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Natural Hazards Unit

The Natural Hazards Unit administers the state's all-hazards planning programs. The goal of the unit is to ensure that the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) is prepared for prompt, efficient response and recovery to protect lives and property affected by disasters. Several planning programs are housed here: Comprehensive Emergency Management Planning, Continuity of Operations, Fuels Planning, and Regional Planning. In addition, the unit lends support to other agencies and jurisdictions, as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private sector partners, in their respective emergency preparedness planning.

Comprehensive Emergency Management Planning (CEMP)

The Natural Hazards Unit coordinates with county emergency management agencies to help them prepare well-organized and functional emergency management plans. A Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) is an operations-oriented document that establishes the framework for an effective system to ensure that all counties within the State of Florida will be adequately prepared to deal with the occurrence of emergencies and disasters. The Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan unites the efforts of state agencies, special districts, local governments and volunteer organizations for a comprehensive approach to reduce vulnerability to an array of identified hazards.

The unit is also responsible for developing and updating the state's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. This task is done by coordinating with other state agencies and working diligently to revise items within the plan in order to reflect National Incident Management System requirements, Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD-8) requirements, FEMA’s Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG-101), and lessons learned from previous response and recovery operations as well as exercises. This "all hazards" plan serves as a framework to make certain that the state is prepared for major, minor, and catastrophic disasters.  Chapter 252, Florida Statutes, requires the State of Florida and its counties to have a CEMP.

Continuity of Operations Planning

Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) is an effort to ensure the continued performance of critical essential functions during a wide range of potential emergencies. The Continuity of Operations staff interacts with local and state agencies on a daily basis to make certain that those agencies are prepared to provide critical services in an environment that is threatened, diminished, or incapacitated. This goal is accomplished through the reviewing of plans, comprehensive procedures, plan development, and provisions for alternate facilities, personnel, resources, interoperable communications and vital records. Technical assistance provided by the COOP program includes reviewing plans, providing guidance, training, and making recommendations. The program coordinator also provides support and assistance to local and state government agencies as well as non-government entities in the development of their respective COOP plans.

Fuels Planning

An effective disaster response will always rely on adequate fuel supplies for both responders and citizens. Working with the Bureau of Response’s Infrastructure Section and Emergency Support Function 12 (Fuels) the Natural Hazards Unit develops and maintains plans and procedures to ensure an adequate supply of fuels to support emergency response and recovery operations.  Working within the structure of the State CEMP, energy planners maintain an all hazards approach to energy emergency planning.

Regional Planning

Regional Domestic Security Task Force (RDSTF) planners assist with regional planning, training, and exercise initiatives by aiding in the development or enhancement of regional operating procedures, plans and requirements for the management of homeland security grants.  These planners—in conjunction with Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) RDSTF Planners—continuously work to establish coordinated functional relationships among the various disciplines (Emergency Management, Fire, Law Enforcement, Health, etc.) in accordance with Florida’s Domestic Security Strategy.

Catastrophic Planning

While Florida has responded to many significant disasters, it is the job of emergency management to be proactive in preparing for the next "what if" event and plan for it.

Florida Catastrophic Planning (FLCP)

The Florida Catastrophic Planning (FLCP) Project considered two catastrophic events: a breach of the Herbert Hoover Dike around the waters of Lake Okeechobee as a result of a Category 5 hurricane making landfall in South Florida, which has a population of nearly seven million. A direct hit by a Category 5 hurricane with a subsequent failure of the Herbert Hoover Dike could have a devastating impact—not only to Florida but also to the entire U.S. economy. Millions of people are projected to be displaced for a significant period of time. Concern over this prompted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State of Florida to begin the FLCP initiative in the fall of 2006.

The main products of the FLCP project are two sets of planning guidance (Federal and State) used to strengthen planning and procedural elements of existing emergency response plans.

Tampa Bay Catastrophic Planning

The Tampa Bay Catastrophic Plan was created to address the challenges of response and recovery during a catastrophic event in the Tampa Bay area. This document focuses on the procedures, communication channels and coordination strategies necessary to rapidly request and receive critical resources post event. It relies on earlier catastrophic work as well as local perspectives to assist in the assessment of damage, calculation of tactical and support resource need, requests for assistance and management of those resources. This document also investigates the roles of community partners including the private sector, not-for-profit organizations, volunteer organizations, faith-based partners and survivors in response and recovery.

Staff Contacts

Brian Richardson – Manager, Natural Hazards Unit / Planning Chief
(850) 815-4303

Wendell Dumas – Continuity of Operations (COOP)
(850) 815-4305   

Kaylynn Perry – Continuity of Operations (COOP)
(850) 815-4337

Elise Fisher – Comprehensive Emergency Management Planning (CEMP)
(850) 815-4304

Michael McElroy – Fuels Planner
(850) 815-4313

Quintin Jones – RDSTF Planner (Region 3)
(850) 445-0580




October 3, 2017 13:17 

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