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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Contact: Eldon Girdner
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director James Announces Federal Emergency Guides Downloaded 58,000 Times Since August Updates Issued

James Encouraged by Proactive Preparedness Steps Taken by Federal Team

Washington, DC - Kay Coles James, Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), announced that emergency guides for the federal workforce have been downloaded 58,000 since being updated last month. James stated, "I am encouraged that Federal employees and managers are taking proactive steps to educate themselves on what they can do to make the Federal work environment more secure."

September has been designated by the Department of Homeland Security as National Preparedness Month and around the country Federal agencies have planned activities to highlight the importance of individual emergency preparedness. James stated, "Federal employees are on the front line in the battle to secure the safety of our Nation. Because of this role, managers and employees need to know what real steps can be taken now to protect themselves and their families in the workplace and at home. I applaud the action by Secretary Ridge and our teammates at the Department of Homeland Security to raise awareness of these critical issues to all Americans."

Last year, OPM released emergency guides to provide direction to Federal employees and managers on general steps they can take to protect themselves from a potential biological, chemical, or radiological event and spelled out the responsibilities of the Federal Government and individual agencies to protect employees. In addition to the guides for Federal employees and managers, OPM also produced a national and DC-specific emergency preparedness guide for families.

In August, OPM updated the employee's and manager's emergency guides to provide guidance on telework arrangements, designation of emergency personnel and shelter in place protocols. The emergency guides have been downloaded 588,000 times, with 58,000 download since the updates were made available one month ago. The emergency guides can be found at the web address, www.opm.gov/emergency.

The guides provided a basis for seven emergency preparedness seminars OPM conducted to train 595 emergency professionals from 130 federal agencies, components, and State and local officials. Seminars were conducted in Washington, DC, Boston and New York City.

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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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