: Advanced ICS!

Proud to be one of the first instructors to roll this course out to our public safety partners that popped in late July. This week’s class? We have a bunch of pros from all backgrounds including Fire, EMS, Police, Healthcare, Public Works, Communications, Health Department, National Guard, Civil Support Teams, State, VA, Intelligence, and Tribal nations. I’m proud to serve all these pros.

Lots of discussion on preparedness efforts esp with some of the projected large disasters from across the country. In fact, discussion on preparedness for Cascadia Rising, New Madrid Fault, and national infrastructure failures were consistently discussed through the day. Related note: Proud to hear of sooo many prepared pros in class this week.

Classically, lots to share as Emergency Management pros continues to coordinate response through training and exercises. Train like you fight right?

Aside from powerpoints, the new ICS-400 has a bunch of in class activities that talk about complex incidents, Unified Command, and area command. Productively discussing issues in class BEFORE a disaster can only help to understand challenges that many agencies face…which could be exacerbated during crisis/emergency.

Glad to have engaged professionals in class this week.

Get your ICS on!

@rusnivek

TacoTuesday and I’m hangry already!

Sometimes people stress eat. And sometime people just get real hangry. Either way, being hungry isn’t a good situation.

Speaking of hungry, it’s #TacoTuesday.

That’s why today might be a good day to assess your options in your preparedness kit or else this….

I don’t need you mouthing off to me. If you had the time to prepare, I will not be responsible for your hunger pains. So take a good look at your preexisting kit.

Double check for expiration dates.

Always consider packing fresh snacks. #SNAX

Hot sauce always works (I keep a big bottle of Sriracha in my desk at work and in my deployment kit).

Some favorite beverages will compliment that dry granola bars.

Sporks work well in a kit.

Can/bottle opener is equally important.

Maybe even refreshing your MRE cache…making sure you have the right flavor is totes important.

Let’s be real honest, once you review your preparedness kit, you’ll always revamp a few other things too.

So don’t delay, double check your preparedness kit today!

@rusnivek

Take a bite out of worrying in disasters #SharkWeek

Take a bite out of worrying.

Don’t forget to pack games for your kids. It will help occupy time as you are stuck in traffic or waiting for stuff to happen.

Additionally, simple games like this could help adults pass the time…and yes, I just transported you back to your youth.

Also gives you approval to give advice on love, career decisions, etc…

So get your origami on and pack it in your preparedness kit today!

@rusnivek

All five phases of Emergency Management in one picture

One way we can teach our community (using Emergency Management concepts)…..is flooded roadways. Yep, that’s right, we often have the general public drive their cars through flooded roadways and get into trouble, injured, or die.

So lemme break it down in our five phases of Emergency Management

Statement: One of the common emergencies Emergency Management see during heavy rains is flooding.

Mitigation: In past flooding, Emergency Management have identified areas that are susceptible for flooding that is unsafe for any safe passage under this bridge.

Preparedness: Emergency Management has painted a highly visible ruler on the bridge pillar to help public safety (or anyone) to address and evaluate the water levels.

Protection: By identifying the dangers, Emergency Management is better able to coordinate resources used to protect the public as we can now focus our efforts on barriers, caution tape, road closures, etc…

Response: During terrible weather, Emergency Management can share critical safety messages with the public and allocate more resources used to rescue individuals who did NOT heed the warnings.

Recovery: Thanks to proper preplanning, Emergency Management can reference pictures of this flooded area that can be leveraged against non-disaster time pictures which can provide good background for windshield surveys and damage assessments for state, regional, and Federal partners.

Boom.

Good way to improve the safety of your municipality.

Great way to enhance your operational coordination and recovery efforts.

Outstanding way to improve the resilience of your community.

Can you do this in your community? You sure can, just contact your local Emergency Management Agency for more details.

@rusnivek

Debris Management with MassEMA

Despite not wearing pink today, we got a solid start to a great response and recovery course here in Massachusetts today.

Great introduction to the DHS/FEMA/NDPTC Debris Management Planning class. Outstanding to work with the Emergency Management Pros again from MassEMA and FEMA Region 1.

Glad to share the same mission and goals as the MassDEP, all agencies need to work together as we decrease our response times in a disaster.

