Preparedness for Federal Employees in the National Capital Region

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Emergency Preparedness

Each day federal employees provide an array of essential services.  Your own personal readiness for natural, accidental, or intentional hazards is a key part of the Federal Government's ability to continue serving its citizens.

Emergencies can happen at any time, without warning.  Federal, state, local, and non-governmental organizations are committed to helping people in need, but that assistance may be delayed during a large incident.  You and your family should be ready for the unexpected and prepared to provide for yourselves.

The best way to ensure your own safety and well-being is to take responsibility for your own emergency preparedness.

Even if you do not have designated emergency duties, you may be expected to carry out your job functions in an emergency.  Other conditions at your workplace or in your community also could make it difficult for you to get home right away.  Your family should have plans and resources to take care of themselves in your absence.

Fortunately, there are practical steps you can take now that can make a big difference in a wide range of emergencies:

To further assist federal emergency managers and employees in the National Capital Region, the Office of National Capital Region Coordination developed a booklet called Emergency Preparedness for Federal Employees in the National Capital Region.  The booklet may be downloaded via the link, or ordered from the FEMA Publication Warehouse at 800-480-2520 or  Please be sure to reference the publication number FEMA P-912 when ordering from the FEMA Publication Warehouse. 

Independent Study Courses for Preparedness

To help enhance the preparedness of the Federal workforce, the Office of National Capital Region Coordination, in partnership with the Office of Preparedness Integration and Coordination, has created two new Independent Study (IS) courses on emergency preparedness for federal employees. These courses introduce federal employees to practical steps they can take to prepare for emergencies that could threaten their home, workplace, or community.

  • Federal employees in the National Capital Region should take IS-450.NC, which includes information specific to the Washington, D.C. area (including information on Metro, closure and dismissal procedures, and local alert systems).
  • Federal employees living or working outside the National Capital Region should take IS-450.

Each course takes approximately one hour to complete.

These new courses are designed so federal departments and agencies can adopt them as mandatory or recommended training, depending on agency needs.  Some agencies intend to implement these courses as required training for all personnel; others plan to recommend these courses to employees with certain emergency duties, such as members of an Emergency Relocation Group or Occupant Emergency Team.
These two new courses also form the foundation of the DHS Employee Preparedness Initiative (EPI), and will be required training for all employees across the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

These courses can be taken online along with other preparedness courses, for free, at the public website for the Emergency Management Institute's Independent Study Program.  Students who complete training through this site receive a certificate of completion after successfully passing a final exam.

Emergency Alerts

It's important to know what to do and where to go in an emergency, especially during the first 15 minutes. Capitalert is your way to get free emergency alerts from the local governments in the Washington, D.C. area.  The emergency alerts can tell you where to go, what to do and how to stay informed.  Because the alerts are sent to cell phones or e-mail, you'll get instant access to information no matter where you are.  Sign up today by visiting Capitalert.

Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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