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June 14, 2017 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
1600 East Lamar Blvd.
1600 East Lamar Blvd.
POC: Jon Hall – EPC Chair
FAA – Southwest Region Emergency Planner
817-357-7994 Govt. Cell
- Session Opened by FAA Administrator – Kelvin Solco and FEB Executive Director Kelly Anderson.
- Everyone in attendance and on the phone introduced themselves – Please see attached Sign-In Sheet
- During introductions, it was noted that several members serve as their HQ agency devolution site. Devolution is one of the more challenging components to the COOP Program. This may be one of the key topics we want to focus on as we move forward.
- Purpose of DFW FEB Emergency Preparedness Committee – EPC Chair, Jon Hall discussed the purpose of the DFW FEB Emergency Preparedness Committee.
- Facilitate emergency preparedness/planning efforts across the Federal Community
- The group discussed collaborative communication among the federal agencies during potential emergencies affecting the DFW area. Kelly expounded upon the tools available to all agencies, such as the notification system she uses to push out information as well as the future use of the FEB Website, Facebook and Twitter. Kelly will add our committee members to future FEB communication efforts.
- Share lessons learned from previous events and exercises/tests
- Identify the greatest needs of our Federal Community and work to address those needs with training, exercises and collaboration opportunities
- One of the challenges that was identified during the meeting was leadership involvement. Without proper planning, training and exercises we will not have a clear understanding of the appropriate response. Often times it takes an actual event to get leadership involved. This is an area we will look at focusing on in future meetings. There are many who may have good ideas concerning how to get the leadership support needed to develop a robust COOP capability.
- General Understanding of the Committee
- Non Judgmental
- Open to all ideas
- Recognize we all have different challenges and experience levels
- 2017 Goals
- Initiate the group and begin networking and getting to know one another
- As we become more familiar and comfortable with one another, we will likely identify those in the group who may have experience with specific challenges we are facing. We don’t want to place any limits on how you glean benefits from this group. When you have specific concerns or issues, you may feel free to send that to the group as a whole through Kelly or Jon; or, if may simply go directly to a member that you feel can provide you with the expertise you may be looking for.
- If you have something to share with the group due to specific questions or concerns at meetings, you may feel free to share with everyone in the meeting, send an email to Kelly or Jon, or simply reach out to the person who may have expressed the need for help.
- Provide each of us an opportunity to identify where we are on the spectrum of emergency preparedness
- This committee is intended to be non-judgmental. Everyone is at a different phase of preparedness, from just beginning the planning efforts to being complete and looking to refine and enhance existing plans. Everyone began at the beginning, and those who are further along, are more than happy to share experiences with those just beginning.
- Identify where our emergency preparedness expertise lies within the Federal Community – this includes: Continuity of Operations, Occupant Emergency Planning and Security
- What Concepts/Topics Would You Want this Committee to Consider?
- There was good discussion on the challenges of communicating with employees during and after an emergency. Some agencies have robust notification systems in place and others may not. Some suggestions were shared with the group concerning best practices for use of existing systems as well as some potential work around solutions for those who do not yet have a system in place. Existing systems like AdHoc and NXT Communicator are used by some in the group. One method of sending information to employees without an existing platform is to use e-mail and build an email group using the phone number and email extension for the carrier to send email to text messages. (ie email@example.com) There are some challenges to the use of these systems as with any communication method. Some employees decline to be part of a system due to personal security concerns. Others may not update information as it changes. Communication will continue to be a focus area of this committee.
- Some other areas of focus that we want to include during upcoming meetings and efforts of this committee are:
- Identify what our individual Emergency/COOP/Security preparedness needs are.
- Assisting one another in developing and/or conducting Continuity or other Emergency exercises.
- Offer training opportunities that best meet our overall needs.
- Offer assistance in the development of COOP or Occupant Emergency Plans etc.
- Begin to bring in state and local agencies into our meetings/discussions. We will find that we have some of the same requirements.
- 2017 FEMA/FEB COOP Exercise Opportunity
- FEMA and the FEB will host/encourage an agency wide COOP Exercise again this year. The event will be scheduled to occur around the 3rd week of October. All agencies are encouraged to participate if possible. The scenario is usually established, but changes to fit agency needs are perfectly acceptable and the date doesn’t have to correspond perfectly to the established date. We will work with you as much as possible to include your agency into the event.
- For those developing exercises who may not have attended specific exercise development training, such as the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) course, feel free to lean on others in the group who may have had experience with exercise development in the past. One idea to get you started is to define what your specific objectives for the exercise will be, prior to spending hours in the development process. The objectives really help to frame the exercise as a whole.
- 2017 COOP Training Opportunity
- All members were encouraged to think about what type of training they may need. Jon will bring a training list to the next meeting to share so everyone has an idea of what is available.
- Brad McDannald, the FEMA, Region VI Continuity Manager will be attending these meetings when possible and would be more than happy to help us with our continuity programs, including training and exercises. His contact information is: Office – 940-898-5131 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Additional Discussions
- Solutions for one agency may not work for another. We are all different agencies with different challenges. Some are small; some are large. Some have one building; some have many. Some have detailed guidance from HQ; some do not. Nothing will be exactly the same for any of us, but we can all learn from one another.
- Some are getting involved with the health department concerning Closed Points of Distribution (POD’s). A potential benefit to the community, Health Department, your Agency, and your Agency personnel and family members. We can invite the Health Department to come out and provide information to the committee if desired.
- Some Agencies have robust telework plans that can be very beneficial during a major disaster or any event affecting your workplace. For those who may be struggling with this idea, we can again share lessons from those who’ve tackled some of those challenges already.
- We will be looking to bring in additional levels of attendees in the future, such as State, Local, Tribal, Territorial government representatives. We all have similar requirements and after a disaster, we all end up working together in our individual communities. It can be very beneficial to already know those who may be coming to support a disaster in your area, affecting your building and employees.
- The new Federal Continuity Directive-1 was released in January. It was suggested that the committee look at the changes in the new directive at our next meeting. This will be added to the agenda for review.
- Meetings will typically be held quarterly. If there are specific events that affect the entire committee we may schedule more frequent meetings around those, however, typically we will look to have breakout meetings separate from the committee meeting to address larger topics, such as the yearly COOP exercise.
- The first meeting was well attended, and good discussions were begun. We look forward to future meetings and opportunities to assist one another.
- If you would like to offer meeting space for our next meeting or any future meetings, please send an email to Kelly or Jon.