Emergency Preparedness: How Does Your Agency Compare?

The Office of Personnel Management will issue its third annual federal agency emergency preparedness survey in February.

When it comes to emergency preparedness, how does your agency compare to other agencies in the federal government? Inquiring minds would love to know. In fact, they will know after the Office of Personnel Management issues its third annual federal agency emergency preparedness survey in February.

The survey is taken so OPM can gauge the preparedness levels of federal agencies in keeping employees safe and maintaining operations in the event of a man-made emergency or natural disaster.

“Knowing how prepared federal agencies are in the event of an emergency is critical to an agency’s mission,” said Office of Personnel Management Director Kay Coles James. “In order to perform the work of the American people, agencies must plan for the continuity of business under the most challenging circumstances. The surveys provide a comparison of agency readiness so that managers can work toward improvements and achieve better results.”

Early last year, OPM developed the Emergency Preparedness Matrix for agencies to report on their state of preparedness. This matrix 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 OPM updates on their progress.

The survey usually is issued during the first quarter of the calendar year and results normally are released in the spring.

“A component of any agency’s mission is to ensure the safety and security of its employees, as well as the integrity of its core business operations,” James said. “The survey is one way we can measure the emergency preparedness of agencies, and it enables agencies to think of additional ways they can prepare their work forces, such as telework training for emergency situations.”

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47