The Director for the Institute for Homeland Security and Workforce development, M. Chris Herring, was invited to the Annual Disaster Conference in Nashville, TN on November 7th-9th . Herring was asked to present an overview and introduction to the Mobilizing Faith-Based Communities in Preparing for Disaster course. This exciting and informational course was developed by the Institute in partnership with Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (RDPC) to address the gaps in emergency preparedness that often exist in low-income, marginalized communities by utilizing the assets of faith based organizations as trusted institutions in their communities.
The conference was created to educate and prepare National, State, District and local churches with the tools, knowledge, and skill set to lead in the event of disasters. Herring was honored to present as the purpose of this conference is directly in line with the Institute’s mission to “promote public safety through evidence-based training, dissemination of information, and research in order to better prepare communities for the management of natural and manmade-disasters.”
FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness, recently hosted the National State Administrative Agency Training Symposium in Anniston, Ala. A total of 35 states and five territories were represented amounting to more than 80 attendees. The NSAA symposium was a three-day event that highlighted collaboration, enhanced training opportunities, and training priorities to ensure the nation’s level of preparedness continues to improve.
The National State Administrative Agency’s oversee and manage preparedness training for state and local response agencies. This was the second symposium organized by the NDPC that provides specialized training to the nation’s response force. M. Chris Herring presented overviews of the Mobilizing Faith-Based Communities in Preparing for Disaster course in a workshop to more than forty state and federal emergency management training administrators at the National State Administrative Agency Symposium at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, AL. on December 10th- 14th.
The Institute for Homeland Security & Workforce Development hosted a planning meeting for the 2010 North Carolina Industrial Incidents Summit on November 6, 2009 at NCCU. The Summit identified best practices in large-scale accident response, emergency response and coordination, interoperable communication, and the relationship between emergency responders and the surrounding community.
The planning committee included representatives from Durham Technical Community College, NC Emergency Management, RTI, Fayetteville State University, Guardsmark, the Environmental Protection Agency, Johnson C. Smith University, Orange County Emergency Management, the Town of Apex, NC Division of Waste Management, NCCU Departments of Criminal Justice, Sociology and Public Health, and Durham County Emergency Management.
The Institute held its First Annual North Carolina Critical Industrial Incidents Kick-off Summit at North Carolina Central University on March 12, 2010. The Summit kicked off a year-long series of working groups designed to build collaboration among first responders, public officials, industry leaders, the private sector and community members.
The event featured Chief Mark Haraway, Apex Fire Department, who discussed the lessons learned from the EQ Industrial Fire and Emily Young, NCEM, Asst. Director for Recovery, who discussed the impact of disaster on low-income communities.
The panelists included the following:
On November 16, 2010, the Institute hosted Preparing for an Industrial Incident through Community Collaboration: A Public Conversation, a public forum held at the Ed Emory Auditorium in Kenansville, (Duplin County) NC. In preparation for the summit, Institute staff made presentations to the Duplin County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) in cooperation with Duplin County Emergency Management. The summit was attended by approximately 50 citizens from throughout the county and lasted from 6:00pm to 8:30pm.
The agenda for the Summit included: Introductions and Welcome from the Institute for Homeland Security& Workforce Development; Engaging Duplin County’s Citizens in Emergency Planning, Response Recovery and Mitigation, Rob McDuffie, Duplin County Emergency Management; North Carolina Emergency Management’s Role in Emergency Response, Doug Haas, North Carolina Emergency Management; Engaging Citizens: An Industry Perspective, Charles Phillips, RSO Butterball, LLC; The Importance of Collaboration in Long Term Community Recovery Planning, Bill Johnson, IEM, Inc; Bringing a CERT Team to Duplin County, Patty Moore, NC CERT Program Manager, and a discussion on the importance of education and communication.
Ideas captured during the discussion sessions included: Ordinary citizens think they are not really needed; There is a need to educate people; People believe engagement is “not my role;” Face to face contact is best to educate people; The political model must be used to mobilize people; The community needs to be proactive vs. reactive; There are opportunities to get schools involved; Use community exercises to get citizens involved; Utilize radio stations; Use social media to reach out to people of all generations; Use expo center to stage an emergency exercise; Recognize those volunteers who are already participating and those that want to be recognized; Citizens are conditioned to get out of the way; Emergency managers must take the message to the people; Emergency management must make presentations rather than being asked; Community is very responsive with the right campaign but there must be a sense of urgency.
To request a Forum in your area, contact M. Chris Herring at email@example.com.
It has long been established that Faith-Based and Community Organizations play a major role in community development and resiliency. National Faith-based and Community Organizations (NFBCOs) are often not adequately equipped, however, to aid affiliates in assessing local-level needs to strengthen community resiliency. At the local level, community resiliency is affected by education, economic, crime, public health and housing challenges – all issues FBCOs are uniquely positioned to address. However, many NFBCOs do not have the organizational infrastructure to assist state and local affiliates with holistic strategic intervention for disaster management.
IHSWD has partnered with Rev. Dr. Randy Vaughn, Disaster Manager for the National Baptist Convention USA Inc. (NBC) to develop a standard research-based model for NFBCOs that will aid those organizations in assessing and strengthening mitigation measures, thereby leading to a “tool kit” for local affiliates. NBC has more than 16 thousand churches and 7.5 million members while the General Baptist State Convention of NC has approximately 900,000 members that will benefit from this initiative. The project includes an assessment of national-level organization strengths and weakness at the community level; a survey of state and local-level strengths and weaknesses; a summary report with mitigation recommendations that will aid in the strengthening of preparedness, response and recovery phases of disaster management; and training materials to ensure capacity building at the community level.
NCCU and IHSWD sponsored a Community Emergency Response Team course in cooperation with Ms. Faye Stone, Deputy Executive Director, NC Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service. The course is unique, because it is an academic course in which students receive credit. The course includes the basic CERT curriculum, the CERT “Train the Trainer” curriculum and a community engagement component. A second community engagement course allows students to go back into their communities and coordinate CERT programs.
Upon completion of the course the students are prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a natural or manmade disaster. Students learn the basic skills necessary to provide assistance as a first responder to persons after a disaster until emergency services arrive. In addition to disaster preparedness, students examine ways to promote public safety in the community in non-emergency situations.
The Institute has partnered with NC CERT on many initiatives. For information on initiating a CERT program in your community, contact your State CERT administrator.
For additional information or partnerships, contact Institute Staff at (919) 530-6924.