Orange County Board of Commissioners Chair Renee Price and Vice Chair Jamezetta Bedford completed the 100 Counties Prepared Emergency Preparedness Training for County Commissioners at the NC Association of County Commissioners’ (NCACC) 115th Annual Conference in Cabarrus County on Aug. 11, 2022. Price and Bedford were two of 61 county officials to complete the class, which was the culmination of Brunswick County Commissioner and NCACC Past President Frank Williams’ 100 Counties Prepared presidential initiative.
“County governments perform a number of important functions, but the stakes are higher during an emergency,” said Williams. “I commend every county commissioner and county official who completed this class for their willingness to strengthen their knowledge and skills of how to lead more effectively when it matters the most.”
“This training course is a vital piece to continuing the sustainment and improvement of emergency preparedness across our state,” said N.C. Director of Emergency Management Will Ray. “We know that we will continue to have events and incidents that impact North Carolina that will be across all hazards, and we will need counties’ continued partnership, standing shoulder-to-shoulder together as we continue to serve our communities.”
The 100 Counties Prepared training was created to equip elected officials with the tools, resources and information needed to lead effectively during emergencies such as natural disasters, public health crises, and other critical incident situations.
"One of the key takeaways from the training was the importance of supporting our Emergency Management staff and our people directly involved in Emergency Operations,” said Price. “As elected officials, as commissioners, we need to understand our role and responsibilities, 'stay in our lane,' show respect for our EM staff, acknowledge their expertise, and be ever so thankful to them as they perform their jobs protecting communities and saving lives.”
The full day of training included:
- A high-level overview of the complex myriad of legal terminology, roles, and responsibilities related to emergency preparedness and management presented by Kate Van Tol, N.C. Emergency Management Legal Fellow.
- A discussion about the proper role of commissioners in the emergency management process led by Brunswick County Commissioner Randy Thompson and Washington County Commissioner Ann Keyes, both of whom are retired county-level emergency managers.
- A session on crisis communication led by Julie Parker of Julie Parker Communications and Meagan Kascsak, Brunswick County’s Director of Communications.
- A panel discussion featuring former N.C. Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry and former FEMA Director Brock Long.
For more information about the 100 Counties Prepared initiative, please visit www.100countiesprepared.com.