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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 21, 2005
Contact: Eldon Girdner
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay Coles James Announces Survey of Emergency Preparedness in Field Offices

Pilot survey will examine field offices in Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth and San Antonio

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James announced that OPM is conducting a pilot survey project on emergency preparedness for field offices of Federal agencies in Houston, Dallas-Ft. Worth and San Antonio. The survey, which will be similar to the emergency preparedness surveys that are being sent to the heads of Federal departments and agencies, will examine the extent to which emergency preparedness policies are enacted in field offices.

"Federal departments and agencies have an obligation to plan for the security of their employees," stated James. "OPM is conducting the survey to ensure that individuals located outside the agency headquarters have benefited from the increased focus on safety and emergency preparedness that has occurred in the last three years."

The survey is a matrix built on recommended minimum criteria agencies should meet as they take steps to ensure the safety of their employees. It focuses on agency planning, employee communication, and building operations. Specific criteria include, but are not limited to, shelter-in-place drills, distribution of emergency guides, and the designation of emergency personnel.

Local level emergency surveys were conducted last year in Boston and New York City in preparation for the national political conventions.

As an update to the annual emergency survey conducted in the two previous years, and to again be issued in February, a web site has been established to make it easier for agencies to respond to the survey and for the information to be tabulated and analyzed.

OPM has made available a number of tools to assist agencies, including emergency guides for Federal managers, employees and their families, in their emergency preparedness efforts. These guides, of which 685,000 copies have been downloaded or distributed, are available for download from the OPM website at http://www.opm.gov/emergency/.

Agencies are asked to complete the survey on-line and have been given until the close of business February 4, 2005, to provide the information to OPM. Results of this year's survey will be compared to those completed by the agency headquarters and analyzed for areas where improvements should be made.

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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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