On January 24, Fairfax County, Virginia's Board of Supervisors announced that they had endorsed a disaster recovery planning document for the region, ending a process that started as far back as March of 2011, when the municipality began the development of a rough draft version of the plan.
With the help of the Fairfax County Pre-Disaster Recovery Plan (PDRP), the federally funded project put in place a number of provisions that those familiar with the procedures say will allow local government officials to successfully continue essential operations during a disaster.
"The PDRP will help ensure Fairfax County can not only survive a disaster, but will be able to recover from it as the great county it is today," Chairman Sharon Bulova said in a press release. "Recovery isn’t just about removing debris or repairing property. We must be ready to get back to work and patronize our local businesses to keep our economy moving. We must be ready to take our kids to school and to reclaim our social lives."
Bulova also indicated that the plan was reviewed by the government's emergency management officials, who are currently implementing it as a model that towns and cities can use to draft future disaster recovery documents. As such, reports indicate that the U.S. Economic Development Administration is looking to promote the plan on a future national tour aimed at drawing awareness to the benefits of continuity of operations plans.
Municipalities that feel they aren't adequately prepared with the necessary continuity of operations planning documents may want to speak to a private consultant that can provide tips and advice. By forming a partnership with this type of dynamic resource at an early stage, government officials will even gain the ability to test these provisions through table top exercises and other innovative methods.