Yassssss ~ proud of you!

I love getting messages like this.

Proud of your work and dedication to your community.

Welcome to the FEMA team!

Love to hear success stories from those who I’ve worked and trained.

These kinds of random notes highlight the importance of the work that I do in the preparedness and response directorate for local to Federal agencies.

Yep, without a doubt, I’m proud of every single one of you. All of you.

@rusnivek

Preparedness efforts – continuing to build a Culture of Preparedness

Day-2 teaching at the Effingham County (Illinois) Emergency Operations Center on Preparedness for senior caregivers.

Great discussion from participants from all over the State of Illinois including various Emergency Management, Health Departments, Public Information Officers, Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), public works, communications, law enforcement, fire departments, hospitals, and emergency medical services.

Great to share and continue to enhance the capabilities of communities across this great nation which include DHS/FEMA, but also our local/state partners, private sector, and all citizens.

As usual, we are all proud to continue build our Culture of Preparedness.

@rusnivek

Monday = Debris Management!

Starting out this week talking about Debris Management and the importance of Public Works and Logistics!

Yeah, doesn’t seem like a fun topic right? But if you look at the real deal, this is how Emergency Managers earn their keep. Cause it’s not in the response phase.

Emergency Managers work the magic in the recovery phase.

Collaboration in class means that we hash out a few issues prior to the actual disaster.

Working closely with all factions in government will ensure a smooth response from everyone involved.

The faster you get your community back on track, the better your community will be. Building resilient communities is critical!

You should address 10 major factors as part of your debris plan.

Is this difficult? Most definitely. Here’s a picture from the USVI in 2017.

Here’s a picture from the USVI in November 2018.

Can you think of any planning challenges? Any logistical issues? Any major environmental issues?

If you said a million yeseseses to the above three questions, you need to address your debris management plan with your Emergency Management official.

Special mahalos to my Co-instructor Ben.

Sharing a few stories about counter intelligence, we realize it’s a really small world.

@rusnviek

A free app with preparedness info? #NatlPrep #EmergencyManagement

So many state emergency management agencies have apps that can help you prepare. Here’s a fine example of the @scemd app that has tons of #preparedness info on #hurricane #nuclear #winter #snow #thunderstorm #wildfire #flooding #thunder #tornado #safety

No matter what part of the country you reside or work, be better prepared with these kinds of free apps available to anyone.

#FREE #NATLPREP

So many free things you can do to better prepare yourself for an emergency or disaster.

@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-2 of ICS-300 w/ our DoD assets and public safety professionals

Day-2 of ICS-300 started off with some class discussion on other classes that newer Emergency Management Professionals could attend to help broaden the expertise.

As we roll into module-4, we have lots of in class exercises to help participants understand the importance of coordination in response.

Proud to see so many here from various disciplines as well as a few familiar faces in the crowd too.

And again, if you look closely, you can see participants smiling…IN MY ICS-300 CLASS!!!!!

Lotsa smiles!!!!

Again, great to see solid collaboration here in class. Sooooooo many great ideas exchanged in the room. Even more proud to see it done BEFORE an emergency or disaster.

Also, one day, someone will recognize my hand puppet skills.

Kidding.

Day-2 dunzo. Great participation from everyone in the class!

@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