HERricane Arlington

HERricane logo

HERricane Arlington empowers women

HERricane logo

Arlington’s Office of Emergency Management will host its new HERricane camp at Washington-Lee High School next week, with the goal of inspiring “the next generation of firefighters, meteorologists, epidemiologists and county managers.” HERricane Arlington empowers women to pursue careers and leadership roles in emergency management through a week-long “camp,” and also includes long-term professional development opportunities. Our program provides hands-on, developmental training in:

Incident Management
Natural Hazards
Public Health (including CPR certification)
Communications and Public Speaking
All-Hazards Preparedness
Leadership Skills, such as Teamwork, Ethics, Self-Awareness, Stress Management and Resolve

Lauren Stienstra, senior manager at OEM, said she was inspired to hold a camp after she and a co-worker had a hard time naming women in emergency management for Women’s History Month. Young women in particular often account for only a small percentage of emergency management professionals.

“We started to think about a summer camp to be a way to bridge the gap, to help girls to consider fields in emergency management and allied fields,” said Stienstra.



Continued education provides additional career development, volunteer, and educational opportunities through book clubs, watch parties, and outreach events. Mentorships and internships will also be available.

Vision: HERricane Arlington is a “key to success” for women exploring and pursuing careers in emergency management.
Mission: To develop and elevate women as leaders in emergency management, while expanding the image of emergency management profession as a positive force for improving public safety and government.

Values: The HERricane promotes the following values:
Synergy. Recognize the value and importance of uniting a group of diverse individuals into a single, power force. We seek to provide pro-social professional connection and an environment of collegiality.

G.R.I.T. We believe in the distinct combination of passion, resilience, determination, and focus that allows a person to maintain discipline and optimism is a key to success in any career, as well as for any organization. Teaching young women what True G.R.I.T. is.

Adventure, Creativity, and Open-Mindedness: We utilize and promote ingenuity in our programming as a means to foster this quality in our membership and organization. Emergency management as a discipline, as well as career, is notoriously complicated, atypical, and non-traditional- requiring resourcefulness, positivity, and inventiveness.
Professional Excellence: Excellence is not perfection; rather the confident pursuit of the high quality and persistent integrity. We seek this for our participants as well as for our program.

In addition to the exercises at camp, the young women involved will be able to find long term professional development opportunities. Guest instructors from the Red Cross, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Urban Alliance and the Arlington chapter of Awesome Women Entrepreneurs will all participate.

Stienstra said it makes sense for such a camp to take place in Arlington, as the county was the first to have a woman work as a professional firefighter in the 1970s.

“[Arlington County] was on the front line of integrating gender equality for that field,” Stienstra said


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About Todd De Voe 72 Articles
Involved in Emergency Response, Emergency Management, Education and Volunteer Management for over 25 years.Served as a Corpsman assigned to the Fleet Marine Force of the United States Navy. I now teach Emergency Management at Coastline Community College, I am also the Host of EM Weekly.

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