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November 3, 2008

RE:       Emergency Management Training Opportunities

Dear Mayor:

On behalf of Mayor Tim McDonough of Hope, League First Vice President and the Chairman of our Hometown Security Task Force, I am pleased to inform you that the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP) and the State Office of Emergency Management (OEM) will offer Continuity of Operations/Continuity of Government (COOP/COG) training to all municipalities.  OHSP and State OEM have contracted with a private vendor to deliver three regional planning workshops that will provide an executive overview on the importance of a municipality having COOP/COG Plans. Workshops will discuss each of the elements of a viable COOP/COG Plan: order of succession; delegation of authority; business impact analysis; alternate facilities; vital records; interoperable communications; recovery; and testing/training/exercising.  Workshops will give participants a base knowledge of COOP/COG planning and provide them with the templates needed to develop their plan.

These sessions will take place early in 2009. We will inform you of all the details as soon as they are finalized. But, for now, we wanted you to know that the State is moving forward to ensure training opportunities for all of us on the local level. Through NJLEARN, the Homeland Security training system for NJ First Responders, participants will be able to access the COOP/COG training program which will assist them in filling out the template that can be used, exercised, and revised, if necessary, by the municipalities.  The course is recommended for local Emergency Management Coordinators who can solicit the assistance of town officials to help prepare the template.

In addition to the regional sessions, the vendor will conduct municipal COOP/COG planning workshops in Atlantic City, Camden, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Newark, Paterson and Trenton. These host municipalities are encouraged to invite surrounding towns to their workshop in order to develop a more thorough, comprehensive plan that is well coordinated with neighboring communities.  Participants are encouraged to complete the FEMA Independent Study 547, Introduction to Continuity of Operations (COOP) course, prior to the workshop. This is an online course that can be accessed through HTTP://training .FEMA.Gov/EMI Web/IS/is 547.asp.

Any questions regarding COOP/COG training may be directed to David Leonardis, OHSP Training Bureau Chief, (609) 584-4809 or

I also remind you that officials from OHSP and State OEM will participate in “Readying New Jersey for Regional Catastrophic Events-from Preparedness, Response, Recovery to Mitigation,” at the 93rd Annual League of Municipalities Conference on Thursday, November 20 from 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. in Room 202.  Thank you for your attention to this matter. 

Very truly yours,


William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director




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