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Secretary Napolitano Discusses Emergency Preparedness with National Capital Region Leaders

Release Date: 
September 1, 2009

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today met with Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine to discuss coordination on emergency preparedness and response efforts in the National Capital Region (NCR).

“The National Capital Region poses unique security challenges that require close coordination between the federal government and our state and local partners,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Mayor Fenty, Governor O’Malley, Governor Kaine and I are working together to build on the substantial progress that has been made since 9/11 to integrate our emergency response plans and capabilities to keep our Nation’s capital safe.”

“The District and its federal and state partners have made great strides in developing collaborative emergency response plans,” said Mayor Fenty. “Today’s meeting brings us closer to ensuring a timely, coordinated response to security threats in the National Capital Region.”

“The most solemn obligation we have as public officials is to maintain the safety and security of our citizens. That’s why we’ve come together in partnership today—so that we can more effectively serve and protect our citizens,” said Governor O’Malley.  “In times when we face an array of new threats to our security not only are our goals interconnected, so too are our most effective strategies for reaching them.”

“We’ve made great strides in the National Capital Region in both improving coordination and creating shared strategies to address potential security threats,” said Governor Kaine. “Together with our counterparts in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and the Department of Homeland Security, we’re building on the progress we’ve made in the last few years and taking the appropriate measures to keep our citizens safe and secure.”

The meeting, held on the first day of National Preparedness Month, focused on situations that require a coordinated response, including natural disasters, acts of terrorism and public health crises—expanding on an already strong record of cross-jurisdictional cooperation to ensure that a NCR-wide strategy is in place for the potential impact of H1N1 flu during this fall’s flu season.

The NCR includes Washington, D.C., and eleven other local jurisdictions with a large federal presence and a population that moves across the region frequently.

Since 2003, the NCR has received $335 million in DHS Urban Area Security Initiative grants for evacuation; shelter and decontamination; medical surge and mass care; exercise and training; information sharing; communications; and critical infrastructure protection.

Every year, the principal leaders of the NCR meet to discuss collaboration on preventing, preparing for, and responding to incidents in the area.

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