Author: Katie Webster
The inaugural 2023 HERricane Emergency Management Experience was held at the State EOC in Raleigh the week of July 10. Intended to help young women explore careers in emergency management and public safety, HERricane welcomed 26 participants ranging from ninth grade to early college to an action-packed week of career exploration, skill building and networking.
HERricane was a collaborative effort between NCEM and emergency management agencies from Wake, Durham and Orange counties. To start the week, participants learned about the core functions of emergency management. County partners provided a variety of demonstrations and unique activities geared towards better understanding roles and responsibilities of disaster response. The main subjects covered during the week included search and rescue operations, public information, hazardous materials response and law enforcement capabilities.
Throughout the week participants had the opportunity to hear from public safety professionals and ask questions about specific roles. Days were split between presentations geared on developing professional skillsets and field training, where participants were immersed in situations that required teamwork, communication and quick action to achieve a common goal. The program encouraged confidence and fostered an atmosphere of personal development, positivity and friendly competition.
At the end of the week, federal, state, local and private sector partners participated in a career fair at the SEOC as a final showcase of the wide range of career opportunities in public safety and associated interdisciplinary fields.
A survey conducted at the end of the experience showed that participants rated HERricane an 8.7/10. All participants indicated they would recommend HERricane to others who may be interested in emergency management careers. Most commented that it was a worthwhile experience to help explore professional opportunities while also being a fun week to meet new people interested in similar pathways.
“The 2023 HERricane Emergency Management Experience was a successful testament to state and local partnerships, which are critical in moving emergency management and public safety forward,” said Katie Webster, Assistant Director for Planning. “NCEM looks forward to exploring avenues to bring HERricane back in the years to come!”