Amber Anderson: At Home with the Santa Barbara Mudslide

January 23rd, 2018

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We sit down with Amber Anderson, an 18 year veteran firefighter, and 10 year veteran of the Santa Barbara City Fire Department. She’s a member of the Santa Barbara County Type-3 Incident Management Team, a fire inspector and investigator and public information officer. In this episode Amber talks about the fire community always learns from previous disasters; this time it’s the Thomas Fire and the ensuing flood and mudslide which devastated her county and the community of Montecito. She also reflects on how  Santa Barbara stood-up their incident management team just prior to the floods and just how important that decision was given the damage and deaths that resulted from the floods. And how in the world was she able to keep a smile on her face amid the long hours, demands and stress put on her during her activation and deployment to the disaster in her home town? She’ll answer that question and more in this episode. Oh, and never mind the noise. It’s a disaster recovery operation.

Links

City of Santa Barbara Fire Department

Santa Barbara County

Cal OES Newsroom

Cal OES Home Page

Montecito Mudslide US&R Update Video

 

 

 

 

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Contractors & Recovery: Disasters Bring Out the Best in People, the Worst in Some

December 19th, 2017

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Shawn Boyd & Rick Lopes

 

With tens of thousands of homes that need rebuilding after the fire sieges in both northern California and southern California, survivors will need reputable, licensed contractors. And contractors will be looking for work; there’s plenty of that to go around.  So, both homeowners and contractors will need reliable information and the warnings that go along with it; and agencies need info too.  Whether it’s a community hit by wildfires, or one that’s been devastated by severe weather or man-made catastrophes, new ways of targeted communication pop-up all the time; now it’s time for you to connect. And if you’re a contractor and you’re not licensed to do business in California you could face a citation for any work you solicit. The fact that there is an emergency declaration will enhance a misdemeanor which could send you to prison.

In this episode, we talk with Rick Lopes, chief of public affairs for the Contractors State License Board in California. This is chat that will benefit state and local agencies, contractors as well anyone looking to hire a contractor, especially after the wildfires of October and December of 2017.

 

CSLB Sign

Links

Contractors State License Board

Cal OES Wildfire Statewide Recovery Resources

 

 

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Butte County Dispatchers Evacuate but Continue to Answer-the-Call During Oroville Spillway Evacuation

October 3rd, 2017

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Being a dispatcher is stressful enough, but imagine being one when your entire county must evacuate? In this episode, Cal OES Public Information Officers Robb Mayberry and Monica Vargas chat with two dispatchers from the Butte County Sheriff’s Office about what it was like when evacuations were ordered for Butte, Sutter, and Yuba Counties this last February.

Dispatchers Jenifer Honea and Trina Valeigh speak openly about their experience and what was going through their minds during the Oroville Dam Spillway Incident. Hear how first responders and this community came together and maintained operations during a stressful time. They will share how they managed to answer the incoming calls while at the same time having to relocate an entire dispatch center, which laid in the path of possible flood waters. Get tips on how to be better prepared in case you ever have to leave your home because of the threat of an imminent disaster. Find out the one thing you should do when you move into a new community. This episode offers valuable information for those thinking about starting a career as a dispatcher and is eye-opening for even the most seasoned dispatchers.

Links 

Oroville Spillway Incident Resource Page

Oroville Spillway Incident

Oroville Spillway Incident in Pictures

Photos

  1. Kimber the Butte County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Dog
  2. From Right to Left Butte County Sheriff’s Office Dispatchers Jennifer Honea, Trina Valeigh, Cal OES PIOs Monica Vargas and Robb Mayberry
  3. Oroville Dam

 

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Captain Pace Stokes Takes the Helm on the Ghost Ship Fire

September 19th, 2017

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Captain Pace Stokes, Alameda County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, sat down with Shawn Boyd at the Alameda County Emergency Operations Center in Dublin, California. Their recording session took place on day-1 of Urban Shield. For this year’s exercise Capt. Stokes was the deputy incident commander, where he said this was the first year that CERT was actively involved in the exercise and that there was a competitive element to their training. Capt. Stokes also talks about what helps him manage a large-scale training exercise like Urban Shield (there were 63 sites across five counties involved,) and about the ghost ship warehouse fire that killed 36 people on December 2, 2016 in Oakland.

Links

Alameda County Sheriff

Alameda County OES

Urban Shield

Cal OES Video Blog on Urban Shield and CERT

 

 

 

 

 

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Public Information Officers: Old Dogs, New Tricks

August 22nd, 2017

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Right to left: John Larimore, Shawn Boyd, Adria Wells, Monica Vargas

Press releases are starting to become a thing of the past, while podcasts, videos and infographics are becoming the future. Why? Information overload, smartphones and packed schedules (among many other reasons) is nudging traditional communications to adapt and change the way information is packaged and shared. Now don’t get it wrong, press releases have their place – but there is always room for change, especially when it comes to serving the public and providing information efficiently.     

In this episode, we chat with the Cal OES team about some of the new and improved ways of doing things as a team. Monica Vargas, Shawn Boyd, John Larimore, and Adria Wells share their experience, insight from the perspective of the PIO, graphic designer and videographer.  

