Bertie County Emergency Operations Plan Assessment and Update

Dr. Anuradha Mukherji’s Emergency Management Planning class partnered with the Mid-East Commission and Bertie County Emergency Management in Spring 2020 to work on updating Bertie County’s Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). Five groups of students (4 undergraduate and 1 graduate group) worked on select sections of the EOP that were decided beforehand in consultation with Bertie County. The Bertie County EOP had not been updated since 2004, and the Emergency Management department needed help to assess and revise this critical document that would assist the county with preparedness, response, and recovery during disaster events. This is where the ECU planning program came in. The students’ efforts and the revised EOP sections on Sheltering and Mass Care, Communications, Notifications and Warnings, County Resources and Distribution Pod (CRDP), and Donations Management were well received by our community partners. Because Bertie County is representative of rural North Carolina, the students specifically gained insights on emergency management planning practices in a rural setting. In doing so, the students also contributed valuable planning services to the eastern North Carolina region.

Two awards recognized the students’ efforts. The project received highly competitive National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Impact Award. Nationwide, 79 projects from 48 organizations in 19 states were selected for this award ( The graduate team project on ‘Sheltering and Mass Care’ was also recognized by a Marvin Collins Graduate Student Project honorable mention from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association.

The students who worked on the project are, Graduate Section – Victoria Bishop and Tristyn Daughtry. Undergraduate Section – Jacob Blizzard, Koby Butts, Landon Clontz, Spencer Crawford, Tanner Everett, James Golden, Michael Higgins, Jacob Horgan, John Johnson, Emily Michaud, Kaleb Nichols, Michael O’Kelly, Laney Rivera, Samuel Singleton, Sheighla Temple, and Connor Wood.

Congratulations to all the students. They worked hard on the project, and the awards are well deserved. A special thank you to our community partners, the Mid-East Commission and Bertie County Emergency Management who worked alongside us during this project and brought to us the opportunity for this exciting partnership.