EMERGENCY LEGAL PREPAREDNESS EXERCISE. MIKE COX ATTORNEY GENERAL STATE OF MICHIGAN. Introduction. “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.” Dwight Eishenhower “Practice is the best of all instructors.” Publilus Syrus (100 BC).
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STATE OF MICHIGAN
“In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.”
“Practice is the best of all instructors.”
Publilus Syrus (100 BC)
1. Establish an Emergency Chain of Command and Order of Emergency Interim Succession.
2. Establish an "Emergency Legal Response Team.“
Identify key managers and employees who will be responsible for assembling the expertise needed to respond to a particular emergency or disaster. They should have an intimate knowledge of the resources of the department.
3. Appoint an " Emergency Management Coordinator.“
The Emergency Management Coordinator, along with an alternate, is a point person who directly interacts with counterparts at the emergency operation center. This person should have expertise regarding the Emergency Management Act and be able to
respond to general questions and direct detailed inquires, as well as matters that need document preparation or judicial assistance.
4. Locate Facilities and Communication Systems.
Establish a dependable communication system with multiple redundancy. In addition to line phones, the Emergency Management Coordinator needs to be able to communicate with the Emergency Legal Response Team via cell phone, e-mail, and 800 MHz secure channel radios.
Create a current, department-wide "telephone tree" to enable speedy contact with department personnel and conduct periodic “contact drills.” An internal information hotline and updated recorded message should be created.
Consider acquisition of a federal "GETS" card to provide for priority communication during an emergency.
An alternate emergency operations center should be identified where top managers and the Legal Response Team can gather in the event the department\'s principal office is unavailable.
Communications equipment, computers, supplies, and research material should be accessible at the alternate command center. A satellite office of the department could serve as such a site.
Consider also: Distribution of access keys, location of computer ports, extension cords, computers, projectors, telephones, etc.
5. Establish a Business Contingency and Emergency Procedures Plan with the Supreme Court.
During an emergency, courts may be closed or inaccessible. A plan that identifies key court administrative staff and judges throughout the state who will be available in the event of an emergency will ensure that
necessary court orders can be secured, individual rights safeguarded, and the judicial system maintained. Home phone numbers and addresses should be secured so emergency judges can be contacted in the event an emergency prevents them from traveling to the court house.
An emergency judicial site and court staffing must be considered. A sample emergency judicial plan is attached as Attachment A. Attachment A.pdf
1. Create an Exercise Design Team to plan, coordinate, and support the exercise. The team will tailor an exercise scenario, identify key participants, and control the exercise event. See Attachment B. Attachment B.pdf
2. Contact persons or agencies with a stake in the exercise, including other state, federal, and local agencies, foreign participants, and private entities, such as hospitals and their legal counsel. See Attachment C. Attachment C.pdf
3. Identify exercise site and secure necessary funding to cover expenses, i.e., rent, food, equipment. In Michigan, the Attorney General was able to fund an exercise through the Homeland Security Grant Program. See Attachment D. Attachment D.pdf
4. Establish a timeline and assign detail responsibilities. See Attachment E. Attachment E.pdf
5. Develop an exercise scenario that will stimulate discussion, raise significant legal issues, engage participants, and challenge the legal officers to provide prompt and accurate advice. See Attachment F, sample exercise scenario. Attachment F.pdf
6. Identify potential issues in advance to insure that proper staff are involved and preliminary research is conducted. This can also be used in the event moderator or participants are unable to raise pertinent questions during the exercise. See Attachment G. Attachment G.pdf
1. Assign moderators, runners, table captains, etc.
2. Align various participants to reflect particular interests and backgrounds.
3. Encourage discussions among groups and periodically interrupt the exercise to query concerns, obtain status reports, and make modifications as needed.
4. Provide standard communication forms so that legal issues are presented, in writing, to the attorneys and other exercise participants. See Attachment H. Attachment H.pdf
5. Maintain a record of all questions and issues raised. See Attachment I. Attachment I.pdf
6. Have participants evaluate exercise. See Attachment J. Attachment J.pdf
1. Review evaluations, meet with staff to review and identify strengths and weaknesses.
2. Prepare summary. See Attachment K. Attachment K.pdf
3. Communicate with exercise participants. (See Attachment L.) Attachment L.pdf