Links

OES Newsroom

Cal OES Inside Look: Mutual Aid

Cal OES Quick Look: Early Earthquake Warning

We’re on Instagram!

More about Cal OES

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Pyrocumulus Clouds, The Six P’s and Safety on the Modoc July Complex Fire

August 8th, 2017

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Battalion Chief Dave Welch

Dave Welch is a 24 year veteran of the Rohnert Park Police Department (Department of Public Safety) and has been with Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District in Sonoma County where he’s currently a part time battalion chief. He’s serving as a Type I and Type II safety officer on the Modoc July Complex fire in Modoc County, California.

 

Links

Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District

Modoc July Complex on InciWeb

Levels and Types of ICS Management

 

Type 5: (very small wildland fire only)

• Initial attack

• Short duration, seldom lasting into the next burn period

• Few resources assigned (generally less than 6 people)

• Little complexity

Type 4

• Initial attack or first response to an incident

• IC is “hands on” leader and performs all functions of Operations, Logistics, Planning, and Finance

• Few resources are used (several individuals or a single strike team)

• Normally limited to one operational period

• Does not require a written Incident Action Plan (IAP)

• Examples: Search & Rescue (SAR), motor vehicle accidents, small fires

Type 3

• Extended initial attack on wildland fires

• IC walks the line between a manager and a 'doer'

• Resources may vary from several single resources to several task forces or strike teams

• Some Command/General Staff positions (ie, Division Supervisor, Unit Leader), may be filled

• May extend into another operational period (12 hours), and require an IAP

• Examples: Larger SAR’s, law enforcement incidents, special events, technical rescues, fires

Type 2

• IC spends all time being a manager

• Most Command and General staff positions are filled

• Large number of resources utilized

• Incident extends into multiple operational periods

• Base camp(s) established

• Significant logistical support is required

• Examples: Major fires, VIP visits, lengthy search and rescues, law enforcement incidents, multi-day special events

Type 1

• All functions are filled, plus leaders, branches etc.

• Multi-agency and national resources

• Large number of personnel and equipment are assigned to the incident

• It is a large, complex incident

• Examples: A major Incident—hurricanes, very large fires, natural disasters

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Large Scale Disaster Management with Bob Fenton (encore presentation)

July 18th, 2017

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Imagine this situation — the first time you visit New York City it just happens to be on 9/11. The second time you visit is during Hurricane Sandy, and the third time, would you even go back? The man we’re going to talk to today experienced that string of disasters and suddenly found himself leading the initial emergency response to those historical events. He’s a UC Davis alum and 5th generation San Franciscan.

Robert J. Fenton, Jr. was appointed Regional Administrator for FEMA Region IX in July 2015. Since joining FEMA in 1996, Mr. Fenton has played a significant role in numerous large-scale response and recovery operations in the U.S. and has responded to more than 50 Federal disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, the four Florida Hurricanes of 2004, the Southern California Wildfires of 2003 and 2007, the Super Typhoon Pongsona in Guam, and the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks.

Links

FEMA's Mobile App

Urban Search and Rescue 

FEMA Region IX: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, & the Pacific Islands

 

 

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Lake Tahoe’s Angora Fire Commemorated with 10 Year Anniversary

June 27th, 2017

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In this episode we travel to South Lake Tahoe to talk with Chief Tim Alameda of the Lake Valley Fire District. We caught up with him days before they commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Angora Fire.

According to an article in the Lake Tahoe News published September 13, 2016, "Alameda was a division chief and the fire marshal for North Tahoe Fire Protection District prior to joining the LVFD in 2016.

Alameda got his start as a firefighter reserve in Meyers in the 1980s. At that time is was a joint program between Lake Valley and South Lake Tahoe fire departments.

Starting in 1984 he spent 27 years with Reno Fire Department. He went from a rank and file firefighter to the chief.

In 2011, Alameda retired from Reno. North Tahoe recruited him to be a fire marshal. He took this job seriously – spending many a day walking around his jurisdiction, into businesses and talking to people. He was seeing where the hazards were, listened to concerns and helped educate people.

He rose to division chief and then took over Meeks Bay.

Those in the fire community call Alameda a true professional, forward thinker and good with personnel. Until the ink is dry, people were hesitant to go on the record about Alameda. The same goes for his current boss, Mike Schwartz.

Wildland fires are something Alameda is well aware of. He was president in 2015 of the Lake Tahoe Basin Fire Chief’s Association. The wildland urban interface is a constant issue for fire agencies when it comes to protecting the community from a blaze that starts in the forest.

While he didn’t lose a structure during the Angora Fire, a house he and his dad built on Boulder Mountain was destroyed.

Those 254 houses that burned in 2007 were part of that wildland urban interface.

As a kid, he spent many summer days fishing at Angora Lakes or hunting grouse in the area."

To read the entire article click here.

