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Public welcome to attend Aug. 15 Emergency Preparedness Summit
Bob Frank
Bob Frank

An AmeriCorps Emergency Preparedness Summit will be held at the UW-Richland Coppertop Theatre on Saturday, Aug. 15.

This summit is for anyone who is interested in uniting for a common goal  –  to be better prepared as a county, one person/family at a time. With this event, an individual will walk away with knowledge of how to be more resilient. Awareness is the key and then applying the tips learned is what’s vital.

There will be display tables and demonstrations by the Pine Valley Repeaters amateur radio club, AmeriCorps Disaster Preparedness, GoMacro, and Richland County ADRC, along with materials from event sponsors.

Several sponsors have kindly donated items for a drawing: NOAA Weather Alert radios, smoke detectors, first aid kit, gallons of water, smoke/fire and carbon monoxide alarm, emergency car kit, LED Maglite, and a backpack emergency kit. You need not be present to win.

There is no cost to attend this event, but lunch will only be available to those who pre-register. RSVP by August 10 at 608-647-8187 or send e-mail to to be included in the lunch reservation. 

Featured speakers are: John Kieffer of Christian Emergency Network of Appleton; Greg Engle and Sue Meilahn of Wisconsin Emergency Management of Madison; and law enforcement officer Lt. Bob Frank.

The event will begin at 10 a.m., with opening remarks by Richland County AmeriCorps Disaster Preparedness Coordinator Connie Studnicka. 

At 10:30 a.m., John Kieffer will discuss response plans that are commonly used when an emergency or disaster occurs. Kieffer is Senior Associate Pastor of an Appleton Evangelical church and, as a governing elder and executive director, he also served 15 years as a chaplain with the Appleton and Grand Chute police departments. He is currently the Wisconsin State Administrator for the Christian Emergency Network and the Wisconsin State Facilitator of City and Community Ministries for the Mission American Coalition.

Following Kieffer’s talk there will be a short break and then lunch at noon, provided only with an RSVP.

At 1 p.m., Greg Engle and Sue Meilahn will discuss aspects of emergency preparedness from the local level, to the state level to the national level. Engle has served with Wisconsin Emergency Management as the Director of Planning and Preparedness since 2012. In that role, he oversees the development of plans and policies for emergency response, training and exercise programs, the developing of public/private partnerships, and the implementation of technologies to support emergency management. Engle also serves as the AmeriCorps ReadyWisconsin Program Director, which is now in its third year of supporting local preparedness and volunteer programs in counties across the state. Prior to joining WEM, he worked for the state as the Homeland Security Program Director. In this role, he worked closely with local governments to implement preparedness programs using over $200 million in federal funding.

There will be a break in between the discussion by Engle and Meilahn and the following presenter, Bob Frank.

Lt. Frank will discuss ways to be more alert about cyber security and computer scams. He has worked in law enforcement for 28 years and has investigated numerous computer and consumer fraud cases. “Education is key to getting people to realize that, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” he says. He and his daughters have taught classes in fraud detection and Internet safety for adults and children. “I like to focus on helping parents understand online safety so they can protect their family,” he says. His experience in working conventional and high-tech fraud cases gives him the unique ability to educate the public about multi-trillion dollar consumer scams.

Closing remarks by Richland County Emergency Management Director Darin Gudgeon will follow Frank’s discussion.