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News Release    

December 22, 2003


Steinhaus Announces Adoption of Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan

County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced today the County’s adoption of a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP). The plan is the result of a combined effort between local, state, federal and private agencies to enhance the County’s ability to manage emergency situations in peacetime or under wartime conditions to provide adequate response that would minimize injury and damage with an eye to speedy recovery time.

“Preparedness is the key to prevention,” said Steinhaus. “The plan we’ve devised outlines the actions to be taken by the county before, during and after emergencies. Such a plan will save lives and minimize property damage,” he added.

The planning effort incorporates New York State’s Emergency Management Plan. The County’s development of the CEMP was authorized by State Executive Law and the New York State Defense Emergency Act. Its purpose is to minimize or prevent the effects of disasters and to enhance the efficiency of response and recovery operations within Dutchess County. The CEMP includes the results of a systematic investigation and analysis of potential hazards that could affect the county, an assessment of the capabilities existing in the county to deal with potential problems and, finally, the development of necessary actions to achieve expected results.

The CEMP assigns responsibility for disaster response to the appropriate county department and/or agency within the framework of the county’s present capabilities. The county is responsible for assisting the local levels of government, i.e., cities, towns and villages, in the event that they have fully committed their resources and are still unable to cope with any disaster. Damage assessment lies within the local jurisdiction where damage occurs.  Prevention is aimed at strengthening Dutchess County’s ability to protect citizens, preserve structures and to provide emergency services. It also includes increasing public awareness. The State and Federal government can also play a part in this activity.

Identified emergency response operations in the CEMP include detecting, monitoring and assessing the hazard, for example, advisories regarding floods, blizzards, or ice storms. Alerting and warning endangered populations, taking protective actions, and allocating/distributing equipment and resources. Response operations are initially the responsibility of and controlled by local government but may be supported and coordinated by Dutchess County Emergency Response as necessary.

The County’s coordinated effort focuses on the following public relief and services:

  • Identifying materials, facilities, and services that may be required in times of emergency.

  • Centralizing and coordinating resources, manpower, and services.

  • Communicating with the public during emergency.

  • Providing care for the injured and needy.

  • Activating county response assets.

  • Implementing emergency procedures.

  • Developing criteria for establishing priorities with respect to the restoration of vital services and debris removal.

  • Planning a system for continued operation of county government essential services.

With the adoption of the CEMP this month, focused efforts have been identified and the plan provides for successful and capable implementation of each goal. The framework of the comprehensive plan lends to acceptance of continued research and management of ongoing available resources and services.

“The County’s Emergency Management Plan is not just a document but an ongoing process. The county is committed to reviewing and improving the plan on an annual basis in order to better protect the citizens who rely on it,” said the County Executive.



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