USACE Continues its Disaster Preparedness Cooperation with Serbia

A U.S. team of disaster response experts held a 3-day workshop in Belgrade, Serbia, May 14-16, to continue discussions on the importance of safely managing hazardous materials during an emergency.

The U.S. team, comprised of three members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and three members of the Ohio National Guard State Partnership Program, provided an overview of best management practices currently used to minimize impacts of a disaster with an emphasis on managing hazardous materials, said Diane Acurio, USACE Emergency Response and Resiliency Program manager.

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“Understanding and identifying hazardous materials is a critical first step in disaster response,” said Acurio. “This workshop not only reinforced its importance, but more importantly, it allowed Serbian ministries and first responders to come together and better understand each other’s role during a crisis.”

The U.S. team was comprised of three members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and three members of the Ohio National Guard State Partnership Program. USACE PHOTO BY PATRICK MOES

The workshop is part of an ongoing program managed by the Institute for Security Governance and implemented by USACE to support countries developing stronger capabilities in disaster response. The workshop involved lectures, case study discussions and dialogue on future opportunities.

Acurio said the presentations from USACE, the Ohio National Guard, and members of the Serbia Sector for Emergency Management, firefighters and others included topics focused on infrastructure, transportation, protection and rescue in support of disaster response.

“These workshops provide an amazing opportunity to bring professionals together from every level of government and area of expertise to not only gain awareness different roles and responsibilities but also build stronger relationships that are critical during a response,” said Acurio. “Having all these agencies together demonstrates the importance of a whole-of-government / society approach to disaster preparedness.”

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