Emergency Preparedness Outlined in Emergency Operations Plan

Published on
07/18/2023
The Fairfax County Emergency Operations Plan

 

Emergencies can strike without warning. It’s important for residents to be prepared and well-equipped to handle any situation. It's also crucial for local governments to have effective and efficient plans in place.

In Fairfax County, the Emergency Operations Plan, which was recently approved by the Board of Supervisors, serves as our comprehensive framework for managing such situations. It establishes the overall roles and responsibilities for emergency operations.

The emergency plan also fulfills the requirement of the Commonwealth of Virginia by incorporating the National Incident Management System as the county standard for emergency response operations.

“This process started in the summer of 2022, working with all the participating county departments and agencies through Emergency Support Functions meetings to review and update the multi-discipline, all-hazards plan based on changes to the government structure and areas identified during the three-plus year response to COVID-19,” noted Seamus Mooney, director of the Department of Emergency Management and Security.

 

KEY ELEMENTS

The plan promotes effective coordination among various county departments, agencies and partner organizations, ensuring a unified and efficient response.

One of the key elements of the plan is its focus on active and efficient response strategies. It establishes various protocols, such as incident command structures and a robust information gathering and dissemination system. It also prioritizes recovery and resilience efforts, assessing damages, providing support to affected individuals and businesses, and restoring critical infrastructure.

“The EOP establishes the overall roles and responsibilities for emergency operations in a single, comprehensive framework for the management of major emergencies and disasters,” Mooney noted.

 

TYPES OF EMERGENCIES

The types of emergencies covered in the plan are wide-ranging, including natural disasters like floods, hurricanes and earthquakes, as well as man-made emergencies like hazardous material spills and terrorism. Each type of emergency is thoroughly analyzed, and specific protocols are established to ensure a coordinated and efficient response.

A strength of the plan is allocation of resources and personnel during emergencies. The plan prioritizes critical needs, involves all relevant stakeholders in making collaborative decisions, allows for real-time monitoring and requires regular evaluation and feedback. This enables county team members to rapidly allocate resources where they are needed most.

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