WASHINGTON, D.C. – North Carolina Association of County Commissioners President and Brunswick County Commissioner Frank Williams participated in a panel discussion entitled “Intergovernmental Roundtable on Disaster Resiliency” in Washington, D.C. on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022. The event was held as part of the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference and was co-sponsored by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
The roundtable brought together local, state, federal, and private business leaders to discuss the challenges local governments face when responding to and preparing for disasters and the complexities of building resilient communities. Williams discussed the critical role of county governments in preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies.
“County personnel are on the front lines of emergency situations, and county emergency operations centers function as the nerve center of emergency preparedness, response, and recovery,” said President Williams. “I was humbled to have the opportunity to share my perspective on the critical role counties play in emergency preparedness and response.”
Williams announced the focus of his presidential initiative – known as 100 Counties Prepared – when he was sworn in as President of the Association last August. The idea for his initiative was born out of his experience as Chairman of the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners during Hurricanes Florence, Dorian and Isaias. The year-long initiative seeks to equip county commissioners with resources and tools to lead effectively during emergencies.
Other panelists joining Commissioner Williams included Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie; FEMA Assistant Administrator, National Preparedness Directorate Alex Amparo; and Florida Association of Counties Executive Director, Institute for County Government, Eric Poole. The panel discussed the complexities of working with different levels of government when responding to disasters and strategies government can explore to build resiliency and enhance mitigation efforts. The panel also discussed how best to prepare for emergencies.
Former North Carolina Director Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry served as the keynote speaker for the event and highlighted best practices for achieving positive outcomes during emergency response. Sprayberry now works as Senior Advisor for Emergency Management for Hagerty Consulting.