New Seminar Series Better Prepares Private Sector Partners for Mass Casualty Events


When public and private sectors work together, they can make a huge difference in disaster recovery.

Sonya McCormick, Public Private Partnership Program Manager, OEM

Oregon Department of Emergency Management (OEM)’s Public Private Partnership (P3) Program recognizes this, with P3 Program Manager Sonya McCormick serving as a conduit between the private sector, state Emergency Support Functions and local and tribal partners​. McCormick works closely with her counterparts in Idaho, Washington and Alaska emergency management — as well as partners across the U.S. — to promote and engage the private sector in emergency planning, response and recovery efforts​.

“Events like COVID, the 2020 wildfires, ice storms and even a regional chlorine shortage have highlighted the critical significance of the alliance between the private sector and the state,” said McCormick.

Jon Hanian is the P3 Program Manager for the Idaho Office of Emergency Management. Hanian has recently seen a groundswell of interest from private sector partners looking to become more resilient and better prepared in the face of ongoing active shooter type events.

In response, McCormick, Hanian and the P3 program managers of Alaska and Washington — in partnership with CISA and the private sector — have developed a nine-session, virtual seminar series designed for companies and organizations interested in enhancing their knowledge and understanding of the impact and recovery of an active shooter or other mass casualty event. Launching March 16, “Mass Casualty Impact and Recovery” will include subject matter experts from business and the government sharing critical infrastructure best practices, valuable lessons, and planning resources and tools to assist with mass casualty impact and recovery.

“As emergency managers, we strive to make our communities more resilient and better prepared to handle unexpected disasters of every kind. One of the most difficult to deal with is the man-made variety that results when a person with a gun enters a business and starts firing,” said Hanian. “These traumatic, emotionally charged, chaotic events are happening with alarming frequency around the country. We believe it’s incumbent on us to help business owners and managers educate themselves on how best to plan, prepare and respond for what could be the worst day of their lives.”

The “Mass Casualty Impact and Recovery” series will be held every third Thursday from March through November on Microsoft Teams live events. Sessions will cover addressing immediate needs; crisis communications for media response; providing immediate crisis support; reopening and resuming operations; negotiating short-, mid- and long-term recovery; post incident scams and fraud; and civil and criminal judicial processes.

“The topics covered throughout this seminar series are important and timely,” said McCormick. “The recent rise in active shooter events, including last August at a Bend grocery store in our own backyard, has underscored the need for these resources to help our private sector partners respond to these tragic situations.”

The seminars are free, not cumulative and may be taken individually. Each seminar counts toward continuing education with CEU credits through IACET Accredited Provider G&H International, Inc. All PSPR2 sessions will be recorded, but registration is required to receive all materials and recordings.

Register for one or all seminars at Eventbrite.

About Author

Chris Crabb is a Public Information Officer at the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, which coordinates and maintains a statewide emergency services system for emergency and disaster communications.

Comments are closed.