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York Disaster & Emergency Management Students Share Reflections on DEMCON

York Disaster & Emergency Management Students Share Reflections on DEMCON

Disaster And Emergency Management Conference (DEMCON) - International Centre Toronto, Oct 24-25, 2023.

York University’s Disaster and Emergency Management program sponsored four undergraduate students to gain professional exposure and network with experts in the field. They reflect on their experiences. 

Michelle Wiench headshot

Michelle Wiench
BDEM, 3rd Year 

Taking part in DEMCON allowed me to learn about the latest research, best practices and emerging technologies in disaster and emergency management. It brought theories and concepts into a more personal light through real-life examples of situations speakers talked about and how those affected them. A recurring theme was the importance of preparedness being more than creating plans, but being ready (and more importantly, willing) to embrace change in the approaches used and to acknowledge that the existing strategy may not always be the best solution.

Jennifer Sze
BDEM, 4th Year

DEMCON was an amazing experience where I learned that there is a wide range of operations and options for careers in emergency management. My takeaway is to not let the poverty of imagination limit me or my future in any way. I also benefited a lot from speaking with different experts, stakeholders, and vendors. What resonated with me the most is that in emergency management, we have hazard seasons, not singularities. As emergency management evolves, continuous situational awareness of changes is critical.

Janet Higgs headshot

Janet Higgs
Prof. EM Certificate, 1st Year 

The DEMCON was an amazing opportunity to mix, learn and inquire about Emergency Management in all its different iterations. My takeaway was listening to Commissioner Bernard Derible of Emergency Management Ontario, who said Ontario is committed to financing, educating, planning and preparing for emergencies. It made me feel more confident about entering this field.

Layanah Sheikhani headshot

Layanah Sheikhani
BDEM, 2nd Year  

Attending DEMCON gave me an inside scoop of what it’s like to be an emergency manager and how the field operates. What I consider to be the highlight of this experience was listening to George Kourounis, a global explorer, adventurer and storm chaser, talk about his passion for volcanoes and hurricanes and how often he puts his life on the line to gain as much knowledge as he can. I’m very grateful for this opportunity because it showed me the different things an emergency manager can do and achieve in their career.