Conference History

The Advancing & Redefining Communities for Emergency Management (ARC) Conference was originally established in 2009 as the Veterans Health Administration Comprehensive Emergency Management Program Evaluation and Research (VHA CEMPER) Conference by the Veterans Emergency Management Evaluation Center (VEMEC).  CEMPER supported the work of the VHA Comprehensive Emergency Management Program (CEMP), a broad-scope program aimed at ensuring continuity of Veteran care, safety of patients, staff, and resources, and providing for the continuity of hospital operations in the event of a disaster or emergency.

Early CEMPER Conferences focused on VHA’s preparedness, response capacity and an emergency management research agenda for VA with concurrent sessions ranging from behavioral health to sustainability and resilience. Held in or near the Nation’s capital, these annual meetings were attended by government, private sector and non-profit employees. Since that time, CEMPER grew to include additional partners that reflect the full breadth of the emergency management community.

Accordingly, CEMPER was reorganized and renamed the ARC Conference in 2013. Other changes included adding a workshop and an award presentation. Each annual workshop aims to explore a pressing issue that impacts community resilience; while the award presentation highlights an individual (or organization) executing activities that enhance disaster readiness and preparedness in innovative ways.

In 2014, the ARC Conference experienced a transitional year.  In addition to 2014 being the Conference’s first year on the West Coast, the year also marked the first time the ARC Conference would not be led by VEMEC, although VEMEC staff would remain involved. The 2014 ARC Conference and future meetings would be primarily supported by Emergency Management Community Collaborative (EM4CC). EM4CC is a non-profit community benefit organization that was established in 2012 to advance community partnerships aimed at improving disaster preparedness and response.

ARC Conference is an annual event for interdisciplinary professionals with in an interest in disaster/emergency planning and recovery efforts to:
  • Learn how to provide timely access to high-quality care in disasters and emergencies;
  • Participate in interactive sessions, plenaries, and workshops;
  • Identify gaps and sets priorities for the field of emergency management;
  • Discuss and share recommendations and lessons learned with peers and partners; and
  • Attend networking gatherings to expand professional networks.

Future Conferences

2017 ARC Conference – San Diego, CA

Past Conferences

2009 CEMPER Conference – Washington, DC, July 21-22
Theme: Developing an Emergency Management Research Agenda for VHA

2010 CEMPER Conference – Baltimore, MD, May 4-5

2011 CEMPER Conference  – Alexandria, VA, May 10-11

2013 ARC Conference  – Washington, DC, March 25-27
Theme: Redefining Community & Bringing Partners Together
Workshop Theme: Incorporating Homeless Populations into Disaster Preparedness, Planning, & Response

2014 ARC Conference  – Los Angeles, CA, December 9-11
Theme: Casting a Wider Net: Moving from Collaboration to Coalition
Workshop Theme: Call to Action: Nurses as Leaders in Disaster Preparedness & Response

2015 ARC Conference – San Diego, CA, December 1-3
Workshop Theme:  From Concept to Action: Building Coalitions with VA & Veterans

2016 ARC Conference – Washington, DC, December 13-14
Theme: Are We There Yet? Moving Toward A High-Performing Emergency Management System