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2018 NEMA Conference

October 5, 2018

VITEMA Director Mona L. Barnes participated in the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) 2018 Conference held in Savannah, GA which began on Oct. 1, 2018. NEMA is the professional association of emergency management directors from all 50 states, eight territories, and the District of Columbia. Director Barnes was selected as a lead panelist at the annual four-day event, which hosted over two hundred attendees. During panel discussions, Director Barnes shared the unique challenges which impacted the territory after the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, and the critical role of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, (EMAC), a nationally adopted mutual aid agreement between states, in the response and recovery of the territory after the storms.

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VITEMA Director Mona L. Barnes presenting at the 2018 National Emergency Management Association, 2018 Conference

Due to the US Virgin Islands participation in EMAC, over $66 million of critical and timely support was received from participating states and territories. EMAC provided resources and personnel in the form of EMAC A-Team members, First Responders (i.e., National Guardsmen, Policemen, Emergency Medical Services), Animal Health, Agriculture, Incident and Emergency Management, Public Works and Human Services personnel. “Without the timely response, deployment and support of EMAC, there is no doubt that our recovery would have been this far along,” said Director Barnes. “Over two thousand support personnel deployed to our territory via EMAC and quickly integrated themselves into the recovery of the Virgin Islands. In many cases, lifelong connections and partnerships were formed; we are grateful for their contributions and efforts,” said Barnes.

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Director Barnes pictured with former classmates of the Executive Leadership Program course at the 2018 NEMA Conference