EMD hosts Regional Preparedness Summit
EMD hosted its second annual Preparedness Summit at the Riverside Convention Center on April 4, 2018. The Summit, titled “From Response to Recovery,” featured keynote speakers, two short talks on important and informative subjects, a variety of breakout tracks, and a presentation of the award for resiliency.
Over 260 people attended the summit, all of whom were stakeholders across the region. “The summit was a region event, it crossed county borders,” explained EMD’s Donna Mayer. “It was all about building capabilities identified in grants, coordination, and collaboration.”
Mayer, alongside a team of enthusiastic players, including Reyshawn Bobo, Sandy Olinga, Anne Accurso, Laronte Groom, Carol Gonzalez and Brooke Federico, worked vigorously over six months to make the Preparedness Summit a hit.
The event kicked off with Riverside County CEO George Johnson and Kim Saruwatari, Riverside County Public Health director and former director of EMD, engaging the crowd and underscoring the importance of emergency management.The audience also heard opening comments from California Department of Public Health's Susan Fanelli.
Speaker Brian Henricksen of Napa County shared lessons learned from the response and recovery to the 2017 Northern California Wildfires, which ultimately destroyed thousands of homes, hundreds of thousands of acres and resulted in 44 deaths.
During lunch, EMD Director Bruce Barton presented the Award for Resiliency to San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health Services. The recipients received an emotional standing ovation from the crowd.
Throughout the day there were various presentations in designated breakout tracks on credentialing, lessons learned from 2017 hurricanes and wildfires, and active shooter incidents to name a few. New to the summit this year, was PrepIn15, which consisted of two 15-minute short talks on informative subjects. The first session was on developing a peer support system in the aftermath of trauma, led by Heather Williams of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The second session featured Kim and Mitch Saruwatari, demonstrating how they prep for a “Party of Five.”
EMD’s Martin Baxter said his biggest take home lesson was from the last presentation of the day by Brooke Buddemeier on responding to nuclear terrorism. “Staying indoors and away from outside walls for two days could help you avoid most of the radiation from a nuclear fallout,” said Baxter. “I was amazed to learn that.”
“This event wouldn’t have happened without everyone who worked so diligently,” said Mayer. “The core planning team and everyone who stepped up to help in the days leading up to the summit – everyone played a vital role in the success of the day.”