Pierce College Center of Excellence for Homeland Security hosts Preparedness Summit with Perspective on Hurricane Katrina from Dr. Willis Lott, President, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
First responders, K-12 risk managers, community and technical college presidents and staff, police and fire chiefs and staff, disaster preparedness teams, military and members of the public throughout the state are invited to attend the Second Annual Homeland Security Community Connections: 2006 Preparedness Summit on Friday, March 17 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom Performance Lounge. The event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited.
This training is an opportunity to connect with your emergency teams, meet other first responders, risk managers and agency representatives and facilitate best practices. A critical component is to assist individuals in assessing their institution’s ability to respond to disasters.
Dominic Marzano, deputy chief of the Kent Fire Department, will present lessons learned from the response to Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi. Dr. Willis Lott, president, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, will share experiences related to disaster preparedness and the response at his community college.
In the early days and weeks following Hurricane Katrina, 3,000 students were forced to withdraw from college while the campus became a staging center for law enforcement, utilities and other state and federal agencies. The charge now is to serve community needs in the post-Katrina environment with new, short-term training programs in construction trades, housing displaced non-profit groups and other unprecedented means. With more than thirty years in higher education, Lott possesses a broad administrative background.
“Communication is paramount to an effective response,” said Lott. “The greatest challenge we faced in the early days after Hurricane Katrina was the inability to send and receive reliable information…Every organization must have a well-developed and tested crisis communication plan in place. But it is equally important that essential personnel know what is expected and what must be done — regardless of the communication capabilities.”
An Incident Command System overview and a tabletop exercise will assist participants in the development of a plan of action.
A key role of Pierce College’s Center of Excellence for Homeland Security is to connect the community and technical colleges statewide with local, regional, and national emergency preparedness initiatives. On Sept. 30, 2004, Governor Gary Locke issued a proclamation directing Washington State agencies to adopt and integrate the National Incident Management System (NIMS). Governor Gregoire reiterated this proclamation that state agencies are required to adopt NIMS as a condition for federal preparedness assistance. Participants of the 2006 Preparedness Summit will acquire critical components for an incident command system as required by NIMS.
Online registration is available at www.pierce.ctc.edu/HomelandSecurity/event or call (253) 964-6645.
To request disability accommodation, contact the Access and Disability Services Office at least 10 days in advance at: (253) 964-6468/V, (253) 964-6228/TTY, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pierce College Fort Steilacoom is located at 9401 Farwest Drive, S.W., Lakewood, Wash.