Washington DC regional response plan unveiled
| 09.14.2006 | 08:30:24 | Views: 2781 | ID:
September 14 '06: Washington DC area government officials, first responders and emergency management operators have approved a strategic homeland security plan the Washington Post reported Thursday. The two-year effort was finalized in a 118-page plan that includes responses from "everything from decontaminating victims of a chemical attack to providing for stranded pets."
One of the central theme's of the plan is confronting regional fragmentation, the Post reported. More than "20 cities and counties and scores of federal agencies, spread out over two states and the District" proved to pose large problems for integration of information and coordination of efforts between first responders and emergency management operations.Gerald E. Connolly (D) the chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in Virginia told the Post, "This is actually a very significant milestone in regional preparedness. ... Trying to bring all these folks and cultures to the table ... is not an easy task. But is' and essential task." Though the report was just released, some projects have already begun, the Post found. One example is the "development of an evacuation plan for the region, and a high-tech communications system for emergency responders. ... Officials emphasized that the plan is a blueprint for improvements - not a manuel on responding to a terror attack." To develop and implement the plan, regional officials "at different levels of government, as well as business groups and nonprofit organizations" were used to create the plan. The plan is divided up into four areas beginning with a planning and decision-making process followed by community engagement. Prevention and protection and then response and recovery will all help to create a culture of response and preparedness, the Post reported according to regional officials.
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