Dept. of Emergency Management selected a leading model by FEMA

By David Perez….
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has selected the Miami-Dade County Department of Emergency Management (DEM) as a leading model for public private partnerships.

Specifically, DEM’s Business Recovery Program is being touted as a template for other large urban areas across the country to follow.

The Business Recovery program is a public-private collaboration to ensure private sector emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. The goal of this program is to minimize the number of businesses, especially small and medium sized, that fail to reopen due to a lack of accurate and actionable information, during and following an emergency or disaster event. This is accomplished through a partnership with the private sector to encourage, where necessary, private sector emergency preparedness and mitigation.

Additionally, the exchange of timely information between the private and public sectors facilitates emergency management response and recovery and enables businesses to make appropriate decisions to sustain continuity of operations.

“We are very pleased FEMA has selected our Business Recovery Program as a model for other large urban areas to follow,” said DEM director Curt Sommerhoff. “The active hurricane sea- sons of 2004 and 2005 were a wakeup call for the private sector. Some local business had record losses as a result of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma where parts of Miami-Dade County where without power for as long as 21 days.”

Since then, many businesses have taken mitigation measures such as installing generators to enhance preparedness efforts. Current partners in the program include Walmart, Home Depot, Visa, Macy’s, Greyhound, Bank of America, Beckman Coulter, Ryder System, Office Depot, Publix, Wachovia, Walgreens, UPS, FloridaFirst (a coalition of financial institutions), T Mobile, and other private sector partners.

The Miami-Dade County Department of Emergency Management is committed to working with its partners and the community to lessen the impact of disasters and potential catastrophic incidents. DEM accomplishes its mission through planning, response and coordination of information and resources.

Residents may access emergency information online at

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