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News Release

Tuesday, February 03, 2004
Contact: Brendan LaCivita
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay Coles James Issues 2004 Emergency Preparedness Survey

Memorandum asks Federal agencies for updates on safety and security, including emergency personnel designations

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James issued the second emergency preparedness survey for Federal agencies. In a memorandum (attached) to heads of executive departments and agencies, James asks agencies to report their progress in ensuring the safety of their employees.

“More than ever, the work of Federal employees is critical to the well-being and security of our Nation,” James wrote in the memorandum. “As key Government officials, we have as one of our primary responsibilities the safety and health of our Federal teammates.”

Based on feedback from last year’s survey, James issued an expanded survey this year to include agency efforts to identify and name emergency personnel to conduct essential agency operations during a man-made or natural emergency. The survey is a matrix built on recommended minimum criteria agencies should meet as they take steps to ensure the safety of their employees. The survey 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.

“Over the course of the past several years, agencies have made great headway and are committed to improving their internal safety measures. This survey provides agencies a measure with which to gauge their ongoing progress and illustrates governmentwide efforts in emergency preparedness. Fundamentally, agency leadership has a responsibility to reach out to employees and their representatives to increase the preparedness of their agencies,” James stated.

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 are available for download from the OPM website at

Agencies are asked to work with their designated Chief Human Capital Officers to complete the survey and have been given until the close of business February 15, 2004 to provide the updates to OPM. Results of this year’s survey will be compared to those of the previous year and will be reviewed by the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness of the Chief Human Capital Officers’ Council.
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OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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