Following the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, government, nonprofit, and private sector officials are releasing an updated Homeland Security Strategic Plan for the National Capital Region (NCR). The plan will guide regional disaster preparations for the next five years, including how the NCR will spend millions in federal grant funds.
The plan has been adopted by the National Capital Region Emergency Preparedness Council, a regional advisory body established through the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. The council is composed of local elected officials from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia; public officials from local, state and federal agencies; and representatives from the private and nonprofit sectors. Organizations include: Greater Washington Board of Trade, The Nonprofit Roundtable, District of Columbia Hospital Association, and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
“Disaster preparedness must be a partnership,” said Frank J. Principi, chair of the Emergency Preparedness Council and a member of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. “This plan was built upon collaboration and cooperation among the area’s governments, nonprofit organizations and business groups. Because a hurricane or terrorist attack can affect the entire metropolitan area, it’s critical that we prepare and respond to disasters as a region.”
The complete plan is available online at http://www.ncrhomelandsecurity.org.
The strategic plan focuses on advancing the region’s capabilities in several areas: improving its interoperable communications systems; enhancing its ability to share information during emergencies; protecting critical infrastructure like power and water supplies; and improving its ability to prevent deaths and injuries from terrorism and natural events.
The new plan builds upon the original plan released in 2006, one of the first post-9/11 strategic plans. It will be reviewed and revised annually based on the region’s accomplishments, and new information on best practices and lessons learned. It is anticipated that the region will develop an updated strategic plan in 2015.
While it offers a roadmap for regional disaster planning and builds upon much of the work of local and state governments, the strategic plan is not an emergency operations plan. Local and state governments are responsible for responding to emergencies within their jurisdictions. However, the plan outlines the capabilities that the region as a whole needs to develop to prepare for and respond to disasters.
For more information, contact:
Robyn Johnson, District of Columbia Homeland Security
and Emergency Management Agency, 202-481-3010
Ed McDonough, Maryland Emergency Management Agency, 410-517-3632
Bob Spieldenner, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, 804-897-6510
Merni Fitzgerald, Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs, 703-324-3189