Day-3 of the APIO course with the Master PIOs at FEMA’s EMI

Day-3 of the Advanced PIO course and today, we see some structure!

No doubt there was going to be some stuff on ICS forms because we got some…

…ICS-215s forms for the win!

And of course more interviews because evacuation and shelter information is super important. So bring on the interviews!

And yes, it’s not easy being green!

BTW-human with pet sheltering is totes important so make sure you know exactly what kind of message you want to pass on.

Lots of work on camera esp focusing in on joint press conferences…

…and of course solid reporter questions too.

#WeWearPinkOnWednesdays

At the end of the class, MPIOs initiated a panel discussion with Rita and I on public information.

PC: Joe

PC: Joe

Yep, an unfiltered look into PIO stuff for anyone. We as PIOs should not remain silent.

I am convinced that we are to share knowledge and enhance other PIO’s skills. Because “a rising tide raises all ships” right?

Reporting live from the External Affairs side of the house at the Emergency Management Institute…

@rusnivek

 

Proud to have trained #EmergencyManagement and #PublicSafety for the Superbowl

Proud to have been a small part of the DHS/FEMA Incident Command training for all public safety professionals at the Superbowl today.

Have fun in Minneapolis…

…and most importantly, keep em safe peeps!

@rusnivek

 

Disaster assistance at a school? Sure thing! 

We were requested to support an event at Ponciana School mainly for all the parents and families in Key West.


So….we are in. FEMA PIO Kevin Sur onscene!

Our hope is that we conduct numerous events in communities to help answer questions about disaster assistance.


We have multilingual people who go out with our teams and help translate Spanish, Creole, Haitian, etc…and we have hardware and locations that meet the needs of the access and functional needs population at all of our Disaster Recovery Centers.


We even have flyers and informational materials in Chinese, French, Vietnamese, etc….

Sometimes, people are confused and are not sure if you should apply. Here’s a tip: Apply.


Our staff is ready to help. No matter what language, apply for disaster assistance. The sooner the better.


“This is what we train for, this is what we do.”

@rusnivek

Disaster interviews on a Tuesday afternoon #PIO 

We work closely with all of our partners in public safety to support the communities in this recovery process that were affected by Hurricane Irma.

“This is what we train for. This is what we do.”

@rusnivek

This is what we train for

FEMA Administrator Brock Long made a poignant statement about his employees today in the NY Times:

“…this is what we train for” – FEMA Administrator Brock Long

Brock Long, center, at a briefing on Hurricane Harvey relief efforts with President Trump and local organizations in Corpus Christi, Tex., last week. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

Brock Long, center, at a briefing on Hurricane Harvey relief efforts with President Trump and local organizations in Corpus Christi, Tex., last week. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

Yes sir, we train all the time.

Many instructors across this nation can attest the long hours we spend providing training for hundreds of thousands of our all-hazards public safety professionals from all walks of life.

This is truly what we train for.

@rusnivek

 

State of Ohio EMA G291 Joint Information Center / System class at Medina County EOC

Packed State of Ohio EMA Joint Information Center / Joint Information System course today!

Started everyone into group work as well as ongoing discussion on the role of SMEs at a press conference.

Just in case, we also tasked participants to start thinking about a policy/protocol for their agency on sneak attack aka ambush interviews.

We found as we leverages our strengths and capitalize on our skills, we as JIC Managers can better meet the needs of any situation – we just gotta find the right PIOs for the job.

As our groups collaborated, we found that despite crossing state lines, we still have the same problems as other areas – thus proving our point that we need to consistently train together and exercise our plans together.

Many of our participants enjoyed working in the JIC setting and were excited to work in a JIC during the next activation. Most excellent as we build a strong cadre of PIOs across this great state.

My Ohio Peeps!

Reporting live from Medina County’s Emergency Operations Center….

@rusnivek

JIS – JIC planning class for Tribal State and local PIOs

A fine day to teach the Ohio Emergency Management Agency’s JIS / JIC Planning for Tribal, State, and Local PIOs (G-291) course in Medina County!

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A classic start with The Who.

One of the big points emphasized in this class is the differences between a Joint Information Center (JIC) and a Joint Information System (JIS). Both have merits in daily operations and each have strengths and weaknesses in disaster operations.

IMG_6533

Sometimes PIOs don’t understand that a JIC or JIS activation is just like a normal activation. If you can’t figure out the differences between the two, take the class from those who have actually worked a JIC or a JIS.

IMG_6546

On Tuesday/Wednesday in the Basic Public Information Officers’ Course (G-290), we talked about training and readiness efforts for any PIO. Go Kits were a hot button topic as everyone’s PIO kit would most likely be different. Resource manuals are great to have, but difficult to keep updated. Just maintaining a PIO contact list is a tedious task.

Much discussion about food in the kit. This was obviously NOT a good example of what you should be eating during an JIC activation.

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Prob not the best lunch.

Healthy body = Healthy mind. Period.

As the day progressed, we facilitated several in-depth discussions on teamwork, joint efforts in responses as well as some pre-scripted messages that can be used by everyone. Planning now will reduce the amount of white hair during an incident.

Establish relationships now with local health departments, local and regional hospitals, local Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Teams, Special Technical Rescue Teams. Easily rely on your state staff and resources to support your actions. A great wealth of information is available to bring to the table. Just establish that connection before that awkward 0300 hit.

Additionally, tapping into local resources from other Federal Agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives(ATF), National Weather Service (NWS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs Border Patrol (CBP), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), etc…so many options to establish relationships!

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“Building relationships now can only increase our response effectiveness during a disaster.” – K. Sur

Looking outside government agencies, public and private partnerships can support our safety and response initiatives – so we need to make a concerted effort to make those connections now. Build relationships before a disaster!

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Sur and Mo!

So how can you bring all these resources together? Consider these actions to explore in your jurisdiction:

  • Train. Train. Train.
  • Open discussions with various providers.
  • Invite your all-hazards partners to meetings.
  • Meet regularly. Maintain contact.
  • Take classes together.
  • Share resource lists and contacts.
  • Support each other during operations.
  • Review After Action Reviews / Improvement Plans (AARs/IPs) together.

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And if you were wondering, class participants did well on their post-tests.

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Psssst…the answer is “C” #not

We had a great time teaching this week. Much thanks to the Medina County Emergency Management Agency and EM Director Christine Fozio for their hospitality. Super fun time.

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So much ducking fun (duck face reference)

Special thanks to the Ohio Emergency Management Agency for sponsoring this all-hazards class for our partners in public safety.

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(L to R): PIO Instructor Kevin Sur, Medina County Emergency Management Director Christine Fozio, and PIO Instructor Monique Witherspoon.

If you are looking to attend OEMA’s free PIO courses:

  • Public Information Officers Awareness course (G-289)
  • Basic Public Information Officers’ course (G-290)
  • JIS / JIC Planning for Tribal, State, and Local PIOs course (G-291)

**coordinate through OEMA State Training Officer Susan Traylor.

SurPaperTowels

As always, I’m looking forward to the JIC / JIS activation calls. I am excited for these new PIOs to put their new acquired PIO skillz in place. And yes, I said skillz with a Z.

Time is short so do good stuff!

@rusnivek