IERSP UPDATE: STATE RESOURCES IDENTIFIED
Each state has a unique set of resources and capabilities in its arsenal to respond to emergencies and incidents. Recently, representatives from the FEMA Region VI states met to review details of the Interstate Emergency Response Support Plan (IERSP), including identifying what specific resources states have that other states might need when responding to a catastrophic incident.
“Per the IERSP, each neighboring state has pledged support to one another in the kind and manner each state is capable of,” Jack Doebbler, Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Regional Liaison Officer (RLO) said. “There are unique abilities each state has, and combined, provide a greatly enhanced response when compared to an individual state’s ability alone.”
A goal of the most recent IERSP meeting was to identify the kinds of resources that might be needed from each state. The ESF (Emergency Support Function) leads from each state will continue to work together to complete planning documents that will outline these resources and how each state can provide support. In turn, this information should help liaison officers who are assigned to assist affected states when deployed to an incident.
“During our meeting we were able to better define how each state can help, and learned each other’s roles and how we can assist each other,” Mike Bewley, TDEM Plans Unit Supervisor said.
Bewley and Doebbler have attended several IERSP planning meetings. Each state has identified those liaisons it will forward deploy to an affected state per the IERSP agreement. Doebbler is one TDEM RLO who will deploy. He and other deployed RLOs will be the Division’s lead points of contact helping communicate what resources Texas has available to send to an affected state.
In terms of managing incidents locally, Doebbler said that emergency management coordinators throughout Texas could utilize the IERSP framework to assist them in establishing mutual aid processes between adjoining jurisdictions.
“Effective mutual aid agreements decrease response times during a disaster and help local jurisdictions protect life and property,” Doebbler said.
The recent NLE 11 (National Level Exercise 2011) is an example of how the IERSP would be implemented. During the exercise, states deployed personnel to the affected state and worked through how to bring in resources from states assisting with response.
Chuck Phinney, TDEM State Coordinator for Preparedness participated in NLE 11. “Overall, state leaders can expect a much quicker response from neighboring states than from any other means using the IERSP,” Phinney said. “We’re definitely working with the mindset of neighbor helping neighbor.”
Links to previous IERSP articles: