District Preparedness System doctrine includes an extensive array of policies, plans and procedures that define the strategic guidance and operational and tactical processes utilized within the DPS.
Homeland Security and Emergency Management Strategy and Playbook
The District’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Strategy establishes the District’s goals and priorities that inform programmatic and budget decisions and lay the groundwork for the development of the District’s preparedness capabilities.
The District’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Strategic Playbook defines specific activities and initiatives that address identified capability gaps and ensure the District is making progress towards the goals laid out in the Strategy.
District Preparedness Framework
The District Preparedness Framework (DPF) is based upon legal guidance and homeland security and emergency management best practices and directly aligns the District’s preparedness protocols with Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness. The Framework is designed to prepare the District by providing direction to enable all of the District’s emergency management and homeland security partners to achieve the collective goals of implementing a coordinated, all hazards approach to planning, organization, training and exercises. The Framework describes the overall organizational and operational concepts for District preparedness and provides strategic guidance and guiding principles for the protection, prevention, response, recovery and mitigation of all hazards.
The mission of the Prevention/Protection Program is to prevent and protect against credible adversarial acts and other hazards that have the potential to cause overwhelmingly harmful impacts to the District of Columbia’s population, critical infrastructures, environment and/or economy. It also describes the actions the District will take to protect the residents, visitors and assets with the highest potential vulnerability to threats and hazards that would affect the District. The Prevention/Protection Program seeks to effectively increase coordination and collaboration amongst District agencies with prevention and protection responsibilities so that the mission can be properly executed and achieved.
The Mitigation Program provides a common approach for reducing loss of life and property damage by supporting protection and prevention activities, easing response and speeding recovery to create better prepared and more resilient communities. Through four guiding principles—resilience and sustainability, leadership and neighborhood-focused implementation, engaged partnerships and inclusiveness and risk-consciousness—the Mitigation Program fosters resiliency to all hazards by improving the District’s capacity to deter, deflect, absorb or withstand the effects of disasters and emergencies. Mitigation activities conducted before or after a disaster can reduce the impact of damage sustained by communities and citizens; help to eliminate the repetitive damage cycle; reduce costs to taxpayer; and reduce the resources expended to prepare for, respond to and recover from future disasters. Mitigation encourages District emergency management stakeholders to make informed decisions supporting permanent hazard protection.
The Response Program focuses on ensuring that the District is able to respond effectively to all types of incidents that range from those that are adequately handled with District resources to those of catastrophic proportion that require regional or federal assets. The Response Program works to save lives, protect property and the environment, meet basic human needs, stabilize the incident, restore basic services and community functionality and establish a safe and secure environment moving toward the transition to recovery.
The Recovery Program includes the capabilities required to promote recovery from all types of disasters and emergencies in the District. Recovery involves decisions and actions concerning rebuilding homes, redeveloping property, resuming employment, restoring businesses and permanently repairing and rebuilding infrastructure. Recovery requires balancing the more immediate need to return the community to normalcy with the longer-term goal of reducing future vulnerability. Recovery actions can also provide individuals and communities with opportunities to become more economically secure and improve overall safety and quality of life.
Multi-year Training and Exercise Plan
In accordance with the DPS cycle, training and exercises serve as a way to build and assess preparedness capabilities. This assessment serves as a way to both set the baseline for the District’s ability to execute a capability and a measurement of how far the capability has progressed. The DPS training and exercises conducted in any given year will align to the DPS strategy and support the implementation of the most recently developed or updated preparedness plans. The Multi-year Training and Exercise Plan is a living document that will be updated and refined annually in accordance with strategy updates and associated capability development activities.
DPS Legal Handbook
The District Preparedness System Legal Handbook (Handbook) is intended to provide District officials and legal counsel—from the Mayor’s Office through the Executive Branch departments and agencies—the appropriate context and authoritative contours of the relevant laws as they apply to preparedness. Because such laws and policies are revised and reissued on a regular basis, the Handbook should be considered a “living” document, which will require review, revisions and updates on a regular basis.