Emergency Response Resources for Public Works
Until recently, disasters were considered rare events in Connecticut. Public Works officials were not always provided with emergency response training or resources they need to properly respond in a disaster.
The events of September 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina in August, 2005 and Connecticut events such as the Tornado in Wethersfield have taught many that municipal officials have a primary responsibility and burden, of managing emergency events. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Presidential Directive 8 (HSPD-8) established the National Response Framework (NRF) as a guide for preparing for emergencies. The NRF emphasizes that local agencies must manage disasters on their own entirely or in some cases, without state or federal assistance for at least the first 24 to 72 hours. Part of this preparation involves engaging public works in the planning and response of emergencies. HSPD-8 officially recognized public works officials as first responders. DEMHS established Public Works as an individual Emergency Support Function (ESF-3) to include them in the planning and response for Connecticut emergencies.
Public works officials must develop a proactive plan to aide them during emergencies when time is limited and quick organized procedures are critical. The four essential elements in a disaster response and recovery plan are Prevention and Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery. Prevention and mitigation include a detailed inventory of assets that may be affected by a disaster and what steps can be taken to reduce that damage or loss. Preparedness includes planning, training and evaluating. Response is determined by the disaster and would change with each incident. Recovery includes final actions to restore the areas to the pre-disaster state and any after-action reports and changes to be implemented for next time.
Public works employees are officially regarded as first responders as they have a pivotal role in planning, preparing and responding to disasters. It can be overwhelming to stay abreast of laws, receive the proper training and develop the necessary protocols needed for emergency management, especially for small agencies. Emergency response training is critical to save valuable time and energy. All employees need formal and on-the-job training in operation and safety of any equipment they will be responsible for. Employees will also need training concerning specific tasks they will need to complete during an emergency.
During 2010, the Technology Transfer Center held two trainings for Public Works Emergency Responders:
As a part of the development of these training, we also have prepared this set of helpful resources so you can use them for your in-house training programs.
Public Works - Emergency Response Training Resources
National Incident Management System (NIMS) - IS 100 and 200 are required for nearly all employees of public works agencies in order for those entities to receive federal disaster reimbursement.
NIMS IS-700.A -- An introduction
IS-100.PWb -- Introduction to the Incident Command System (ICS 100) for Public Works
Technology Transfer Center Emergency Response Safety Briefs:
Other Public Works Safety Briefs can be found on the main T2 website
Public Works -- Helpful Internet Guides/Connecticut Resources