REALSERVE provide accurate and compliant evacuation diagrams and fire safety plans showing all fire safety equipment, assembly areas and evacuation points with accuracy. But emergency management personnel in the Boston region had not only been imagining such a complex scenario, they had been rehearsing it.
So when two pressure-cooker bombs exploded on Monday afternoon, Boston's emergency operations centers knew what to do.
As the medical response unrolled, a parallel series of preventative measures were put into action. Urban Shield, which Baker started in 2007, is one of several drill programs that have sprung up over the last decade in response to DHS grants for thorough emergency preparedness training.
Nationwide, the hierarchy of emergency management can be staggeringly complicated, and the varying power structures within U.S. Though every city has an all-hazard plan by one name or another, it can be difficult to predict how various authorities will interact in a time of crisis.
Massachusetts has a State Emergency Operations Center, run out of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. Established in 2003 under the guidance of DHS and FEMA, EMAP is the country's first accreditation program for all-hazards plans -- the first comparative body that holds all municipal, state, and university emergency plans to a common, respective standard. Building consent: An approval issued by a building consent authority (the building control department of the district, city or regional council) to undertake building work in accordance with the approved plans and specifications.

Over the past two years, area hospitals had sent teams of doctors and nurses to citywide training exercises and run internal drills for mass casualty incidents like bombs, plane crashes, and fires.
The scene on Boylston Street was an admirable display of bravery, skill and calm by first responders and volunteers. The drills, which included hostage situations, HazMat incidents and a movie theater shooting, brought together emergency officials from the city, state and federal government, as well as from the Boston Police, SWAT teams, the Fire Department, EMS, local hospitals, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the Coast Guard. For example: Boston has an Emergency Operations Center run out the city's Office of Emergency Management. FEMA's "Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 101" [PDF], released in 2010, tentatively positions itself as a textbook for emergency operations plans -- while acknowledging the critical differences between cities, and the virtues of bottom-up disaster planning (my italics): "This Guide recognizes that many jurisdictions across the country have already developed EOPs that address many emergency management operations.
Boston's MBHSR, like many regional DHS jurisdictions, is working to implement the National Incident Management Program (NIMS), a national framework for disaster reporting and response. Resource consent: A document issued by council giving town planning approval for certain activities and buildings on a property (covered by the Resource Management Act 1991). Above, a "functional" emergency operations plan format, which FEMA estimates is the most commonly used EOP. County performed an exercise in response to an imagined 7.8-magnitude earthquake, working out hypotheticals with the National Guard, the Red Cross and dozens of city and county departments in between.
Murray and Harry like the architect’s preliminary design and instruct her to prepare detailed plans and specifications to enable them to apply for a building consent.

The Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) further encourages a convergence of local and state planning strategies. In November, under the leadership of Rene Fielding, director of the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management, Boston became one of only four cities nationwide to receive EMAP accreditation. The building consent application, along with the completed plans and specifications, is lodged with the council. So it is important to plan to look after yourself and your loved ones for at least three days or more in the event of a disaster. A functional emergency plan helps alleviate fears about potential disasters, and can help you respond safely and quickly when a disaster happens. You can get a copy of a household emergency plan and checklist from your local council, or download your printable Household Emergency Plan template.

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