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Mayor Brown To Participate In Disaster Preparedness Planning
City of Buffalo Disaster Preparedness and Response Pilot Project Planning Session to be Held in Washington, D.C. by ReadyCommunities Partnership
Mayor Byron W. Brown will travel to Washington, D.C. tomorrow, April 2nd, to participate in the ReadyCommunities Partnership’s 2008 Briefing and Initiatives Planning Session. The session is the follow-up meeting to the Mayor’s attendance at the December 16, 2007 National Congress for Secure Communities conference, which was a two-day forum designed to foster public/private partnerships for disaster preparedness and response at the local level. Former U.S. Undersecretary for Homeland Security Asa Hutchinson will join Mayor Brown in the planning session.
The National Congress for Secure Communities is affiliated with the National Council of Readiness and Preparedness (NCORP). NCORP was formed to help develop ways of multiplying the public sector crisis response capability by leveraging the assets of the private and community sectors.
Formed on the recommendation by NCORP’s National Task Force, the ReadyCommunities Partnership is designed to strengthen community-level readiness during the first hours after disaster or attack. At the December conference, the National Congress for Secure Communities designated the City of Buffalo as national pilot project for the organization’s ReadyCommunities Partnership program.
The ReadyCommunities Partnership is a collaboration by leaders from all sectors to identify and demonstrate how innovation, technology and best practices can help identify and fortify local critical infrastructure, and leverage local private and community sector assets to augment public sector response capability during the first 72 hours of a national or large-scale crisis.
“We are going to demonstrate in Buffalo how to bring these sectors together to develop, plan and execute a resilient redundant infrastructure model that brings in the private sector locally and nationally, to help identify and fortify local infrastructure critical to the resilience of Buffalo and surrounding communities,” said Mayor Brown. “We have to lead the change in expectations - that there is no 'they' who are going to do the work - we have to do the work, promote engagement, develop the cross boundary solutions, and work with our state and federal partners to work out our realistic division of labor during the first 72 hours of crisis and how resources flow into communities to pay for response and recovery.”
The goals of the Buffalo pilot are to:
1) develop ways of linking FEMA and the city government into critical local service, communications and distribution
2) use the Essential Public Network (EPN) to tie this critical private and community infrastructure into the existing FPS secure
3) invite Buffalo-area U.S. Congressional, state legislative, agencies, local representatives and their senior staff into the EPN to
4) develop a template of the private sector best practices required for the pilot to form the basis of a request for government
“It's important to engage our congressional, state legislative and state/local representatives in this process, so that there's complete transparency and knowledge of the barriers, requirements and solutions,” said Mayor Brown. “Our goal should be to define our objectives quickly, quantify our plan by mid-year, identify and recruit our key pilot partners, demonstrate our cross-boundary communications capability, identify a sample of critical local infrastructure, and then demonstrate how our local and national partners can help fortify and leverage our local capabilities to make our region more resilient. We'll work with the Kennedy School of Government to develop the Buffalo case study and report this to the delegates of the 2008 National Congress for Secure Communities.”
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Photos by Angel Art LTP, compliments of the Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additional photos by Adrian Roselli, compliments of Algonquin Studios