Our Services

CHHS calls itself a “non-profit consulting group,” but what does that mean? In short, it means that our personnel provide a range of services improving the security and emergency preparedness of government and other institutions. In addition to the various technical assistance and program support that our staff provide, CHHS is also a university academic center, dedicated to expanding the field of knowledge in homeland security and emergency management.

Continuity of Government Planning

Continuity of Government is the principle of establishing defined procedures that allow a government to continue its essential operations during a catastrophic event (natural or manmade). CHHS assists state and local governments in development of COG plans, including identifying orders of succession (including back-ups and chain of command) for executive and legislative branches.

Continuity of Operations Planning

Continuity of Operations (COOP) planning is one of CHHS’ signature issues. A COOP plan enables an organization to preserve, maintain and/or reconstitute its most essential functions in the event of any disaster or emergency that could potentially disrupt operations and service. CHHS offers both COOP plan management and drafting projects, as well as a DHS/FEMA certified training course on COOP.

Critical Infrastructure Protection Planning

Critical Infrastructure is defined as the physical and virtual systems that are ‘so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety’ (includes major highways, bridges, power plants, public transportation, etc). CHHS has worked with jurisdictions in order to assess risk to specific critical infrastructure sites, assisting in the prioritization of resources and grant funds. Similarly, CHHS has worked to address virtual threats to computerized systems throughout government; this is also known as Cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity

CHHS helps our clients navigate the burgeoning issues surrounding cybersecurity. Through development of academic coursework, consultation with government commissions, and drafting legislative proposals, CHHS has amassed a vast knowledge of the complex issues of cyber law, cyber policy, planning, training, and exercises to keep private and public clients protected and informed in this area.

At the University of Maryland, Francis King Carey School of Law, CHHS teaches a course on the best practices in the law and policy of cybersecurity. We also currently advise the Maryland Governor’s Commission on Cybersecurity Innovation and Excellence and the Baltimore-Washington Cyber Task Force. When technical assistance is required, CHHS has corporate and academic partners both domestically and internationally that can augment our cyber work.

See article and resources for publications that have featured CHHS expertise in cybersecurity.

Emergency Operations Planning

EOPs are plans which describe which government agencies and organizations will do what, as well as when, with what resources, and by what authority – before, during, and immediately after an emergency. CHHS works with state and local governments to write and update EOPs. Currently, many projects focus on updating EOPs to meet the guidance set forth in FEMA’s National Response Framework.

Exercise, Evaluation & Training

CHHS regularly provides, in conjunction with plan development, training for agency personnel on relevant issues. Training allows plan users to become familiar with various portions of the plan, and their roles and responsibilities therein. CHHS develops personalized exercises (a disaster scenario simulated in a low-stress, discussion based environment) to test each plan it develops. Representatives from government agencies attend these exercises to gain a better understanding of how their plans work. (CHHS walks agency personnel through a mock disaster scenario and asks what they would do at various stages of the disaster from the warning signs through recovery.) Exercises also help identify gaps in the plans, which are then captured in an after-action report, so they can be addressed prior to an actual emergency.
Associated Individuals: 
Laura Hoch

Functional Needs Populations

During any emergency, certain individuals and groups may require additional resources and supplemental planning. Functional Needs Populations may include the following: persons with disabilities, non-English speakers, people without personal transportation, and children and the elderly. CHHS has conducted a National conference focusing Functional Needs Populations in an emergency, and is drafting a National Action Plan which provides recommendations to all levels of government on preparing fucntional needs populations for disasters.

Grant Writing and Grant Management

Every year, state and local jurisdictions are required to complete comprehensive grant applications to be awarded Federal Homeland Security funds. CHHS has extensive experience working with both state and local jurisdictions on all aspects of the grant application, including: investment justifications, priority areas, individual project proposals, fund allocation, and drafting. Once funds have been awarded, CHHS assists jurisdictions with program and project management.

Interoperability Planning and Program Management

Interoperability plays an important role in emergency management and homeland security planning. Interoperability is the ability of first responders and other emergency management personnel to communicate with each other, both within a jurisdiction and between neighboring jurisdictions, when an emergency occurs. A common problem is the lack of radio interoperability between neighboring jurisdictions’ first responders. CHHS has assisted in identifying gaps in interoperability, and developing solutions to fill those gaps.

Mass Evacuation and Sheltering Planning

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita brought national attention to the issue of safely evacuation and sheltering large populations during an emergency. CHHS works with various jurisdictions to develop strategies and plans for mass evacuation and sheltering. Overarching issues include: notification, identifying evacuation routes, managing traffic patterns, identifying shelters of varying sizes, and ensuring shelters comply with all applicable regulations.

Public Health and Hospitals

The field of emergency management now also addresses public health threats such as pandemic flu and bioterrorism. CHHS has worked with numerous public health organizations on issues such as: medical surge planning, legal issues surrounding public health emergencies, and hospital preparedness and response.

Public Safety Support

Whether looking for a complete review and evaluation of your police, fire/ems, or correctional agency’s general policies and procedures, or increasing your operational preparedness for an emergency situation, CHHS is offering the staff support and expertise to help you efficiently accomplish your goals.  Our public safety experts will couple their knowledge of the field with CHHS’ strategic goal and plan development, resource management, grant management, crisis management, and creation and assessment of drills and exercises (tabletop, functional and full-scale) – all tailored to your agency’s needs.

Associated Individuals: 
Vernon Herron

Resource Management Planning

Resource Management Planning is preparing for the efficient and effective deployment of an organization's resources when and where they are needed. Addressing resource management problems before a crisis is key to a state or region's short- and long-term response and recovery. CHHS provides the public, private, and non-profit sectors with planning, analysis, and strategic partnership-building in the areas of resource management.

Related Events

DHS COOP Events