FEMA launches Prepare with Pedro at the 2018 Youth Preparedness Council

FEMA Region V Administrator James Joseph was in Washington DC today for the Youth Preparedness Council at Red Cross HQ.

Great to see Ready.Gov partnering with everyone on today’s events.

Additionally, download the free Prepare with Pedro workbook for kids here.

@rusnivek

 

Fun stuff on the final day of ICS-300!

Day-3 final day of ICS-300 starting out with another in class exercise!

It is imperative that we push all agencies to think outside of their normal comfort zone and look to alternate resources and like-minded professionals.

Not only other pros, but also standardizing the response so that everyone is on the same page, using the same terminology, same forms, and same plans and objectives.

Your agency’s mission is very important.

Your organizational goals are super important too.

But those SMART Objectives are SOOOO critical to everyone onscene as well as future operational periods.

And yes, the same truths still apply: coffee and collaboration are totes critical when a disaster first strikes.

But it also takes a consummate professional to continue the work after the response phase…but into recovery and mitigation. Thus ensuring your community some protection as we are always in a state of preparedness.

Our class also had lots of discussion on this slide as we view credentialing as a preparedness activity as we look to standardization and qualifications.

Great week and proud of the work from all participants in this class.

Looking forward to seeing all of you on the next big one.

@rusnivek

Day-1 ICS-300 with strong DoD participation

It’s Monday morning so lets kick off another hard core ICS-300 course…in the Poinsettia Room! 🌺

Also known as the city’s Emergency Operations Center too.

Diverse groups today with a strong showing from our Department of Defense and local public safety professionals.

This kind of joint training provides us the opportunities to build stronger partnerships and even strengthen the preexisting bonds with DoD assets including a few special teams.

Lots of group work as participants figure out priorities and challenges during the first few hours and into the first/second operational period.

But working through the issues in a calm classroom will help reduce the amount of stress during an actual emergency. Finding out strengths and gaps and addressing them so that everyone can respond better to any incident. That’s right enhancing response capabilities.

Sound familiar? That’s what HSPD-5 (Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5) is all about. A coordinated response! <heavy breathing>

That is exactly what Emergency Management is all about – build relationships for a coordinated response. <heavier breathing>

And also proof, if you teach it right, you can get people to smile in my ICS classes.

Awww yeah!

Great work from all participants – lotsa participation from everyone!

Glad to see so much collaboration from local, county, state, Federal, and DoD assets.

And as always, thank you for your service to our great country.

Happy birthday Marty. It’s a great first day.

Looking forward to the next two days!

@rusnivek

Volunteers & Donation Management

Volunteer and Donations Management class today.

Lots of discussion was sparked by spontaneous volunteers.

While easy to handle, complex to handle without a tested and easy system to categories skills and personnel.

Additionally, lots focused on resource and supplies. A casual remark in class is that volunteers can house all kinds of stuff and be able to distribute everything accordingly.

Let me be very honest, I love people that want to help. But if you dump this task on an untrained and unfamiliar set of volunteers, it will not go smoothly. You have to train them, set them in a direction, and of course be as organized and coordinated as you can be. Make them part of your team EARLY!

So to share a perfect example of serving in disaster recovery, I’ll again share the AmeriCorps package we put together while deployed out for Hurricane Maria on the US Virgin Islands St. Thomas.

Outstanding crew to work with and solid bunch of dedicated individuals to the mission at hand. More info about AmeriCorps, click here and AmeriCorp Blue-6 (<—That team is SOLID).

A few takeaways for participants in today’s class:

  • Build relationships before an emergency.
  • Enhance capabilities and knowledge.
  • Evaluate skill sets of your volunteer workforce.
  • Exercise, Exercise, Exercise.
  • Help your neighbor.
  • Do good stuff.

Train your volunteers frequently as they should be a valuable part of our community’s recovery process.

@rusnivek

A little love from the USVI

Awww! A little USVI love came in the mail today.

Mahalos to everyone in the United States Virgin Islands!

@rusnivek

The FEMA #PIO on #PirateRadio! Is that real? #FBF

I was asked if Pirate Radio was real….yeppers!


Pirate Radio based in the Florida Keys-Key West has a strong voice that not only hits audiences throughout the keys, but also into southern Florida too. They stream their shows so that any Pirate can listen in…even when yer a landlubber!


I was a regularly contributor to their morning shows with daily Hurricane Irma disaster updates. We also brought other public safety agencies in with us to showcase the unified efforts of countless government agencies involved and how we are all working together in the response/recovery effort.


Additionally, I was invited to be a regular guest on their Friday morning show to talk about the DHS/FEMA response and recovery efforts for the Florida Keys. Not only talking about the Florida Keys, but also the millions of $$ in financial support approved for the State of Florida.


Remember, AM/FM radio stations are a critical source of information in a disaster. After a disaster, cell service might be down, sat tv might be out, and it is highly likely that your neighborhood may not have power. Post-disaster, plan on AM/FM radio being a solid source of information.

Many mahalos to both gracious Pirate Radio hosts – Jack and Kim!

@rusnivek

Reviewing performance evaluations for Hurricane Irma’s response

Spending my Sunday reading through paperwork, demobilization emails, and my performance evaluations from Hurricane Irma’s disaster response.


“Mr. Sur is “a model for the agency.'” – FEMA Division Supervisor Mark Landry (Federal Coordinating Officer cadre).

*blush*

Just glad to be a part of the FEMA disaster response to help my fellow Americans.

@rusnivek