District of Columbia Continuity Planning Partnership

CHHS Senior Policy Analyst Eric Oddo continues to provide comprehensive planning services to the District of Columbia (DC) cabinet-level agencies in the development, implementation, and exercising of Continuity of Operations (COOP) plans. The eight year relationship between CHHS and the District’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) for COOP support is one of the longest in Center history.

This fall, Oddo delivered COOP update briefings to a number of critical District entities, including: Mayor Muriel Bowser and her cabinet; the DC Emergency Preparedness Council (EPC); the DC Emergency Response System (ERS) Committee; and the Risk Management Council.

Oddo has provided planning support to over three dozen DC agencies in updating the content of their COOP plans to ensure maximum compliance with District and federal standards. During 2015, four agencies conducted COOP emergency exercises to improve their resilience and preparedness. The exercises challenged participants to develop effective solutions for continuing essential business operations when faced with the loss of a primary facility. The most recent trainings include:

DC Libraries COOP Tabletop

On June 23, 2015, Senior Policy Analyst Eric Oddo facilitated a COOP tabletop exercise (TTX) for the DC Public Library system. The scenario featured a steam line rupture in the main electrical room of the MLK Library, which is the system’s flagship library and houses its executive leadership and administrative offices. Exercise participants, including the Library’s Executive Director and personnel ranging from finance and operations to public safety and information technology, assessed how the Library would execute a safe evacuation and continue essential functions in the event their primary facility was incapacitated for two weeks. As a result of the exercise, Oddo is working with the District’s Risk Manager to implement a corrective action plan.

DC Child and Family Services Agency COOP Tabletop

On September 16, 2015, Oddo worked with the DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) to conduct a COOP TTX. Participants faced a mock electrical failure at the agency’s main facility and discussed how the CFSA would continue mission essential functions for four business days. A cross-section of organizational personnel talked through how critical services such as an emergency call center, providing clinics to abused and neglected children, and placing children in foster homes could be run from alternate locations, as well as which government and private stakeholders they would collaborate with.

DC Business Emergency Management Workshop

Oddo and CHHS Senior Law and Policy Analyst Ellen Cornelius facilitated a workshop for the DC Business Emergency Management Operations Center (BEMOC) on October 8, 2015. BEMOC is an important part of DC’s emergency response capabilities, and works to manage the interaction between the public and private sector before, during, and after an emergency. The workshop featured three individual vignettes – a building fire, a severe derecho storm, and an active shooter.

This text is taken from the CHHS Fall 2015 Newsletter

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