FEMA’s 15th Annual Emergency Management Higher Education Conference was held June 4-7, 2012 at the Emergency Management Institute with a theme of “Preparing for the Future of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. There were 402 attendees, from academia, professional organizations, other federal agencies, volunteer agencies, the private sector, and federal, state, local, territorial and tribal emergency management offices. Fourteen international participants also attended from five different nations.
On Monday, June 4, more than 330 participants took part in 7 pre-conference workshops including Introduction to ArcGIS for Emergency Management; Survey of HAZUS-MH: FEMA’s Tool for Natural Hazard Loss Estimation; How to Teach Emergency Management for Those New to the Disaster Field; A Writer’s Workshop; Exercising Emergency Plans: It Could Have Been Your Campus; a Leadership Workshop; and Teaching Introduction to Homeland Security.
The conference officially got underway Tuesday, June 5, in a plenary session with the introduction of the Emergency Management Institute’s new Superintendent, Tony Russell, former Region VI regional administrator. Russell greeted conference participants and emphasized his enthusiasm for the institute’s continuing partnership with the higher education community in the coming years in the professionalization of emergency management.
The keynote speaker was Lucien G. Canton, a certified emergency manager from San Francisco, Calif. Canton has over 30 years experience in hazard and risk analysis, loss reduction, and emergency planning with FEMA and as Director of Emergency Services for the City of San Francisco. Canton discussed federal disaster response capability, including tactical and strategic planning, inter-agency coordination, and field operations. He is currently an author, emergency management consultant and founder of Emergency Management for the 21st Century.
In addition to the pre-conference workshops and plenary sessions, the 2012 conference included 51 breakout sessions with 138 presenters covering topics ranging from “Maintaining and Improving Bachelor’s-Level Emergency Management Programs,” to “Creative Thinking: It’s Use in Homeland Security and Emergency Management.”
The Emergency Management Institute also hosted a higher education Share Fair with a total of 33 exhibiters representing FEMA, professional organizations, and colleges and universities. They also provided opportunities for networking and information sharing.