NCORP also is visiting six much-larger cities across the nation, gathering best practices for community preparedness and response. North Manchester is one of the first such meetings. Information gathered in this national tour will help the agency develop a National Blueprint for Secure Communities.
NCORP Chair James S. Gilmore III will co-host the summit with Bernie Beier, director of Homeland Security for Fort Wayne and Allen County. Other cities on the summit tour are Boston; Charleston, S.C.; Tampa, Fla.; Galveston, Texas; Portland, Ore., and Arlington, Va.
"America's security depends on America's communities to effectively respond to large-scale crisis during the first 72 hours," said Gilmore, former governor of Virginia. "Domestic response is only as strong as our least-prepared community, and all first response to a natural disaster or an attack is local response."
The North Manchester summit will demonstrate how local government can partner with the private and community sectors to multiply responder capability during the first 72 hours of crisis, Gilmore said. The summit begins at 3 p.m. in Flory Auditorium of the Science Center on the North Manchester campus.
"Municipalities and first responders must be more self-sufficient at the local level," said Beier. "When there is a flood, tornado or other emergency, we have to act locally. We cannot wait for the state and federal government. They are good partners, but local first responders have to be organized and ready to respond in the crucial first 72 hours of a disaster."
Gov. Gilmore addressed the entire Manchester College student body about national security and civil liberties, followed by a noon question-and-answer session with about 300 first-year students studying the topics. The public was invited to those sessions, in Cordier Auditorium.
Gov. Gilmore headed the Congressional Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction – also known as the "Gilmore Commission." Of the commission's 164 recommendations, 146 have been adopted by the federal government and Congress.
Manchester College's convocation series and its First-Year Colloquium focus on preparing students to engage in lively discussions on controversial topics. In addition to the balance between national security and our civil liberties, students are discussing safety and speed in the development of prescription drugs, global warming and freedom of speech.
Manchester College, with 1,056 students from 27 states and 26 countries, offers more than 55 areas of study in courses designed for faculty-student interaction. For more about Manchester College, visit http://www.manchester.edu/