North Carolina Emergency Management
2023 Spring Conference
March 26th – 29th, 2023
Cherokee, North Carolina
Spring Conference Agenda:
Spring Conference Presentations:
The North Carolina Emergency Management Association wishes to “Thank” the members of the
Training Branch of the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management for both their conference audio/visual support
and their acquisition of the below PowerPoint presentations; we really appreciate their assistance.
“Click” on the below session title to access the PowerPoint slide set.
(We are working to acquire the “Center for Prevention Programs and
Partnerships Community Awareness Briefing” presentation slides)
Spring Conference Photographs:
Harrah’s Convention Center , Cherokee, North Carolina
We want to “thank” the American Legion Steve Youngdeer Post #143 Honor Guard
for their participation in the “Presentation of Colors Ceremony”
during the Conference Opening Ceremonies.
Michelle Brock (Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Emergency Management
and our North Carolina Emergency Management Association President) presided
over the North Carolina Emergency Management 2023 Spring Conference “Opening Ceremonies.”
Gordon Deno (Wilson County Emergency Management Director
and our Association’s Chaplain) provided our conference prayer.
Then, Josh Turner (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Emergency Manager)
introduced Principal Chief Richard Sneed who provided an official “Welcome”
to both the conference and to the local community.
Secretary Eddie M. Buffaloe Jr. , secretary of the Department of Public Safety, discussed ongoing emergency activities
and “Thanked” all conference attendees for their service to their communities and the State of North Carolina.
A Look at the Spring Conference Sessions
Spring Conference Presenters
Scot Brooks (Moore County Emergency Manager and the Deputy Director of Public Safety) and Bryan Phillips
(Moore County Public Safety Director) discussed the response and recovery activities associated with the
criminal vandalism event involving the electrical power grid in Moore County……
affected more than 40,000 households and businesses for five days in early December 2022.
Then a session providing a case study of Haywood County Schools’ experiences recovering from the impacts of
“Tropical Storm Fred” involved Shonda Corbett (North Carolina Division of Emergency Management’s Recovery
Supervisor for their Western Branch) and Dr. Trevor Putnam (Superintendent of Haywood County Schools)……
……as well as Debra Jones (FEMA Claims Assistant for Haywood County Schools) and
Dr. Christina Danis (Director of the Centralina Community Economic Development Department).
Will Kehler (Emergency Services Director for McDowell County) discussed his Emergency Management
Assistance Compact (EMAC) deployment in support of New Mexico’s efforts in response to the 2022 Calf Canyon/
Hermits Peak Fire……the largest and most destructive wildfire in the history of New Mexico.
Charles Poliseno (Enterprise Preparedness Services Director for Duke Energy) discussed the immediate and
long-term responses as a result of the December 3, 2022, attack on two electrical substations in Moore County,
North Carolina……as well as actions being taken to prepare for and respond to any future events.
A session providing an overview of the DOD program focused on prevention of
targeted violence and terrorism in local communities was provided by Emery Nauden
(Community Liaison Officer for the United States Department of Defense).
Stefan Coutoulakis (a HazMat specialist with the North Carolina Division of
Emergency Management) introduced attendees to the latest versions of the
“CAMEO Suite” of software programs for use by the first response and planning communities.
Michelle Daschner (Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator for the Town of Chapel Hill), Ian Fowler
(Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator for Orange County Emergency Services) and Justin Miller
(Emergency Management Coordinator at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) discussed their
collaborative approach to special events planning involving multiple stakeholders within multiple jurisdictions
resulting in a collaborative planning process that benefits emergency responders and overall community.
A session focusing on FEMA public assistance simplified procedures involved Todd Wright
(Assistant Director of Recovery for the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management), and
Malcolm Lemuel and Justin Lea from FEMA Region IV’s Recovery Division.
(No photos are available from this presentation)
Kariena “KC” Bernesser (Metrolina Healthcare Preparedness Coalition) discussed incorporating canine therapy to
support first responders’ mental health as an emerging intervention amidst traditional stress management tools.
Gordon Deno (Wilson County Emergency Management Director and NCEMA Chaplain)……along with
Robert Reece (Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Emergency Management Coordinator and Victoria Cortes
(Henderson County Emergency Management Planner)……provided an opportunity for
individuals to come together and discuss the North Carolina Emergency Management
Association’s on-going development of a Chaplain/Peer Support Team.
Jordan Rink (current chairperson of the NCEMA Awards Committee) provided
an overview of the NCEMA Awards and Scholarship Programs and an opportunity
to ask questions and provide feedback on the current programs and processes.
