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Emergency Preparedness

Wednesday, September 10, 2003
MSG 2003-Prepare
Chief Human Capital Officers
Kay Coles James, Director
Emergency Preparedness

As you know, agencies throughout Government and people throughout the world will be pausing tomorrow to remember the tragic events of September 11, 2001. We must never forget that dark day in our Nation's history and resolve to ever maintain our vigilance against possible future attacks while at the same time preparing should they occur.

As Chief Human Capital Officers, you have as one of your primary responsibilities the safety and health of the Federal employees in your Departments and Agencies. It is a critical responsibility I share with each of you, and one that absorbs my thoughts every day. It is important that this vital issue be an active part of your daily planning and preparation as well.

The President recently designated the period of September 5 - 7, as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance in honor of those who were killed in the brutal attacks of September 11th , and their families. During this time, as we all gather for September 11th observances, I ask each of you to make emergency preparedness one of your primary focuses. Earlier this year, OPM developed the attached Emergency Preparedness Matrix to report on the state of preparedness in the Federal Government. Over the next 30 days, please take the time to review your agency's actions in each of the categories listed, and provide an update on your progress by October 15th. We believe the Matrix will serve as a basis to help you focus on this vital part of your mission - protecting the health and safety of your employees-- while identifying the actions all of you have undertaken over the past year to ensure that your agencies are ready should the forces of evil again choose to test our strength and national resolve.

OPM also developed three emergency guides for Federal managers, employees and their families to use in their emergency preparedness efforts. These guides are available for download from our web site at and I commend them to you and your emergency preparedness teams.

As we pause to remember the lives lost and the countless futures forever stolen, please join me in rededicating ourselves to the cause of preparing for another dark day that we all hope and pray never comes.