Crisis Control – Principles and Practice at #MACoCon

At the MACo Winter Conference, an expert panel explained how policymakers and community partners can apply emergency management principles to solve today’s most complex challenges.

Anna Sierra

Communities face more frequent and complex disasters due to vexing issues like a changing climate, social and economic inequity, aging infrastructure, cyber threats, and humanitarian crises. By enhancing communication and collaboration with local emergency managers, policymakers and community partners can apply emergency management principles to solve today’s most complex challenges.

At MACo’s Winter Conference, an expert panel shared best practices for prioritizing mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery to develop scalable, flexible, and adaptable solutions for even the most complex issues.

Dorchester County Council Member George “Lenny” Pfeffer led the conversation and moderated an informative Q&A at the “Crisis Control – Principles and Practice” session.

Panel speakers included:

  • Michael Hinson, Emergency Manager, Howard County 
  • Anna Sierra, Chief Development Officer, Maryland Department of Emergency Management
  • Netta Squires, Director of Local Cybersecurity, Maryland Department of Information Technology 
  • Preeti Emrick, Director, Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management 

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Michael Hinson kicked off the session by explaining the evolution of emergency management and why more — and more complex — issues fall under the scope of emergency management. Mr. Hinson also gave an overview of climate change mitigation and adaptation in Howard County.

Anna Sierra detailed the MDEM Office of Resilience, the Resilient Maryland Revolving Loan Fund, and how MDEM supports local governments in developing and implementing mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery efforts.

Netta Squires discussed the correlation between emergency management and cybersecurity and how the State collaborates with counties to identify local cybersecurity needs and enhancement measures. She also gave an overview of federal partnerships/efforts.

Preeti Emrick explained the importance of multi-agency emergency planning and discussed emergency management’s role in humanitarian crises. She also described Anne Arundel County’s work to support Afghan refugees.

The session was on January 4, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, MD.

More about MACo’s Winter Conference: