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
“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,”
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
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
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
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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