Sarah Robison (North Carolina Division of Emergency Management Risk Management Program Coordinator) and
Stefan Coutoulakis (a HazMat specialist with the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management)
covered lessons learned from recent hazardous materials incidents, best practices and regulatory
changes that increase coordination between facilities, local responders and public awareness.
Renée Soriano (a business development manager and trainer with AristaTek, Inc) discussed how
“PEAC-WEB Hazard Vulnerability Analysis” can be used to view Tier II facilities and transportation
vessels on a Google Map and recognize both wind-based hazards and omni-directional
hazards caused by a variety of different types of emergency events.
Karen Long (Disaster Program Manager, Southern Piedmont Chapter, American Red Cross),
Rebecca Pittman (American Red Cross Division Disaster State Relations Director for the Carolinas and Georgia),
Susan Smith (volunteer leader in the Greater Carolinas Region, American Red Cross) and ……
……Roxanne Taylor (American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Lead for the Eastern North Carolina Region)
highlighted the Red Cross’ experience supporting Family Assistance Center operations nationwide;
sharing lessons learned and best practices to support local
emergency management Family Assistance Center planning efforts.
Durwin Jones (Director of the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management’s Disaster Recovery Section)
and Kristin Moyle (Assistant Director of the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management)
……along with John Donachie (Operations Manager for OSBM)…… provided an overview of the OSBM
Disaster Recovery Section’s role in establishing state long-term disaster recovery programs.
In addition, Jesse Watkins (Interim Director of Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service’s
National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center) conducted a presentation session
providing an overview of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium program that
has delivered training classes benefitting more than 3,475,000 people since 1998.
And finally, a National Weather Service “team” comprised of Nick Petro (Warning Coordination Meteorologist
in Raleigh), Erik Heden (Warning Coordination Meteorologist in Newport/Morehead City) and Eric Seymour
(Warning Coordination Meteorologist in Wakefield, Virginia shared techniques and best practices
for conducting successful and accurate tornado and straight-line wind damage surveys. In addition, the NWS
presenters discussed methods to retrieve archive radar and other weather data to supplement damage surveys.
A panel of North Carolina Incident Management Team members, led by Robin Brown (North Carolina Division
of Emergency Management Area 10 Coordinator), discussed their experience deploying to the Lee County, Florida
Emergency Operations Center as part of the EMAC response to “Hurricane Ian.”
Other panel members included Isaac McCurry (a Captain with the Asheville Fire Department),
Tim McFalls (Henderson County Emergency Manager and Rescue Manager),……
……Michael Willis (Burke County Emergency Management Director/Fire Marshal), Billy Winn
(North Carolina Division of Emergency Management Area 1 Coordinator) and Eric Wiseman
(Area 13 Coordinator for the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management).
A presentation, led by Nick Petro (Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the (NWS Forecast Office in Raleigh),
examined the large scale weather pattern and climate features that may impact North Carolina’s weather
during the next six months. Others involved in the presentation were Erik Heden (Warning Coordination
Meteorologist at the NWS Forecast Office in Newport/Morehead City) and Eric Seymour
(Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the (NWS Forecast Office in Wakefield, Virginia).
Don Campbell (Chief of Staff of the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management) closed out the
“North Carolina Emergency Management 2023 Spring Conference” presentation sessions with an update of
the Division’s “2022 – 2025 Strategic Plan” ……discussing progress of key initiatives, organizational changes
and upcoming challenges that will impact the profession of Emergency Management in North Carolina.
During the Conference “Breaks”
Visiting with the Vendors……
“Networking” and the Banquet
North Carolina Emergency Management Certification Presentations
“Congratulations for a job well done” goes out to each and every certification recipient……
Congratulations” to Austyn Hobbs (Thomasville Fire Department), William Tutwiler (Gates County
Emergency Management) and Jody Smyre (Iredell County Emergency Management);
who were presented their North Carolina Emergency Management “Associate Level” Certifications.
“Congratulations” is also extended to James Horne (Surf City Emergency Management) and Matthew Brit
(Lee County Emergency Management) ……as well as to Malcolm Smith (Brunswick County Emergency Management)…..
who were presented their North Carolina Emergency Management “Executive Level” Certifications.
“2023 Tim Miller Scholarship” Awarded
Jordan Rink (NCEMA Awards Committee chairman) announced that Dawson Spenser was selected as the recipient of the
“2023 Tim Miller Scholarship.” This Spring Dawson is completing his Master of Public Affairs at Western Carolina University.
“Congratulations” and “Best Wishes” go out to Dawson Spenser as the recipient of the “2023 Tim Miller Scholarship.”