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News Release

Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Contact: Brendan LaCivita
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay Coles James Issues Memorandum to Agency Chief Human Capital Officers on Emergency Preparedness

Memorandum requests update on agencies' progress in thirty days

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James today issued a memorandum (attached) to Federal agency Chief Human Capital Officers asking each to continue to make emergency preparedness a top priority in the wake of the second anniversary of the terror attacks of 9/11/01 and to build on employee safety efforts undertaken to date.

"People throughout the world will be pausing tomorrow to remember the tragic events of September 11, 2001," wrote James. "We must never forget that dark day in our nation's history and resolve to ever maintain our vigilance against possible future attacks while at the same time preparing should they occur."

Earlier this year, OPM developed the Emergency Preparedness Matrix for agencies to report on their state of preparedness. This matrix attached to the memorandum instructs agencies to review and update their actions in each of the categories listed, such as conducting threat assessments and practicing shelter in place and fire drills regularly, and to provide an update on progress by October 15.

"We believe the matrix will serve as a basis to help you focus on this vital part of your mission - protecting the health and safety of your employees - while identifying the actions all of you have undertaken over the past year to ensure that your agencies are ready should the forces of evil again choose to test our strength and national resolve," James said.

In addition to the matrix, OPM also developed three emergency guides for federal managers, employees and their families to use in their emergency preparedness efforts. The guides are available for download from the OPM website at To date, over 360,000 manuals have been downloaded. James again encouraged agencies to share information on the emergency manuals with their employees.

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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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