Staff from the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) have been heavily involved in working with the Office of Emergency Management and many other key agencies in revising and updating the county’s Pre-Disaster Recovery Plan (PDRP). The team recently met for a training simulation in the county’s Emergency Operations Center to test and validate the recommendations and updates incorporated into the plan.
The PDRP fulfills Fairfax County’s commitment to maintain readiness capabilities for all phases of emergency management, and thus to be able to respond to disasters or large-scale emergencies. It guides county actions to recover from incidents and disasters in support of a resilient, safe and physically accessible, sustainable and economically strong community; identifies the Recovery Support Functions that each county agency will perform; and establishes the high-level objectives for carrying out short-, intermediate- and long-term post-disaster phases.
In the event a disaster impacts residents’ ability to live in their homes, HCD staff play a key role in facilitating the transition from short-term housing needs such as shelters, hotels, tents, etc. to intermediate housing solutions.
The tabletop exercise on February 12 simulated a mock Level III tornado disaster which caused heavy damage to residential and commercial areas and significant flooding as well. The simulation was very helpful in identifying strengths and areas for improvement to be addressed before a “live” exercise to be held in May 2020.