Chicago, Ill., Jan. 12, 2012 --Administrator Fugate addresses a collection of federal, state and local officials, as well as private sector partners, regarding working together during a complex disaster response.
For our FEMA regional offices across the country, engaging internal and external stakeholders in planning for future emergencies is a top priority. This means building relationships throughout the whole community to find opportunities to prepare both man-made and natural hazards.
FEMA Region V, which covers Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, is currently engaged in several planning projects to ensure that all levels of government, the private sector and non-governmental organizations are ready for future events. As a part of this, Region V has been engaged in a collaborative effort with the state of Illinois, Cook County and the City of Chicago to develop a comprehensive and integrated operational plan with the goal of a more effective and coordinated response to a detonation of an improvised nuclear device. The planning project, which was initiated by Regional Administrator Andrew Velasquez III has been ongoing since the fall of 2010.
Since the formal kickoff in October 2010, efforts have included well-attended planning workshops and summits with first responders, elected officials, the private sector and government agencies at the local, state and federal level. Yesterday, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Regional Administrator Velasquez addressed attendees at a summit near Chicago to discuss the important role the private sector plays in planning for a large scale, complex incident. Business leaders were challenged to think about how a catastrophe would affect their facilities, their employees, the infrastructure needed to sustain their operation, the vendors they depend on for materials, and the potential demand for services could potentially overwhelm their capabilities. Additional workshops and exercises are planned throughout 2012.
In any large disaster, it is not possible for a single organization to stand alone; instead, a network of private and governmental organizations must work together to help communities respond and recover.
For more information on how to make your family, your business and your community more resilient, go to www.Ready.gov.