Tuesday, March 22, 2011

DEM Launches Online Continuity of Government Website to Make State and Local Disaster Planning Easier and More Efficient

The Florida Division of Emergency Management announced today the launch of an online planning tool that will help state agencies, local governments, and non-governmental organizations create plans for the continuity of government during and after a disaster. This innovative tool will help ensure that all agencies and local governments can continue to meet the needs of its citizens after a severe emergency. Furthermore, this web-based planning resource makes it easier for state agencies and local governments to prepare for the potential needs of their citizens after catastrophic incidents.

Florida’s long experience with emergency situations teaches us that disasters can impact an organization’s leadership capabilities and ability to deliver crucial services. This interactive tool ensures that state agencies and local governments possess the necessary plans to provide continuous leadership and authority during a major event. A continuity of government plan reinforces an organization’s stability and legal authority to act in a crisis, and helps to ensure that the lifesaving mission of state and local agencies continue even after a severe disaster impact.

Planning for continuity of government operations maximizes the ability of state agencies and local governments to provide three critical services to residents during and after disasters, namely:

 Reducing and mitigating the disruption to essential government functions
 Ensuring that there are approved plans for the transfer of operational command and control
 Creating a pre-approved decision mechanism for delegations of authority

The Division conducted a series of BETA tests with several state and local agencies before officially launching the website. This testing enabled programmers to troubleshoot any potential problems with the system, and allowed agencies to provide valuable feedback to better the system.

To create your own family disaster survival plan, please visit FloridaDisaster.org. Once there, you can develop an individualized plan to keep you and your family safe during an emergency.

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