Committee's Mission: To provide APWA members with resources and a forum for exchanging and developing ideas, knowledge, and technologies for minimizing the impact and consequences for disasters. It also intends to foster recognition of public works' important role(s) in emergency management, including its strong involvement in mitigation and recovery, as well as influencing public policies that will strengthen the ability of government at all levels to better address disaster management.
Today, as recognized First Responders, we are an integral part of the “All-Hazards” and “Whole Community” approach to both emergency management and homeland security. We are constantly being reminded that we must be prepared to stand on our own for the first 72 hours. Change will continue to be forthcoming for public works professionals. Technological and policy changes in our daily operations and emergency management will be dotted across our future. Committee members represent APWA on many diverse committees on some of these issues such as:
- FirstNet Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network
- National Homeland Security Consortium
- FHWA’s Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Program
- and others
Collaboration between APWA and FEMA/Emergency Management Institute (EMI) led to the creation of four public works-centric online courses, available as web-based independent study programs. Compliance with National Incident Management System (NIMS) requires that all agency responders complete:
Together with the following four, a well-rounded training base is available to all organization staff—at no cost, other than the commitment of time.
The Emergency Management Committee urges each public works professional to take the lead in working with your fellow first responders. Utilize disaster drills and planned special events as training opportunities for you and your staff to integrate into your community’s Incident Command System (ICS).
Health Issues and Public Works
In 2014, the big health issue was Ebola. Now, in 2016, Zika has been on the forefront of public works leaders conversations. This mosquito born virus has become a challenge to health providers. It also continues to present problems to public works agencies that have mosquito control programs as we must deal with the growing fear and misinformation being spread. Over the coming year, public works agencies will work with Health Departments to continue to address this growing problem.
Share and Discuss
Members also have the opportunity to network and discuss these and other issues electronically via Emergency Management infoNOW community in APWA Connect.
There are five subcommittees which assist the Emergency Management Committee fulfill its mission: