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The State of Missouri is taking a proactive approach to both preparation and response to major incidents of natural disasters or terrorism, such proactiveness being critical to the protection of the people and infrastructure of the state as well as recovery from the effects of such an incident. Recent disasters, both in and out of the State of Missouri, have made clear the need for an effective proactive partnership between public emergency responders and the private sector to assist the state in these efforts.

In this regard, the Missouri Public Private Partnership (MOP3) Committee was authorized under the Missouri Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) to foster direct involvement of the private sector to augment and support Missouri's prioritized homeland security / emergency management issues and initiatives.

This committee promotes the application of best business practices; partnering on planning, training and exercise development; fostering participation in intelligence/information fusion; and provides a private sector platform to address issues and concerns for homeland security and emergency management initiatives.

Current initiatives include development of a Business Emergency Operation Cell (BEOC) concept to provide direct private sector expertise to the State during disasters, and on an development of a secure asset/resource registry, as an actionable database of private sector companies that would provide goods and/or services upon declaration by authorized personnel of a disaster.

The private sector must become part of the solution to address the State’s homeland security and emergency management issues.

Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-5) states, “The Federal Government recognizes the role that the private and nongovernmental sectors play in preventing, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies. The Secretary will coordinate with the private and nongovernmental sectors to ensure adequate planning, equipment, training, and exercise activities and to promote partnerships to address incident management capabilities.”

Within this context, public-private partnerships have demonstrated their value, leveraging modest investments into an exponential growth in homeland security and emergency response capability. Public-private partnerships can help fill gaps in homeland security that neither government, nor business can fill alone. Increasingly, they are assuming a vital role in our Nation’s homeland security strategy.

Business-government partnerships require a level of trust that is easiest to build at the local level. Relationships of trust are strengthened as partners work together on a regular basis to achieve a common objective. Partnerships make it possible for business and government leaders to work together for the welfare of their communities – not once, but on an ongoing basis across many initiatives.

Partnerships can also sort through the multiple and overlapping requests from federal, state and local government agencies. Partnerships allow business and government leaders to:

  • coordinate requests from multiple government agencies;
  • design their own initiatives;
  • rank initiatives according to the needs and priorities of their respective regions;
  • and develop and implement a coherent plan

"Both the public and private sectors have a stake in disaster prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery, but they often lack the relationships necessary to coordinate preparedness efforts. In many communities, public safety agencies and private sector entities conduct planning and preparedness operations largely independently of each other. As a result, each often fails to fully understand or appreciate the other’s role in emergency prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery. Public safety agencies often underestimate the private sector’s interest and involvement in emergency preparedness efforts. Private sector groups can overestimate the capabilities of public sector partners, failing to recognize the need for their own contributions to an incident response. In addition, the private sector often perceives cooperation with public safety agencies as risky because of concerns about the protection of proprietary information and public disclosure regulations." Lessons Learned Information Sharing, Best Practice, Public-Private Partnerships for Emergency Preparedness.

In this regard, Missouri is taking a proactive approach to both preparation and response to major incidents of natural disasters or terrorism, such proactiveness being critical to the protection of the people and infrastructure of the state as well as recovery from the effects of such an incident. Recent disasters, both in and out of the State of Missouri, have made clear the need for an effective proactive partnership between public emergency responders and the private sector to assist the state in these efforts.

Mission

The Missouri Public Private Partnership (MOP3) Committee seeks to foster direct involvement of the private-sector to augment and support Missouri’s prioritized homeland security issues and initiatives and emergency management initiatives.

  • This partnership seeks to involve the private sector (businesses, trade associations and other non-governmental organizations) as part of the solution to improve the State’s practices, processes, and procedures in support of disaster response.
  • This partnership will serve to provide advice, information, and recommendations on issues associated with Missouri’s Homeland Security Strategy from a private-sector perspective.
  • It will promote the application of best business practices; collaborating on planning, training and exercise development; fostering participation in intelligence/information fusion; and provide a private-sector platform to address issues and concerns for homeland security and emergency management initiatives.

Organization

The MOP3 organizational structure reflects the desire to encompass private sector representation from each of the Department of Homeland Security critical infrastructure sectors as reflected in the National Response Framework, and augmented by additional State sector representation that reflects the totality of a response effort.

Opportunities for involvement of the private sector in support of State / Regional Homeland Security Initiatives:

  1. Identification of Emergency Assets/Resources. The region’s emergency management and response agencies continue to work together to improve the response and recovery capabilities for major incidents of natural disasters or terrorism. Recent disasters, both in and out of the state of Missouri, have made clear the need for an effective partnership between public emergency responders and the private sector. The committee will provide oversight over the implementation of a private-sector asset resource registry as a state-wide disaster and emergency resource identification and management tool. The Missouri Emergency Resource Registry (MERR) will connect emergency management personnel to needed private sector resources (goods, services, equipment, volunteers) quickly and effectively during a catastrophic event. The MERR will use a secure database accessible only to state and local emergency management personnel. The MERR will be an actionable database of private sector companies that would provide goods and/or services upon declaration by authorized personnel of a disaster or State of Emergency in the State.
  2. Intelligence / Information Fusion. Public agencies in the State could benefit from the increased involvement of private companies in helping to deter terrorist activity through increased surveillance and situational awareness. Local, state and federal law enforcement officials, fire, and public health agencies could enlist private companies in specific ways to help identify indicators and warnings of suspicious criminal or terrorist activity. Private companies owning or managing critical facilities will be asked to work with law enforcement agencies to identify steps to provide increased safety for employees and customers.
  3. Business Emergency Operations Cell (BEOC). The BEOC will operate as a team of member companies from corporations, trade associations and other organizations. The BEOC will provide a mechanism for the rapid dissemination of information, determination of needs and solutions, and fulfillment of critical requirements during a catastrophic event. The BEOC will be activated during times of severe crisis at the request of SEMA and will assist in the response to catastrophic events.
  4. Information for Businesses on natural hazards / homeland security. Preparedness and Response Planning. Primarily driven by the terrorist events of September 11, 2001, many businesses are actively seeking guidance on how best to protect their workplace and allay employee concerns about their personal safety at work. Employees, and the public-at-large, assume that businesses are being proactive in working with government agencies and that they are developing adequate health and safety programs, crisis prevention plans, and post-incident response systems to address disaster and terrorist-related risks. Crisis preparedness requires that companies develop specific programs and procedures to ensure that the health and safety of all employees are an integral part of overall company policy. There may be a need to assist with business-specific information that supplements existing resource materials or emergency preparedness information. Large employers, health plans and other companies could assist public agencies in disseminating information during emergency events, such as evacuation routes and procedures, plans for mass prophylaxis or immunizations, shelter-in-place instructions, etc. A further step would be to provide information to businesses on actions they might take as in helping the public sector in communicating accurate information in a timely fashion.
  5. Business Emergency Response Liability. Survey Missouri statutes and legislation that may address public-sector liabilities, immunities as relates to their participation with the state in responding to a natural disaster or terrorist incident. Work to implement legislative initiatives to protect responding companies against lawsuits arising from their disaster response efforts.