EPIP Re-write Work Group Planning Units

Last week, the Emergency Public Information & Warning Work Group assessed the rewrite improvement plan, consolidated it to 81 items, categorized the items, and assigned each item to a Planning Unit which will address their tasks.


Each Planning Unit has a team leader and deputy. Unit Leaders and their deputies will go through their assigned tasks and determine an effective method of working with their team to get the tasks addressed. Once the strategy has been defined, they will communicate their plan with their team members and begin addressing each task. Please reach out to others to expand your teams as needed. For example, the First Responder Unit should reach out to SMEs and practitioners to make sure that revisions and corrections are realistic and helpful.

When each task has been addressed, the Planning Unit will write a brief report of the task summary, challenges observed, recommended solution, and recommended edits to the EPIP.

Every month the EPI&W Work Group will host the Planning Units to report out on completed tasks, request any support from other units, and compare completed tasks. As the EPI&W Work Group is a consensus work group, at these monthly meetings we will “finalize” the work of each unit, deconflict any changes to the EPIP if needed, and consolidate work reports into change summaries which will ultimately be shared with the RCC with the final draft of the plan.

Once a Planning Unit has completed their task, the unit will stay formed but stop work on tasks unless requested by another unit or unless additional tasks are assigned following the spring exercise. This way we do not lose any expertise built by the units by demobilizing early.

Once all tasks have been completed, including those form the spring exercise,  a final change summary will be prepared by the EPI&W Work Group to be presented to the Regional Collaboration Committee.


The Planning Units should start working on tasks as soon as reasonable.

Planning Unit Leaders should have a plan for addressing their unit’s tasks ready by the next EPI&W Work Group meeting on October 4. We will review our unit update plan to revise and finalize them at the meeting. You do not need to wait until October 4 to start work if you are ready to go.

Our goal is to have a first final draft of the EPIP ready in early February so it can be incorporated into the spring exercise. Following the exercise, Planning Units will hold respective “sprints” to address any new issues from the exercise AAR and incorporate those changes in the EPIP and the final change summary. The final EPIP will be presented to the RCC for approval at their March meeting, and hopefully approved by the Executive Committee the same or next month. There is interest from H-GAC to socialize the plan broadly among the COG and seek formal adoption by the 13 counties, though no timeline is defined for that yet.

Planning Units

There are 12 planning units, each with a Unit Leader and Deputy. The master EPIP Rewrite Improvement Plan Google Sheet has been shared with them with edit access so they can fill in team information and task details. Anyone can view the sheet here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1iSdBMGLiTX0M7vVo6ZnShpWiYxqJYOnVeENfROCZ4Ds/edit?usp=sharing . If you need edit access, please reach out to your team leader.


Unit Leader: Jonathan Wiggins
Deputy Unit Leader: Charity Dominguez


# Corrective Action
12 Develop exercise schedule for EPIP
13 Develop EPI inclusion toolkit for other regional exercise planners
14 Build-out canned EPI exercises in SimulationDeck and corresponding exercise facilitation materials for jurisdictions/agencies to run their own EPI exercises
15 Develop miniature exercises for specific JIC functions
16 Identify best-practices for exercising mass-notification tools with responders and public

First Responder

Unit Leader: Tina Rose
Deputy Unit Leader: Yaneth Calderon


# Corrective Action
17 Define processes for JIC to share information with responders, phone bank, and public.
18 Update checklists and organizational charts to include responder communication in JIC

Information Production

Unit Leader: Lach Mullen
Deputy Unit Leader: Jonathan Wiggins


# Corrective Action
21 Develop JIC orientation and JIT training for JIC Staff positions in whatever media most helpful
25 Develop “Welcome to Texas, y’all” orientation for surge staff form outside the state.
29 Develop EOC/JIC orientation video for new staff
30 Develop JIC guidebook that can be printed and used in JIC
32 Develop socialization video/training for potential JIC staff, like IS-702.
59 Develop background information on critical infrastructure facility types e.g. schools, hospitals, nursing homes, transfer stations, bus depots, etc.
61 Identify FAQs and answers for common hazards
62 Provide FAQ template for regional JIC or local use
70 Develop template for local jurisdictions to develop background statements on their local CIKR
71 Develop background information on jurisdictions and responsibilities e.g. GLO responsible for beaches, Independent School District’s autonomy, MUDs, special districts, home-rule cities, counties.
74 Develop templated for evacuation orders and shelter-in-place orders for the public, including the whole community

