Today, public, private sector and nonprofit officials from across the National Capital Region adopted a strategic plan for regional homeland security. The plan will direct regional disaster planning and preparations for the next three to five years.
The action was taken by the National Capital Region’s Emergency Preparedness Council during its meeting at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Since 9/11, the council has led regional homeland security planning, developing the Regional Emergency Coordination Plan in response to the attack on the Pentagon. The council is composed of local elected officials from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia and representatives from the private and nonprofit sectors, including the Greater Washington Board of Trade, The Nonprofit Roundtable, The Community Foundation of the National Capital Region, District of Columbia Hospital Association, and Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.
“The strategic plan is a statement of what we value and what is most important to strengthen emergency preparedness and response in the National Capital Region,” said Gerald E. Connolly, chair of the Emergency Preparedness Council and chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. “It is a roadmap for emergency planning and the investment of resources. Its adoption today is a significant milestone, bringing consensus about emergency planning among 20 jurisdictions, two states, the capital city and our federal partners.”
The complete plan is available here.
Five years after Sept. 11, 2001, the NCR continues to strengthen its regional disaster planning and preparations, and the strategic plan carries on the region’s ongoing coordination efforts.
The region has a history of collaborative disaster planning — even before the attack on the Pentagon. However, these planning efforts have been accelerated and expanded to meet new and uncertain challenges.
While it will offer a roadmap for regional disaster planning, the strategic plan is not an emergency operations plan. Operational plans flow from the strategic plan and are developed by the respective jurisdictions of the region.
Local jurisdictions have their own operations plans because emergency response is a local responsibility, as is recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Response Plan. Local operational plans are linked by the Regional Emergency Coordination Plan that details when and how jurisdictions work together in a regional emergency.
The strategic plan offers a vision, mission, goals and objectives. The NCR’s vision is “working together towards a safe and secure National Capital Region,” and the mission is to “build and sustain an integrated effort to prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from all-hazards’ threats or events.”
With the plan, there are four identified goals that, if accomplished, will allow the region to reach its vision:
- “Collaborative Planning and Decision Making,” which aims to improve regional planning processes;
- “Informed, Engaged and Prepared Community,” which focuses on making sure residents have the information they need to ensure their own safety;
- “Enduring Capability to Protect and Prevent,” which addresses threats and vulnerabilities for which the region needs to prepare; and
- “Sustained Capacity to Respond and Recover,” which focuses on building regional capabilities to speed the restoration of normal services after a disaster.
Aligned with these goals, the plan further specifies programs or projects that will help the region achieve its goals. For these programs, there are key tasks and milestones, anticipated outcomes and performance measures.
For more information, contact:
Jo’Ellen Countee, D.C. Emergency Management Agency, 202-727-2985
Jim Pettit, Maryland Governor’s Office of Homeland Security, 410-974-2353
Bob Spieldenner, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, 804-897-6510
Merni Fitzgerald, Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs, 703-324-3189