Crisis planners look to Miami-Dade for resiliency model

Jun 14, 2013, 15:44 ET from ReadyCommunities Partnership/CCROA

DORAL, Fla., June 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National and local military, business, community and public sector leaders met at the Miami-Dade emergency operations center to develop a plan that helps this high-density community continue to operate during natural and man-made crises.

Miami-Dade County is one of the nation's strategic military, port and economic regions working to identify and fortify its local critical infrastructure to keep its ports, transportation and military bases operational during the first 72 hours of a national or large-scale crisis.

"An enormous amount of international and domestic trade, shipping and logistics that are essential to our national economy and resiliency are right here in our community," said Curtis S. Sommerhoff, FPEM, manager of the emergency operations center and co-host of the roundtable, adding that "…for America to operate during a national crisis, Miami-Dade must continue to operate."

Meeting attendees explored two key areas related to the companies and local institutions that keep the ports, military bases and local government operational: whether there are vulnerabilities because of gaps or sole reliance on single service providers; and second, which ways the community can support the vulnerable special needs dependents of key employees of these service providers during crisis.

"All our employees and their families that live with them are critical," said Rick Murrell, CEO of Tropical Shipping.  "We have well developed recovery processes and exercise our plan annually and that includes care for their entire household family including those with special needs dependents.  This allows our business to recover quickly and ensures continuity of operations."

Because many jurisdictions are having to optimize budgets and accomplish more with less, harnessing the assets and capabilities of the private sector and community-based organizations is taking on a new urgency.

"Support of the vulnerable and special needs individuals requires a whole community approach," said Tanya Lin Jones, manager of Sprint's national Emergency Response Team (ERT).  "It's important we have plans and partnerships in place ahead of crisis so that all local capability is available and focused on response."  

The Miami-Dade roundtable meeting is the first of a three-part series under the Military Base/Port Community Resiliency Initiative (MBPRI) of the ReadyCommunities Partnership (, a public-private partnership that continues the work of the Gilmore Commission to increase America's resiliency and sustainability by engaging the private and community sectors to augment public sector response capability.  MBPRI was launched at the Russell Senate office building with Senator Mary Landrieu as honorary chairman of the initiative, and was followed by a field symposium at PortMiami to connect the Atlantic, Gulf and Caribbean ports.  The second and third meeting of this current series will be held at the Port of New Orleans and the Port of Long Beach later this year and early next year.

The roundtable was co-sponsored by Sprint, Priority5, and NC4 and was attended by representatives of DHS, US Coast Guard, US Air Force, US Southern Command J9, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, DOT Maritime Association, FL Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Miami-Dade Police, Florida International University, Miami-Dade College, Seaboard Marine, Miami River Marine Group, American Red Cross, AmericasRelief Team, Pax Mondial, and the Medical University of South Carolina.

ReadyCommunities Partnership is a project of the Corporate Crisis Response Officers Association (CCROA), Rosalie J. Wyatt, President, and the Community Institute of Preparedness, Response, and Recovery (CIPRR), Jeb Carney, Chairman.

Contact: Rosalie J. Wyatt,

SOURCE ReadyCommunities Partnership/CCROA