Forming the proverbial PIO Voltron for today’s FEMA JIC/JIS course

And now starting the FEMA JIC/JIS Course with our class here at the Defiance County EMA Emergency Operations Center.

And yes, if you’ve been in a JIC/JIS class w/ me before, you know I talk about Voltron. In the FEMA Basic PIO Course, we teach you to be an individual PIO and function with limited options…however, the JIC/JIS course allows you to join forces with other PIOs and work the magic despite being from different backgrounds and different factions for the emergency or disaster. That’s right-we can all get along in the JIC.

Starting out the day with a cold reality check on expectations and capabilities as we assess our options and ready our agencies for disasters. It would be a good idea to have a clear understanding of the situation and build from there.

Additionally, we bring our all-hazards partners into the fold. Here’s Sister Michael Marie talking about the complexities of what appears as a simple emergency that could quite result in bringing soooooooooooooooooooooo many partners to respond to this typical emergency.

Drawing too simple for you?

You need more description?

NO SOUP FOR YOU!

The whole point of the exercise is to get your mind thinking about various options as well as partners to call early as likely, they have a dog in the fight to help any affected community recover from any disaster.

Look, it’s more than Fire, Police, and EMS – it’s the #WholeCommunity to build a culture of preparedness.

Proud of every single one of these participants as everyone walked away with a new understanding and respect for the PIO. While some have been on TV before w/ a few interviews, all of them realize the dangers of an unprepared interviewee.

Looking forward to working with all of you on the next big one. And just think…in the midst of a disaster, you just might see these two smiling faces.

Now, go forth and use your new PIO powers for good!

@rusnivek

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

FSE today for Regional JIC actions! #PIO

Busy morning as we started our full scale exercise (FSC) today.

As players rolled in, they signed in and were matched up to their projected Joint Information Center (JIC) positions.

Some issues encountered by the participants? They have never worked together.

Realistic? Yep. Soooooo this is why we train and exercise together during bright lights classroom time. Again, I continue to believe, the worst time to meet someone for the very first time is at 0300.

Some general rules about the FSE including our work here in the JIC.

Steve outlining the efforts of social media injects and the Twitter.

Aside from regular play, we also had some VIPs visit. Jane from City Council showed up and I was detailed to share some of the issues, deliverables, and progress each of the tables were making as they continued the scenario.

Our social media team was hard at work not only discerning info, but also considering prioritization of tweets, impact of posts, and of course exploring various other platforms that could provide better SA/COP from data mining the locale using social media.

Not only the use of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram – but exploring SeeClickFix, Waze, Tinder, SnapChat, and a whole host of other platforms geared to provide information out in the field.

Here’s Erica questioning the viability of some posted information as well as verifying media info.

Say it with me: Trust, but VERIFY.

Our rumor control table helped provide supplemental documents as well as refined talking points for our social media teams as well as our on-camera talent. All bullet points right?

Assistant PIOs were hard at work discerning google docs for real time sharing of information.

Maintaining good tempo for a JIC Manager is crucial as they update themselves on the issues w/ the EOC as well as continue the message that matches w/ the SMART Objectives.

As time went on, we simulated a “change of command” where the JIC Manager formally passes command to the Deputy JIC Manager. Hint to new JIC Managers – to make this a smooth transition, you must train on this action.

***ICS reminder: The Deputy can assume the role of the primary position. An assistant cannot assume the role/duties of the primary position.

Meanwhile, us Controllers and Coaches got all the smiles.

Along with VIPs, we continue to stream Federal partners in to tour the working exercise JIC. Not only response questions, but long term viability and ongoing return to normalcy were stressed as we projected our move from response to recovery and how viable are the transportation companies.

See, recovery is critical right? Therefore resilience is critical for the community.

The Captain of the Port was able to brief out with all participants. Outstanding to have this kind of high level involvement in our FSE. Encouraging words to hear specifically addressing our nation”s current situation for security and safety.

Also, great messages of collaboration from the City/County Emergency Management Agencies on our FSE.

Additional discussion on upcoming evaluations and how hotwashes are critical as the team starts to piece together the AAR/IP.

But never fear, we did simulate a press conference lead off by the USCG Lt.

Joining the USCG leadership at the podium was EPA, and Mayor’s office.

Don’t worry, WSUR had some pressing questions like

  • How many are dead? (If you been through my Basic PIO course, you know this one)
  • Do you regularly train for this kind of emergency?
  • Have we been attacked before?
  • Are we currently under attack?
  • And the famous one: We got some leads from user generated comments but who is responsible for this horrific incident??

So I got a chance to discuss a few items from a training standpoint re: classes. Also a last minute pieces of encouragement for ongoing training and exercises as well as a strong guidance on planning ahead with everyone who is involved in the Regional Joint Information Center.

Glad to have soooooo many participants from diverse backgrounds involved in this exercise.

What a day!

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

@rusnivek

To my fellow Americans….Happy 4th of July! #2018

To my fellow Americans….Happy 4th of July!!!

Cleveland, Ohio - 4th of July!

Cleveland, Ohio – 4th of July!

Here’s a few easy preparedness tips from the team at FEMA.

  • Leave the fireworks to the pros.
  • Keep children & pets at least 3 ft from grills & campfires.
  • Drink plenty of water – even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Check in on friends, family, & neighbors who don’t air conditioning.

And for those who are stuck inside/have to work, here’s a few fun option for you.

Maybe NYC is better?

No? How about Chicago?

Well, whatever you do, just keep it real safe everyone.

Happiest birthday to the greatest country in the world. #USA

America the beautiful.

@rusnivek