By Allison Miller | Communications Coordinator |Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management

After a very successful launch of the first-ever HERricane Program in Philadelphia last year, we’re back and ready to engage with the future of emergency management, girls ages 16-19 to provide them with hands-on experience in this public safety field. Women are underrepresented in Emergency Management but make up a disproportionate amount of disaster victims.  

This year’s program once again plans to disrupt this statistic and provide girls with the skills and confidence they need to be tomorrow’s emergency managers. We plan on doing this by hosting a career panel and networking event, learning about key emergency management systems, practicing hands on skills and role-playing real-life scenarios.   

HERricane Philadelphia will take place in Center City with visits to OEM’s and FEMA’s emergency operation centers and run from Wednesday, June 15th through Friday, June 17th, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The HERricane Philadelphia Experience is intended to be accessible to all young women and will be held free of charge to the participants, however space is limited.  

Register for the HERricane program here! 

As disasters become more frequent with the changing climate, the role of emergency managers is to coordinate a wholistic response in communities and work with partners and stakeholders to preemptively identify solutions to minimize the impacts on these communities that have been placed at-risk. Olivia Gillison, OEM’s Community Preparedness Program Manager who leads the HERricane program, recently spoke about the critical importance of diversity and inclusion in public service.

During last year’s program we hosted a group of 15 girls at our Fire Department Recruitment Training Center. The week-long program was designed to give the participants a broad introduction to the world of Emergency Management. This summer we want to take a more in-depth look into what emergency managers do. But not to worry, we will still bring back some of the fan favorite activities, such as virtual reality, build an animal, and more popular experiences from last year while ensuring that the focus remains on getting more young women engaged in this process. 

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