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Upcoming Class: FEMA COOP Class June 6-7, 2017

What is the FEB’s role in an emergency?

The Federal Government accounts for the largest workforce in the San Francisco Bay Area. When an emergency exists, federal agencies’ response should be in a coordinated manner.  The SFFEB and its members are aware of the need for effective emergency preparedness, including employee readiness, safety, communications, coordinated emergency response, and workforce management within the federal community.  While the severity and consequences of an emergency cannot be predicted, effective emergency preparedness, Continuity of Operations planning, employee readiness, and safety and security precautions can minimize the impact on SFFEB member agencies.

The SFFEB performs a lead role in advocating Federal agency and employee preparedness and providing emergency liaison and communications during emergencies, and its planned activities related to the federal community, as directed by OPM.  The FEB assists FEMA in promulgating federal continuity program guidance and encouraging member organizations to fully integrate continuity planning and procedures into all aspects of daily operations to create a ‘continuity culture’.  The SFFEB can aid Bay Area Federal departments and agencies by providing vital emergency preparedness, security, and employee safety information through its formal and informal networks.  The SFFEB can accomplish this by:

  1. Support of the Crisis Management Team (CMT), with representatives from the FEB Board of Directors, FEMA, OPM, FPS, FBI, GSA, and back up FEBs to develop and maintain a protocol to be used in non-emergency and emergency situations (refer to FEB Emergency Notification and Dismissal Plan)
  2. Maintenance of an emergency alert notification system and protocol, and local hotline.
  3. Regular communication with FEB membership regarding developing situations that could affect worksite operating status or employee safety and security.
  4. Sponsoring an interagency Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG), which:
    • Facilitates an interagency/cross-sector emergency planning event annually;
    • Offers educational and training events throughout the year as needed;
    • Disseminates information to/from national level HQ OPM within a timely manner;
    • Provides guidance and assistance to members as appropriate;
    • Liaises with Federal/Tribal/State/Local government officials on community workforce emergency preparedness issues.
  5. Participation in local EP/COOP networks, such as building security committees and theRegional Interagency Steering Committee (RISC)
  6. Publication of the Emergency Notification and Dismissal Plan for the Agency Directors.
  7. Distribution of OPM updates regarding human resource, pay and leave benefits policies during emergencies.
  8. Maintenance of the annual FEB Membership Directory, promoting networking and resource sharing among agencies for emergency and other purposes.

Does the San Francisco FEB direct agencies to close their offices when an emergency situation requires it?

No. When a situation of urgency is widespread and requires a coordinated response by the Federal community, the SFFEB recommends to Agency Heads, dismissal, delayed arrival, or closure, which are advisory only. The final decision to dismiss employees or curtail operations at a given facility rest with the Director of each agency and each building’s Designated Official.

How do I know if I am supposed to report to my office in an emergency?

Each agency is required to have emergency procedures and plans to contact and alert its employees regarding the status of office operations. Employees should ensure that they have their agency’s current emergency contact information with them at all times (at home, at work, during travel), as well as any building hotline numbers. Agencies will let their employees know if offices are open or closed; if employees are to use adjusted home departure policy; or if unscheduled leave policy is in effect. Of course, maintaining awareness of local news and transit alerts is always an important part of staying prepared and knowing how to respond appropriately. In disasters, the local news media will convey information from Federal agencies for their employees and customers.

Active Shooter Training and Worker Safety Training is Available at your Agency

Contact your local FPS inspector, which you can find through the Denver Megacenter (DMC) at 1-877-437-7411; or Scott Martin, OSH Specialist, General Services Administration, 415-436-7389 or scott.martin@gsa.gov.