La Plata County Emergency Operations Plan

Dynamic Planning & Science has partnered with La Plata County to develop an updated Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). The newly developed EOP is set to reach completion by the end of 2020, being alive and ready for use by 2021.

An Emergency Operations Plan is a detailed document owned by Local Government, that describes how people and property, of the specified community, will be protected from all natural and man-made disasters. The plan intricately provides details for various aspects of emergency management including but not limited to, Preparedness, Prevention, Response, Recovery and Mitigation.

While differing communities face different threats and hazards, the Emergency Operations Plan must provide details for incidents that are unique to the community and to incidents that may have the potential to impact life and property. During this project, DP+S is focusing in on all potential threats and hazards that may impact the community residents and visitors of La Plata County. A few examples would include, wildfire, public health incidents, winter storms, utility failure, terrorism, impacts to transportation and much more.

The La Plata Emergency Operation Plans is unique being that the plan addresses each individual incident and specifically outlines which local agency is responsible for carrying out specific response actions, provides identification of needed personnel, equipment, facilities, supplies, and other resources that may be necessary to address the incident at hand. The greatest benefit of La Plata County utilizing a formal and modernized Emergency Operations Plan, is the ability that it provides to Local Officials to properly coordinate each moving part of an incident – response, ultimately providing an organized and timely response, enhancing safety to the community members, visitors and response personnel.

Generally, in building an EOP, it is beneficial to have in person meetings with Local Government and Local Stakeholders to openly discuss, needs, capabilities, identify gaps in the existing plan etc. However, provided the COVID-19 Pandemic, DP+S has taken on the task of adapting to and overcoming circumstances of having to complete this project strictly virtually.

Considering the significance of an EOP, I bet many may wonder how this product can be built successfully with the elimination of in person meetings. The great news is, DP+S has a team comprised of determined, hardworking and creative individuals that are always finding enhanced working methods to ensure that all projects exceed expectation.

For this project, all workshops, including stakeholder interviews and annex workshops, necessary to gather input and content, have been conducted via virtual video conferencing portals. This has provided engagement opportunities for stakeholders to participate, from the comfort of their very own at home working quarters or secluded offices, which many have found as an easier way to attend more events by eliminating the need for travel.

DP+S has utilized various methods of online communication and outreach to stakeholders to keep the momentum and engagement following. DP+S has also provided La Plata County with a customized website to allow Local Government, Local Stakeholders and the public, to follow along with the status of the new EOP, information regarding EOP’s, interactive contact opportunities and much more, all which make this EOP project one for the books!

DP+S looks forward to the completion of the La Plata County Emergency Operations Plan and future implementation!