Many Stakeholders Sharing A Common Mission

The ReadyCommunities Partnership is a proactive, public/private proving ground to identify and demonstrate how private and community sector innovation, technology and best practices can help reinforce local critical infrastructure and integrate local assets and resources into the public sector response during the critical first 72 hours of a national or large-scale crisis.

Partners collaborate through actual and virtual pilot projects to develop templates that can provide these additional resources to local decisions makers to help communities become more resilient, and share this information through the National Symposia and the National Congress for Secure Communities. The Partnership Advisory Committee helps identify the tools and partners for each of the demonstrations, using best practices that were identified from the National Blueprint for Secure Communities. Advisory Committee Subcommittee Chairs help guide selection of the best practices, technology and innovation to be demonstrated in the pilots and report their outcomes.

Core partners that collaborate in the pilots include Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government/Leadership for a Networked World, the Community Instititute for Preparedness, Response and Recovery (CIPRR), the Corporate Crisis Response Officers Association (CCROA) and a number of private and non-profit organizations such as the National Federation of Independent Business, the American Red Cross, Sprint, Cisco, CA, NC4, Previstar, Siemens, Envisage Technologies, Target, IBM, TerreStar and others. Additional national and local partners participate based upon their expertise capability, subject matter, fit and interest.

There are four basic facilitation tools common to all pilot demonstrations:

1) Essential Public Network (EPN): links various local private and community sector partners into a network that is 'federal-ready' and creates a database of local Crisis Response Officers (CROs). This network uses currently available technologies to bring together the stakeholders during the pilot, so that they can communicate, train and generally coordinate the development of the pilot. The network will include wireless alert capability, secure communications and collaboration, and remains intact and accessible after the pilot is completed, in order to facilitate the build-out of a community-wide network.

2) Crisis Response Officers (CROs): a new local facilities position that serves three functions: 1) liaison between their facility and the responder community; 2) develops their facility's role and responsibility during the pilot; and 3) serve or help form the local Citizen Corps Council to facilitate standard training, communication and preparedness/response protocols.

3) Virtual Surge Depot: an on-line catalog in each community linked to EPN network, that lists the location and management of critical infrastructure, assets and individuals essential to the public sector preparedness and response plan. Using a GIS overlay, sector leaders can track and locate assets, volunteers and the vulnerable/special needs residents in real-time, allowing a coordinated response using private/community sector partners, assets and volunteers.

4) National Stakeholders Community Action Network (NSCAN) : the database of names and permission levels of the participants in the pilots, so that they are able to access not only the EPN, but have various privileges to receive both wire and wireless alerts from local, state and federal authorities.

The ReadyCommunities Partnership is supported by the members and sponsors of the Community Institute for Preparedness, Response and Recovery (CIPRR) and the Corporate Crisis Response Officers Association (CCROA).