Day-2 of the FEMA Basic PIO Course here in KY

Day-2 of the FEMA Basic Public Information Officer Course here.

Glad to finally meet Lexington Fire Capt Jessica Bowman who is also one of the FEMA Master PIOs.

Great day to share some of the tools we use as PIOs. Here’s Sherelle and John talking about the importance and fashionable safety vests are for officials onscene.

Additionally, we discussed media being well visible as their safety is incredibly important. We can’t have our friends in the news business get hurt or become part of the incident.

And trust me, the more people who get injured in an incident, the more paperwork we all have to fill out….so be safe!

As usual, we had a very seasoned media panel from WLEX18 Bill Wilcox and Herald Leader Peter Baniak. Many thanks to both news organizations to spend time out of their busy schedule to spend with PIOs from across the state.

With all Basic PIO classes, we talk about the ability and flexibility for PIOs to do field reporting. Often times, reporters can’t get to a scene because of traffic or lack of staffing. Either way, we as government PIOs can help them out by packaging information they need from the scene. The tools needed to produce this kind of info is fairly easy to get, however the challenge is to put them into play.

By sharing the tactics and tools in class, I am able to improve the skills of any PIO by enhancing their ability to share solid timely and TRUSTED information with any of the targeted audiences.

As PIOs, we are beholden to so many audiences.

  • Public
  • Media
  • Leadership
  • Our internal teams.

At times, our job seems easy however once you dive into it, you can see the complexities of our efforts.

Don’t worry, we reviewed all mock on camera interviews. Tackled key concepts like redirects as well as some tips on how to give more positive non-verbals while being interviewed during crisis.

Super fun day with everyone. Lots of contributions from our partners from Fire, EMS, Police, Emergency Management, Energy, Coroner’s Office, Higher Education, Search and Rescue.

Looking forward to tomorrow’s FEMA JIC/JIS course!

Reporting live from the EOC….

@rusnviek

FEMA Basic PIO course at the PSOC

Morning start to the FEMA Basic Public Information Officer course at the Public Safety Operations Center (PSOC)

Welcome and good morning by Mr. JB himself!

Packed house with multiple disciplines represented from Fire, EMS, Police, Emergency Management, ESF-12, higher education, Search and Rescue, Coroners Office, etc…

Like a good Emergency Manager, I found the EOC.

They have soooo many tools and toys to play with!

As all FEMA Basic PIO courses, we are staunch advocates of putting all participants in front of the camera. No matter what kind of experience level or years in the position, you can always learn by practicing your skills in front of others.

We typically hear complaints.

  • I didn’t get enough time to prepare.
  • I didn’t get the information in time.
  • I don’t know anything about plane crashes!

Blah blah blah. But the reality of the situation is….IT HAPPENS LIKE THAT IN REAL LIFE!!!!!!!!

So yeah, we want to train like you fight.

For those that were wondering “Has this ever happened before?” Yes.

Looking forward to tomorrow day-2 with our news media panel, interview reviews, and focus on social media.

@rusnivek

Morning briefing with FEMA #USAR IN-TF-1 #PA-TF-1 #CA

Starting my morning off with a quick briefing from the FEMA Indiana USAR big daddy….

Ladies and gents, put your hands together for the world famous WTFD Captain….FIRE MIKE!


MICHAEL PRUITT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, just glad to see a familiar face in the disaster.

@rusnivek

FEMA Support for Hurricane Harvey response including key safety messages

Key Safety Messages:

  • Continue to listen to local officials.
  • Only call 911 if you have an immediate need for medical attention or evacuation assistance.
    • If you can’t get through to 911 on first try, keep calling.
    • Another option is to place a call to one of five numbers for the Houston Command Center of the United States Coast Guard. The numbers are:
      • 281-464-4851
      • 281-464-4852
      • 281-464-4853
      • 281-464-4854
      • 282-464-4855
  • Don’t drive on flooded roadways. Remember – turn around, don’t drown.
  • If you are in a high rise building and need to shelter in place, go to the first or second floor hallways or interior rooms. You want to stay on floors above floodwater or storm surge, but do not go to the highest floors due to wind impacts.
  • If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately in the center of a small interior room (closet, interior hallway) on the lowest level of a sturdy building. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.

 

@rusnivek