Catastrophic Events Response Plan Approved in Chesco
A basic continuity plan to deal with events like widespread power outages and floods was approved by the county commissioners, and a detailed plan should be ready by the end of the year.
Editor's note: The following is a press release from Chester County.
Chester County Commissioners approve Continuity of Operations plan
Essential services must be provided during emergencies
WEST CHESTER—The Chester County Commissioners have approved a base plan that will ensure essential services will be provided to citizens during emergencies.
The Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plan details steps to be taken during such emergencies as widespread utility outages, fires, floods, severe weather incidents and wide-spread sickness. Approval of the base plan provides guidance in organizing efforts, assigning responsibilities and establishing a multi-year strategy including training, exercises and periodic plan reviews.
Commissioner Chairman Ryan Costello said, “This important plan complements similar work already accomplished by the judiciary under the leadership of the President Judge. This Continuity of Operations Plan for the non-judicial departments will help ensure a continuing high level of essential services for our citizens – not just the 9-1-1 operation, but health, environmental and human service programs that are critical to the safety and wellbeing of everyone in the County.”
Commissioner Kathi Cozzone said, “The core focus of our strategic plan is to ensure a high quality of life for the citizens of Chester County. We recognize that to fulfill this commitment we need to ensure that county government functions are available to everyone whenever they need them. This plan puts us in a much better position to do just that.”
The COOP base plan was researched and compiled by county personnel who have expertise in the strategic running of Chester County’s Emergency OperationsCenter, saving taxpayer dollars in external consultancy costs.
Commissioner Terence Farrell added, “We certainly hope that we are spared any catastrophic event. But if we have a major problem, this plan puts us in a much better posture to provide the citizens with the services they need regardless of any interruption. The plan, devised by county staff members who have the professional knowledge required to undertake a project such as this, is organized to respond to varying levels of disruption, with a framework and management team to restore the most critical functions first.”
By the end of the year a planning team, led by the county’s Department of Emergency Services with support from the Department of Computing and Information Services, will complete a plan that includes detailed information needed to restore services should a disruption occur.