Concurrent Session Descriptions

Concurrent Sessions Grouped by Topic

Theme:   Covid-19: International Response, Adaptation & Recovery

Wednesday, September 15, 2021
3:30 PM – 4:15 PM
A Pathway Forward from 2020: Leveraging COVID-19
to Increase Resilience for 2021 & Beyond

Across the nation communities are reeling from the year-long response to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 disrupted normal life as we know it, setting aside agency and community priorities in response to the immediate crisis. While COVID-19 dominated much of Maryland’s attention, 2020 brought with it flooding, hurricanes, severe winter weather, extreme heat, and other hazards. The challenges of 2020 bring with it incredible opportunity to leverage partnerships and policy windows to make progress in reducing disaster vulnerability. This presentation will outline the Maryland Emergency Management Agency’s (MEMA) approach to applying the emergency management model to resilience, focusing on leveraging COVID-19 for increased impact.

The immediacy of the crisis facing the nation’s communities has not changed as a result of COVID-19. What has changed is the tools that emergency managers have at their disposal. From new relationships, policy windows, legislative attention, to an enhanced profile within the community, emergency managers have never been better positioned to implement resilience actions.

This presentation will address MEMA’s approach to resilience, applying emergency management practices to resilience, and leveraging COVID-19 for greater impacts. The time for action is now and emergency managers have never been in a stronger position to make meaning change.

  • Chas Eby, Deputy Director, Maryland Emergency Management Agency
  • Jaleesa Tate, Hazard Mitigation Branch Manager/State Hazard Mitigation Officer, Maryland Emergency Management Agency


Innovative Training for Operational Resilience During


The National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC) in partnership with the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (RDPC) presents a panel discussion speaking to the training challenges faced by State, Local, Tribal and Territorial (SLTT) response agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The presentation will highlight how partnerships with the NDPC/RDPC enabled innovative training to help sustain continuity of operations across a diversity of communities.  By the end of the panel participants will have a better understanding of how just-in-time training innovation helped close COVID-19 specific knowledge gaps, sustain existing training requirements and how lessons-learned can be applied future-forward.

  • Kelly Hamilton, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, State of New Mexico
  • Eddie O’Brien, Sgt. Counter Terrorism Division, New York Police Department
  • Greg Gould, Emergency Manager, Salish Kootenai College
  • Irvin Mason, Training and Exercise Coordinator, Virgin Islands Territory Emergency Management Agency
  • Moderator – Jason Krause, Associate Director, Operations and Plans National Center for Biomedical Research and Training Academy of Counter Terrorist Education, Louisiana State University


Pandemic Lessons for Future Events: The Transportation
Case Study

Description Coming Soon


  • Janet Benini, CEM, Co-Chair, Global Board for the Professional Development Training Certification (PDTC); Transportation Expert, NATO’s International Resilience Program
  • William Ankner, PhD, Former CEO, Louisiana Dept. of Transportation & Development
  • Deborah Matherly, AICP ENV SP, Principal Planner, WSP
  • Patricia Bye, MBA, Independent Consultant and Author



Theme:  Vulnerable & Underserved Populations

Thursday, September 16, 2021
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Equitable Climate Resilience Tools and Resources for U.S. Local Governments Description: 

Following the COVID-19 pandemic and social protests of 2020, cities across the U.S. are grappling with how to address social equity in their communities and ensure resilience to future disasters while also grappling with funding and capacity shortages. Over the past year, IBTS has been studying equitable climate resilience in U.S. cities to understand common challenges and paths to success and identify the resources and processes local governments need to effectively address these critical topics in their communities. This session will share our findings from this year-long research study, funded by the Kresge Foundation and conducted in partnership with the National League of Cities (NLC) and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA). Findings include results from a quantitative survey of medium and large U.S. cities as well as from pilot equitable climate assessments conducted in three U.S. cities.

  • Patrick Howell, Program Manager, Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS)
  • Curtis Brown, Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management
  • Andreanecia Morris, HousingNOLA


The 3 Easy, Proven Steps to Prepare Any Vulnerable Community for Disasters in 2021 and Beyond Description:

This presentation will reveal the 3 proven, successful cutting-edge management and technology steps to address socially, economically, linguistically and health-vulnerable communities in helping them plan for, respond to, and recover from disasters and emergencies.

  • Patrick Hardy, LL.M., CEM, CBCP, CEO, Hytropy Disaster Management



Theme:  Climate Change Resilience

Thursday, September 16, 2021
2:45 PM – 3:30 PM
Using Green Infrastructure to Create Resilient Communities Description:

This session will cover planning for coastal green infrastructure – natural resources – in the face of climate change. It will include: how to use GIS analysis to uncover key relationships and strategies for conservation or restoration, the community and city engagement process, and planning implementation and for future collaborations.

  • Karen Firehock, Director and Co-founder, Green Infrastructure Center
  • Justin Schaffer, Water Quality Project Manager, City of Norfolk


Sustainability: The Importance of Sustainability and Resilience in Insurance and Risk Description:

Climate change is, perhaps, the most complex risk facing society today. It is intergenerational, it is international, and it is interdependent. Rising global temperatures have led to more frequent and more intense hurricanes, longer wildfire seasons and more severe flooding.

The insurance industry plays a key role as a primary risk signaler for society to help raise awareness of the increasing frequency and intensity of natural hazard events, and ultimately to incentivize the behaviors and best practices that will be required to both mitigate the worst impacts and adapt to changing weather patterns. From an insurance industry perspective, we do this because the impact of extreme weather events is escalating, and without enhancing resiliency and mitigation measures, many assets may simply become uninsurable. Investing in mitigation measures, including resilient infrastructure, nature-based solutions, and low carbon technologies, is required if society continues to operate with the continuity and resiliency expected.

  • Zurich, N.A.
  • Roy Wright, President & CEO, Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety



Theme:  Cybersecurity & Infrastructure

Friday, September 17, 2021
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Cyberattack Simulation: We’ve Been Hacked!
Now What?

Join this session to experience a simulated ransomware attack scenario that business leaders across every industry could someday face. Attendees will have the opportunity to vote  at key decision points of the crisis response as our panelists discuss the best practices to mitigate both reputational and financial harm.

  • John Farley, Managing Director – Cyber Practice, A. J. Gallagher
  • Jennifer Coughlin, Founder & Partner, Mullin Coughlin LLC.


Preventing, Preparing for, Responding to, and
Recovering from a Cyber Attack on Critical
Description Coming Soon


*Subject To Change