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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Contact: Brenda Bertrand
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Participates in FEMA COOP Manager Training in Boston and New York City

OPM teams up with FEMA to further equip agencies on emergency preparedness

Washington, DC - In anticipation of the upcoming national conventions and in an effort to continue to strengthen federal agencies' preparedness in case of an emergency, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will participate in the upcoming Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Continuity of Operations (COOP) Manager Trainings in Boston, July 13-15, and in New York City, July 20-22.

"OPM has been intensely focused on the issue of emergency preparedness and on ensuring the federal workforce stands ready in the event of any emergency, be it man-made or natural," said OPM Director Kay Coles James. "Managers have a fundamental responsibility to protect and educate their workforce. In an effort to ensure agencies are prepared, OPM has hosted six emergency preparedness forums to date in Washington D.C., New York City and Boston. The FEMA trainings are another opportunity to get out message out and to reinforce and expand upon the groundwork we have established."

FEMA's new national training course is intended to provide guidance in agencies' planning to maintain essential functions and resume necessary agency operations in the event of an emergency. OPM's role is to provide the much need human capital component and expertise to support FEMA's COOP training efforts.

Director James noted that the results of this year's Security of Federal Workplaces survey, which measured the security plans of federal agencies, "are critical in offering informative data for the development of preparedness trainings and help agencies target where more work is needed."

Additionally, OPM in conjunction with the local Federal Executive Board (FEB) offices, began an aggressive campaign to provide emergency preparedness forums in Washington, D.C., New York and Boston. These trainings focused on the areas needing improvement, including shelter-in-place, evacuation - drills, telework, and other human resource flexibilities to be used in emergency situations.

A total of 605 emergency professionals from 142 agencies and sub-agencies have been trained at the OPM forums. OPM has also scheduled another emergency preparedness forum for Monday, July 26 to be held at the OPM headquarters in Washington, D.C.

"OPM is committed to educating agencies as they move forward and address any weaknesses that may exist in their emergency planning efforts," James said. "We will continue to work with agencies like FEMA and provide support for these programs, as this partnership will only strengthen the effectiveness of the federal government as it prepares for this summer's major national events."

FEMA and OPM are planning to work together in additional COOP training sessions in the coming months.

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Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.


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