When natural disasters strike, local police and first responders must be ready to respond. - PHOTO: National FOP DART

When natural disasters strike, local police and first responders must be ready to respond.

PHOTO: National FOP DART

POLICE Magazine is presenting a special natural disaster response webinar on Thursday Dec. 15. Sponsored by Axon, the webinar titled “Best Practices for Natural Disaster Response” will feature a panel of emergency management officials discussing critical advance planning and response when a natural disaster strikes.

The panel includes:

Col. Neil Baxley serves as commander of the Emergency Management Division at the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office (SC). He is responsible for Beaufort County’s 9-1-1 phone system, Central Communications Dispatch, Hazardous Material Program and Traffic Management Center. He is also the Aviation Unit Commander for the Sheriff’s Office. He joined the sheriff’s office in 1983 and served in many roles before being appointed commander of the Emergency Management Division in 2013.

Tracy Warner is Director of Emergency Management for Graves County (KY) and was named Director of the Year by the Kentucky Emergency Management Association in September. She is the first full time emergency management director in Graves County. In addition to her duties as emergency management director, Warner is an EMT-B, certified firefighter, a member of the rescue squad, and president of the Graves County Volunteer Fire Association. Her county, home to the town of Mayfield, was struck by an EF-4 tornado in December 2021.

Jim Whitfield is a retired Mississippi State Department of Health emergency response coordinator and the current Sunflower County, MS, deputy fire coordinator. He is certified as a hazardous material technician, a radiation hazmat specialist, and is also a nationally registered EMT. He teaches the Hazardous Materials for Law Enforcement course at a state police academy in Morehead, MS.

The webinar will cover a wide variety of disaster response topics, including having a plan in place in advance of any natural disaster, keeping both public and first responders safe during and after, command and control, search and rescue, evacuations, preventing looting and crime, and managing return following an evacuation.

“Best Practices for Natural Disaster Response” will be held Thursday Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. Eastern/11 a.m. Pacific.

To register, go to this link.

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