Links

Angora Fire Data

The Angora Fire 10 Years Later: What have we learned? Field Trip & Symposium

Angora Fire Lessons Learned

Angora Fire Restoration Project

 

 

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The Age of Massive Data Breaches

June 6th, 2017

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Cal OES Cyber Guys

From Left to Right in Photo:

ELI OWEN, Deputy Commander, California State Threat Assessment Center

THOR EDEN, California Cyber Security Integration Center

MICHAEL CREWS, Cal OES Information Security Officer

 

For this episode we brought three of California’s cyber security gurus who talk about some of things you and your agency/company can and should be doing to protect yourself from cybercrime.  October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month which is an annual campaign to raise awareness about cybersecurity, but any month, any day is a good day to beef up your own personal protection. We live in a world that is more connected than ever before. The Internet touches almost all aspects of everyone’s daily life, whether we realize it or not. National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives to raise awareness about cybersecurity, provide them with tools and resources needed to stay safe online, and increase the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber incident. (Source: Dept. of Homeland Security)

California Cybersecurity Integration Center’s (CalCSIC) mission is to reduce the likelihood and severity of cyber incidents that may significantly compromise the security and resilience of California’s economy, its critical infrastructure, and information resources. Cal OES executes this mission together with CDT, CHP and CMD. Cal-CSIC is comprised of two key functional components: (1) cyber threat analysis; and, (2) dissemination and coordination of incident response and recovery operations (hereinafter “recovery”). Specifically, Cal-CSIC coordinates the identification, prevention or mitigation of cyber threats, as well as coordinates the response to, and recovery from significant cyber incidents. Cal-CSIC coordinates the production of threat assessments for the State, and facilitates analysis and exchange of cyber threat information with all affected organizations.

Terms Used:

Cyber Crime – Crime conducted via the Internet or some other computer network

APT – Advanced Persistent Threat

Social Engineering –  a line of attack that relies heavily on human interaction and often involves tricking people into breaking normal security procedures. (Source: TechTarget)

Spycraft – (aka Tradecraft) Within the intelligence community, this refers to the techniques, methods and technologies used in modern espionage (spying) and generally, as part of the activity of intelligence.

Polymorphic – Polymorphic malware is harmful, destructive or intrusive computer software such as a virus, worm, Trojan or spyware that constantly changes ("morphs"), making it difficult to detect with anti-malware programs. Evolution of the malicious code can occur in a variety of ways such as filename changes, compression and encryption with variable keys. (Source: TechTarget)

Spear phishing – An email that appears to be from an individual or business that you know. But it isn't. It's from the same criminal hackers who want your credit card and bank account numbers, passwords, and the financial information on your PC.

Ransomware – There are different types of ransomware. However, all of them will prevent you from using your PC normally, and they will all ask you to do something before you can use your PC. They can target any PC users, whether it’s a home computer, endpoints in an enterprise network, or servers used by a government agency or healthcare provider.

Ransomware can:

Prevent you from accessing your computer.

Encrypt files so you can't use them.

Stop certain apps from running (like your web browser).

Ransomware will demand that you pay money (a “ransom”) to get access to your PC or files. We have also seen them make you complete surveys.

There is no guarantee that paying the fine or doing what the ransomware tells you will give access to your PC or files again. (Source: Microsoft)

Links:

Cal-CSIC Announcement

https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=19083

For more information on partnering with Cal-CSIC

state.cybersecurity@caloes.ca.gov

Cal OES Cal-CSIC

http://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions/law-enforcement/california-cybersecurity-integration-center

IT Peer Network Article

https://itpeernetwork.intel.com/california-to-establish-a-cybersecurity-integration-center/

Stop Think Connect

www.stopthinkconnect.org

Interpol

www.NoMoreRansom.org

Ransomware Help

www.NoMoreRansom.org

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What We’ve Learned from Our First Year of Podcasting Can Benefit You

May 23rd, 2017

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ShawnBoydPortrait.jpg

In this episode of the All Hazards podcast Cal OES Deputy Director Kelly Huston takes over the mic and interviews host Shawn Boyd. At almost 30 episodes Mr. Huston thought this would be a good time to grill Mr. Boyd about what this foray into the podcasting world has taught us. The Cal OES Office of Public Information employs what’s called “multi-modal communications” to get our messaging out to stakeholders and the public. So launching our own podcast seemed to be a logical avenue but one that would also be a test of the platform for our needs.

So treat this episode, #29, as a learning tool for you if you’re considering producing a podcast in your own communications office. Depending on what you hear you may want to dive right in, or swim for your life. Either way we hope it’s helpful.

IMG_0014.jpg

 Kelly Huston Engineers Mark Ghilarducci's Interview

 

Shawn Boyd joined state service and Cal OES in May, 2014 and is a veteran TV news journalist, spending 20 years in local news as an Edward R. Murrow winning anchor/reporter, and executive producer. He’s a graduate of Cal State University Sacramento in media communications.

Links

Podcast Answer Man

The Cliff Ravenscraft Show | Learn How To Podcast | Online Business and Social Media Marketing Tips From The Podcast Answer Man

The Podcasters' Studio

RayOrtega.com

Ray's Gear List

Cliff's Gear List

 

 

 

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