Amber Anderson: At Home with the Santa Barbara Mudslide

January 23rd, 2018

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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Public Information Officers: Old Dogs, New Tricks

August 22nd, 2017

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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Just Push Publish and Other Great Government Podcasting Advice From Ray Ortega

March 14th, 2017

Guest: Ray Ortega; ThePodcastersStudio.com; RayOrtega.com;

Ray Ortega is the host of The Podcasters’ Studio and Podcasters’ Roundtable … both shows are podcasts about podcasting.

He launched his first podcast in 2007 which was called Produce Picker Podcast.

In 2009, he created The Podcasters’ Studio to share what he had learned while producing his first podcast and to teach himself audio-only podcast production.  Podcasting quickly became a full-time hobby and eventually his job – more accurately, his dream job.

In this episode of All Hazards we’re going to talk about podcasting in general, podcasting in the government sector and how it might fit in with your office’s public outreach messaging.  We’ll offer some tips to get you started if you think your audience might want to listen to what you have to say, how you might improve your existing podcast, and what some of the trends are in podcasting.

Twitter: @PodcastHelper

"YouTuber" at http://youtube.com/rayortega 

 

 

 

 

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Cal OES PIOs Talk Disaster Experience, Relationships and More in Team Chat

January 31st, 2017

 What does a typical day on the job look like for Cal OES public information officer? Well, the answer to that is – there is no typical day. One thing you can count on is that it’s likely there won’t be a press release in draft mode; only for special occasions are press releases written. More often than not, our PIOs are busy creating more engaging forms of communication, from short and longer form videos, to daily blogs to podcasts and social media. Our PIOs also get their hands dirty to get the public and stakeholders the information they need in a more interesting way. They travel by 4-wheel drive, Snow Cat, helicopter and any other mode of transportation to take you to the story and the story makers, and give you the best access for the best perspective. It’s all about transparency and proof of performance and readiness for the tax dollars invested.

So, in this episode, three of our PIOs sit down to talk about what it’s like to be a few of the faces and voices for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Monica Vargas, Robb Mayberry and Jon Gudel have all been involved in a wide range of missions and assignments for Cal OES and are here to share their stories, lessons and tips, all valuable information whether you’re a PIO or not.

Links

http://www.oesnews.com/

http://caloes.ca.gov/Cal-OES-Divisions/News-Media

https://www.youtube.com/user/CalEMATV

https://www.flickr.com/photos/calemaphotos/

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FEMA’s Kelly Hudson: Facilitating Unity Between the States and the Feds

December 6th, 2016

Kelly Hudson at the Pu'u O'o lava flow

Kelly Hudson is an external affairs officers with FEMA, and is based in Region IX, Oakland, California. She’s worked for FEMA for 12 years, with ten of those in Region IX.

In this episode (#21) she reflects on the many major disasters she’s worked and talks about the challenges of each and lessons learned. She was still a newbie when Hurricane Katrina hit and was dispatched to help with communications as on-scene public information officer. She and her team were escorted by armed guards due to the dangerous nature of angry and desperate locals. She also candidly discusses how, in her eagerness, she got ahead of the messaging curve and told the media too much too soon; that’s a lesson she urges anyone who deals with the media to remember. Kelly also shares her own ways of surviving the chaos of hectic disaster responses, and how it’s important to take care of “Number-1.”

 

 

 

Kelly’s list of major disaster responses are impressive:

External Affairs Officer, Wildfires, Northern California (2015)

External Affairs Officer, Pu'u 'O'O Lava Flow, Hawaii (2014)

External Affairs Officer, Tropical Storm Iselle, Hawaii (2014)

External Affairs Officer, Tropical Storm Halong, Guam (2014)

External Affairs Officer, Severe Storms, American Samoa (2014)

External Affairs Officer, Hurricane Irene (2011)

Deputy External Affairs Officer, Joplin, Mo. tornado (2011)

External Affairs Liaison, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (2010)

External Affairs Lead, Tsunami and flooding, American Samoa (2009)

Assistant External Affairs Officer, North Dakota floods (2009)

Deputy External Affairs Officer, Hurricane Ike (2008)

External Affairs Officer, Southern California wildfires (2008)

Executive Officer, Southern California wildfires (2007)

News Desk Lead/Public Information Officer, Hurricane Katrina (2005)

Researcher and Writer/Public Information Officer, New Jersey floods (2005)

Researcher and Writer, Hurricane Ivan (2004)

 

Links

FEMA Region IX

FEMA Region IX Leadership

Pu'u O'o Lava Flow

Pahoa

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