Williams, Thompson attend 100 Counties Prepared Task Force Developing Training for County Leaders on Emergency Management

Wake County, N.C. – The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) 100 Counties Prepared Task Force met Wednesday, April 6, 2022, at the Wake County Emergency Services Education Center. Brunswick County Commissioners Frank Williams and Randy Thompson joined with Guilford County Commissioner Kay Cashion to lead the meeting and spoke on the importance of cultivating working relationships to benefit the Brunswick County’s residents.

Left to right: NCACC President and Brunswick County Commissioner Frank Williams; Guilford County Commissioner and 100 Counties Prepared Task Force Co-Chair Kay Cashion; Brunswick County Chairman and 100 Counties Prepared Task Force Co-Chair Randy Thompson; Wake County Commissioner Maria Cervania.

The meeting, which included county leaders from throughout North Carolina, continued the task force’s effort to develop a training plan to educate county commissioners on key aspects of emergency management and crisis leadership. The training will equip county commissioners with the tools, partnerships, and emergency management best practices needed to lead North Carolina citizens effectively during emergency situations.

The April 6 100 Counties Prepared Task Force meeting focused on the importance of relationships that county commissioners need to cultivate in order to best lead during an emergency. The task force heard from key partners including Kevin Monroe, Director for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Office of the Governor and John Ford, FEMA Director for the National Integration Center (NIC). Attendees also heard from Sheila Crunkleton and James Jarvis from the American Red Cross. Monroe and Ford spoke on the importance of working relationships with local and elected officials and how to establish partnerships with stakeholders before emergencies occur.

Commissioner Frank Williams and Kevin Monroe, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Office of the Governor.

Commissioner Frank Williams, who is also the current NCACC President, launched the 100 Counties Prepared presidential initiative in 2021 based on his experience leading amidst natural disasters as Chairman of the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners during Hurricanes Florence, Dorian, and Isaias.

“The time to build relationships with key partners is before an emergency happens, not once it is already underway, said,” said NCACC President Frank Williams. “This meeting focused on identifying the critical relationships county commissioners should develop and outlining how they can effectively build those relationships before an emergency affects their county.”

The 100 Counties Prepared initiative aims to prepare county commissioners to provide North Carolina residents with accurate and authoritative information about critical local response and recovery activities due to emergencies such as mudslides, earthquakes, tornados, floods, hurricanes, and pandemics.

“Preparation and strong relationships are vital keys to responding and managing any emergency—whether natural or man-made,” said Randy Thompson, Brunswick County Chairman and Co-Chair of the 100 Counties Prepared task force. “Having opportunities to network and speak with other local government partners and officials across the state helps us identify new resources, connections, or ways to plan for all types and scales of emergencies.”

Commissioner Randy Thompson speaking during the meeting.

FEMA’s Ford stated that “the NIC assists local senior officials in tackling their community’s unique emergency preparedness challenges. It was great engaging with North Carolina’s county commissioners and educating them about the process of emergency preparation, response, and recovery.”

The task force will continue to meet as they build a training curriculum designed for county commissioners with an aim to empower all county leaders across the state with the tools and information necessary to guide their communities through emergencies.

For more information about the 100 Counties Prepared initiative, please visit www.100countiesprepared.com.