A number of Mid-Atlantic states are forming what they are calling the All Hazards Consortium to increase preparedness by enabling emergency management participants to share strategies and integrate planning.
The AHC, a not-for-profit organization, emerged from last year’s All Hazards Forum, a regional conference bringing together industry, universities and the state homeland security and emergency management and citizen leadership from the region.
Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia have agreed to participate.
“We are focused on the common goal of getting better prepared for natural disasters and terrorism,” said Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich. “This consortium allows private companies, public safety agencies, academic institutions, volunteer and faith-based organizations to tap into many areas of expertise and make us all better prepared across the mid-Atlantic region.”
Emergency management stakeholders have already reviewed regional public safety communications, including the ability to share voice and data information during emergencies. Future AHC issues for review are critical infrastructure protection and evacuation planning.
The AHC plans to focus on challenges identified during the annual All Hazards Forum. The All Hazards Forum is scheduled for October 25-27 at the Baltimore Convention Center (www.allhazardsforum.com).
All Hazards Forum topics include Homeland Security Presidential Directives, port security, evacuation planning and biohazard response and recovery.
A “lessons learned” session on Hurricane Katrina will include National Guard Adjutants General. Best practices on implementing Citizen Corps, identifying business resources during a crisis and panels on terrorism are among the other topics.
“Preparedness, mutual aid and evacuations are among things we deal with that impact entire parts of the country and must be executed on a regional level,” said Tom O’Reilly with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.
The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), the State’s technology transfer and development arm, manages the All Hazards Consortium.
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