Often times, people believe Debris Management is only for recovery. It isn’t. Debris Management starts in the response phase with local public works resources supporting Fire, EMS, and Police in their initial response.

Yes that’s right, response phase.

Even more surprising is that public works pros (ESF-3) are an integral part of any response plan and should be included as agencies enhance their disaster plans.

Funding is often a challenge as agencies continue to struggle w/ funding and maintaining resources for public works. But sharing ideas and resources could help mitigate deficiencies and increase capabilities for our partners in ESF-03.

As we continue to facilitate good conversation, we often talk about burn rates and projections to ensure that we are consistently bringing in resources to any disaster to best serve the communities that are affected.

We get laser focused on our top-3 primary response agencies from Fire, EMS, and Police. However, Emergency Management Professionals will tell you that we should include more into our preparedness and response phase to better serve our communities.

Coordination will enhance

  • Asset allocation
  • Response priorities
  • Critical access
  • Reduce costs and burn rates
  • Operational coordination

These points are critical as communities deal with the initial hit of any disaster.

So no matter large or small, urban or rural, or even rich or poor – any community is vulnerable. Proper planning will help reduce the risk so that we can continue to serve those survivors who need it the most.

Also, glad to see participants getting a lot out of class and instructor enthusiasm on the importance of this Emergency Management topic.

I’d encourage you to look at your Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and realistically look at the response from Public works as they are truly a partner in our preparedness, response, and recovery of any big event or disaster.

@rusnivek

National Preparedness Symposium Day-3

Final day of the 2019 National Preparedness Symposium here at CDP! Lots to share as we open up the day with a long talk on cyber.

Hint to Emergency Managers, Cyber is the sexy incident now…so I suggest you plan and design with your training manager now. Yep, you heard me right, cyber = sexy.

Noooooooow switching from cyber to FIT – because we will all get a FIT!

Here to listen in on the deets for the FEMA Integration Teams (FIT) from my FEMA LNO in Hurricane Irma, ladies and gents, put your hands together for…….. John Allen!!!!!

John Allen, better known as FEMA’s Director of Preparedness Integration and Coordination out of HQ has been point person for this effort started when previous FEMA Administrator Brock Long started.

This program imbeds FEMA Planners at specified locations to support all state, local, tribal, and territory (SLTT) partners. Rollout has been ongoing as this is a phased effort. Many of the 56 FITs are not staffed yet.

Also fortunate to have one of the FIT Leads with us from Idaho – hiya Justin!

Great to see that kind of partnerships on all levels including building confidence in the SLTT’s efforts. The most beneficial aspect of the program would be that the FIT can provide RRCCs and NRCC accurate SA/COP for real-time operational assessment and needs. So more than just an FEMA LNO, these FITs are able to integrate and provide immediate support.

But truth be told, the FITs are really integrated into their community as they live there. They work there. They are part of the response, recovery side of any event or incident that state may have. Great idea!

Me? I’m totes interested.

Riding on the wave of productivity, we popped back into our regional groups again and talked about our lessons learned from this symposium.

We discussed at length how we can help each other under blue/grey skies time…and really support each other during event/disasters.

Here’s a little behind the scenes of the group. Everyone participated including solid contributions from our tribal partners.

After all, isn’t that the mantra of Emergency Management? Building relationships before a disaster?!?!? See, even the pros practice what we preach!

In breaking for lunch, I know many of you remember taking IS-100, IS-200, IS-700, IS-800 and remember this slide.

I wanted to dispel the rumor, that is NOT me.

Saw a few of the FIWA folks in the hall and thanked them for their help during our MRTs as well as our pre-disaster deployment support prior to Irma. While there, I had them check my FEMA phone and tuned up. They reminded me that I still needed to do my yearly compliance training on “Security Awareness”

#whoops

As the symposium closed out, we had the color guard from the Anniston Police stop by to retire the colors.

Everyone who attended work tirelessly in protecting our nation from emergencies and disasters. We all believe in helping out and supporting all our communities because a prepared nation is a more resilient nation.

On the door step of the Memorial Day weekend, we all pause to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect everyone in this great nation.

Be safe out there folks!

Reporting live from the 2019 National Preparedness Symposium…

@rusnivek