• Disaster Services

Emergency Disaster Services Personnel Participate at National Hurricane Conference

Representatives from The Salvation Army's Emergency Disaster Services gathered in Orlando Florida this week to participate in the 2014 National Hurricane Conference. 

The primary goal of the National Hurricane Conference is to improve hurricane preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation in order to save lives and property in the United States and the tropical islands of the Caribbean and Pacific.  The conference serves as a national forum for federal, state and local officials to exchange ideas and recommend new policies to improve Emergency Management.

In addition to attending, several Salvation Army EDS staff members presented workshops and facilitated multiple sessions illustrating how The Salvation Army is continuing to lead in many areas of the disaster field."

Florida State Director, Kevin Smith joined other leaders in the field in facilitating a Mass Care Planning and Operations course.  Kevin will also present at another session on Thursday morning surrounding the State of Florida’s Pilot program aimed at further implementing the state’s Mass Care Strategy entitled, Building County Mass Care Coordinator Capability.

North and South Carolina Disaster Director, Mike Patterson is slated to moderate multiple workshops including, one surrounding Disaster Recovery, and the lessons learned from the Oklahoma City Tornadoes last year, as well as another on Secondary Trauma, and Compassion Fatigue.  Mike’s expertise in disaster response makes him a perfect choice as the moderator for these topics.

Thad Hicks, the Disaster Director from the Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi Division will present his research on secondary trauma and compassion fatigue entitled, When Helpers Need Help.  This session is designed to bring the issues of the secondary trauma and compassion fatigue that emergency responders experience when serving at a disaster to the forefront and to create a dialog around these issues. 

Laurie Fried, Disaster Recovery Coordinator for the Arkansas and Oklahoma Division is scheduled to be a panelist on the Disaster Response Workshop scheduled for Thursday morning.  This session will detail the critical work required when coordinating people and assistance after a large disaster event.  Laurie will detail the AOK Division’s work on the Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project.

The extent of Salvation Army participation at the 2014 National Hurricane Conference highlights the continued growth of The Salvation Army's influence in the emergency management field.