FEMA Basic PIO Course here at Defiance County EMA

It’s just another Manic Monday as we start another FEMA OEMA Basic PIO Course here at Defiance County Emergency Management Agency (Ohio). Cue the Guns n Roses intro music!

Not going to lie, all signs point to a large contingent from our law enforcement community here today.

Lots of new PIOs in the audience today as we try to share the good word from so many agencies. Almost every ESF is represented!

All-hazards coolio on Monday!

As an added instructor bonus, we get a chance to see what campaigns that Ohio EMA has worked for previous outreach activities in Ohio. Hi Nancy!!!!!

My lunch time views include a few red fire trucks.

Ahhhhh, I feel better now.

And in classic fashion, we are most definitely doing on-camera interviews.

While seemingly insignificant, this is the part of the class that participants find is the most valuable for their ongoing career.

Me? I’d rather you have that experience and training and never use it vs never having that training and then being thrown to the wolves in a crisis or emergency.

Train like you fight right?

Reporting live from the EOC as I ask those challenging media-esque questions…

@rusnivek

FEMA basic Social Media for Disaster Response and Recovery #Arizona

Good morning Arizonaaaaaaaaaa!

Welcome to the Pima County Emergency Management Agency as we kick off another basic Social Media for Disaster Response and Recovery class. Welcome intros from Training Manager Sandra Espinoza.

Glad to see so many agencies from across the state represented here in class today. Additionally, also good to be teaching with fellow Tier-1 Instructor Mary Jo Flynn.

As you know, MaryJo is a Region 9er too (Sacramento, CA).

Like a good Emergency Manager, I’m always looking at what other agencies have and how they do business. And yes, I esp look at what kind of creature comforts they have in their EOC. And without a doubt, I’d swipe right for this amenity in my EOC.

The folks at Pima County EMA are most definitely proud to have this amenity. #TotesJelly.

As a basic class, we are constantly talking about new apps and features. Here’s MaryJo talking about the FEMA App and their Disaster Reporter feature.

And you know that privacy is a huge concern so we spend a bit on making sure your settings as a government agency as well as personal settings are up to date.

Yes, make sure all your social media stuff is in order before a disaster…or else.

Most seasoned pros know that real Emergency Managers can adapt to most any situations. Big or small, tough or easy, we are flexible and can adapt to anything.

For those are worried about MaryJo and little old me? No worries. We are assimilating in here just fine.

Giddup – reporting live from our stagecoach!

@rusnivek

FEMA Basic PIO Day-2 with Media panel!

Day-2 of the FEMA Basic Public Information Officer’s course here in Summit County, Ohio! Starting off discussion on body language and non-verbal cues from Bosso.

I was fortunate to have a few of my media peeps stop by to say hi.

Cleveland 19 News (@Cleveland19news) Director of Digital Content Amanda Harnocz (@AmandaHarnocz)

News 5 Cleveland (@WEWS) Reporter Meg Shaw (@MegDShaw)

So glad to hear their insights to news media engagement and interactions.

We opened the floor to questions and our new PIOs had some deep questions on conflict resolution and maintaining relationships.

Proud to have media members attend all my classes as an integral part of getting the message out.

A hallmark sign of a solid PIO? Always building media relationships BEFORE an emergency.

Thanks you Meg and Amanda!

In the afternoon, we had a quick public safety panel from

Cleveland Police (@CLEPolice) PIO Sgt Jennifer Ciaccia

Cleveland Fire (@ClevelandFire) PIO Lt Michael Norman

Outstanding to hear from working PIOs who have worked so hard to improve the image of their departments during challenging times.

And finally, to close out the day, we had a quick visit from Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office (@CuyahogaSheriff) PIO John O’Brien (@jobjr)!

Providing solid media interactions and being firm on your stance as a PIO is critical in assuring your agency is seen as a trusted and guaranteed source of information. Thankful to hear positive stories from John for all of our class today.

I am proud to be able to share and open connections for these new PIOs from across the state.

Tomorrow we take them from single role PIOs and form up Voltron in the JIC!

@rusnivek

Reporting live from the ABC7 studios in downtown Chicago!

Good afternoon from the floor of the ABC7 studio here in Chicago!

A much more compact location, ABC7 does an excellent job in maximizing space in their main studio area.

Also got a chance to chat w/ a few reporters in the bullpen as we took the time to see how the TV magic (aka sausage) is made.

It was satisfying to see all the TVs and monitors in one of the control rooms. Soooooo many buttons to push….

I doubt they would let me touch anything in here.

It honestly intrigues me…isn’t the news room kinda similar to the EOC? Desk assignment is kinda like the Operations Section Chief (OSC) right?

As an example, the OSC assigns tasks to the single resources (reporters aka MMJs) and then they do stuff. The desk assignment editors listen and find out what’s going on around the area (aka situational awareness) right?

Then they send the appropriate amount of resources needed to cover their story. DUH! It IS a good example of ICS. And you know I was closely looking at what they were watching and listen into right?

Obvs!

Special thanks to the entire team at ABC7 for the tour of their crib! Great to see so many different pros at work and major kudos to those who take the time to create a great story and maintain the integrity of a journalist.

Looking forward to working together!

@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

Demobilized from Hurricane Irma, now headed back out again

I just demobilized from Hurricane Irma. Total of 42 days.

One thought as I repack: I have never worked so hard and had to use ALL my learned PIO skills and tricks in just one disaster.

Few hours to make the turnaround in Cleveland.

Now headed to support another DHS mission with the US and Canada.


Evoking the famous quote from Ray Stantz: “Oh, I got to get some sleep, I’m dying.”

@rusnivek