Red Team

Unit Leader: Lach Mullen
Deputy Unit Leader: TBD


# Corrective Action
4 Describe procedures for jurisdictional JICs to coordinate with management
10 Determine when jurisdictional JICs need to form into Regional JIC. Re-investigate regional JIC triggers and ensure that they are realistic.
11 Establish unified information-gathering procedures and EEI for ICPs and UC for reliable messaging.
43 Clarify procedures for identifying qualifications for JIC staff and for demobilizing or transferring individuals who cannot perform tasks satisfactorily
44 Identify points-of-contact for jurisdictions within the region, including jurisdictional websites, social media accounts, etc.
45 Develop process for keeping jurisdictional contact up-to-date.
49 Identify opportunities to streamline information flow
50 Identify bottlenecks in public information development and attempt to eliminate
60 Identify additional EEI both general and hazard-specific
63 Inventory methods for calculating personal risk given various terrorism scenarios, inventory resources to share with public and develop any relevant templates
65 Determine best practices for Recovery Section/EOC and Recovery JIC and describe operation of Recovery JIC given exhaustion of staffing resources
66 Identify common JIC positions and guidance for positioning and clear marking of JIC positions/workstations (e.g. Spanish and English writers together, social media monitor and fact gatherer together)
67 Identify best-practice for name/position identification in JIC environment
68 All JIC staff should use ICS-214 forms, update checklists and procedures as needed
69 Determine best practices for ensuring incident documentation continues in JIC, including possibility of documentation unit within JIC
76 Develop standard physical inquiry forms to use throughout region that can be printed (not triplicate)
78 Identify workflow for sharing inquiries across jurisdictional lines
79 Establish backup communication methods between jurisdictional JICs
80 Establish backup communication methods for regional JIC
81 Identify backup communication methods with public

Regional Plans

Unit Leader: Tina Rose
Deputy Unit Leader: Lach Mullen


# Corrective Action
1 Provide guidance for jurisdictions to operate jurisdictional JICs
2 Inventory and cross-reference local EPI plans. (Houston EPI, Annex I, et. al.)
3 Develop standing processes for JIC-to-JIC coordination, e.g. standing daily conference calls, EPICC
7 Identify opportunities for integration with HC Regional JIC model
33 Revise regional information sharing procedures to include horizontal information sharing channels.

Social Media

Unit Leader: Cory Stottlemyer
Deputy Unit Leader: Yaneth Calderon


# Corrective Action
39 Identify credentials or needed skills and training for social media JIC staff positions
73 Describe best-practices for monitoring all social media, including Nextdoor and Facebook


Unit Leader: Cory Stottlemyer
Deputy Unit Leader: Cynthia Jamieson


# Corrective Action
5 Develop “What’s a JIC” materials for socialization with elected officials
6 Develop “What’s a JIC” materials for Public and stakeholders
51 Develop strategy to socialize the EPIP
52 Develop strategy to socialize the EPIC(C), including exercises which highlight regional coordination of emergency public information outside ICS
53 Investigate appropriate platforms for EPICC and update.


Unit Leader: Shelli Carter
Deputy Unit Leader: Cynthia Jamieson


# Corrective Action
22 Identify training and outreach opportunities to increase pool of trained JIC staff locally and regionally
23 List available JIC staff as attachment to EPIP and update with some relevant frequency
24 Identify regional and state resources for JIC staffing and provide relevant contact information or procedures for requesting
26 Develop standing method for JIO/JIC coordination outside traditional ICS structures (Slack, Radio Talk Group)
34 Identify non-conventional JIC staff sources and develop JIT or periodic training to ensure that immediate JIC needs can be met before surge staffing arrives
35 Identify and cross-train other potential JIC staff who would fill other rolls in EOC once relieved
38 Determine what other JIC staff positions can be filled remotely
40 Develop procedures for involving remote JIC staff in operation


Unit Leader: Shelli Carter
Deputy Unit Leader: Cynthia Jamieson


# Corrective Action
8 Identify options for regionally hosted conference calling system which can handle load of all partners participating
9 Identify solution for pre-established conference calls to occur during a disaster without any jurisdiction needing to host or coordinate. Investigate other JIC coordination methods including channels on regional radio system
41 Inventory emergency public information technologies used and identify best practices for their use.
64 Identify best-practices for sUAS operations in support of EPI and resources for jurisdictions without in-house solution.
72 Identify integration opportunities or software that can support jurisdictions managing multiple social media profiles.
75 Identify opportunities for mass-notification systems to share messages with jurisdictional neighbors
77 Identify opportunities for improving inquiry systems used regionally and work with vendor to ensure that system matches regional use-cases


Unit Leader: Jonathan Wiggins
Deputy Unit Leader: Charity Dominguez


# Corrective Action
27 Establish best-practices for JIC writing abilities and identify training opportunities for staff.
28 Identify best practices for JIC staff JIT training and establish procedures/tools to reduce strain on JIC resources
31 Determine whether current training requirements are sufficient
36 Mention reality of ICP/EOC hybrid model used within the region
37 Updating terminology to match NIMS refresh
42 Identify and reference training for locally used tools relevant to EPI and develop any need training for regional tools.
46 Identify training needs outside of G/IS/ICS/E/T courses that should be offered regionally to ensure, including Web Specialist
47 Identify frequency and procedure for regular refresher training for JIC staff
48 Identify potential JIC staff and provide adequate NIMS training


Unit Leader: Shelli Carter
Deputy Unit Leader: Cory Stottlemyer


# Corrective Action
19 Include responders in Warning Coordination section
20 Define difference between Warning and Public Information over warning channels, describe EPI processes and determine if warning plan is needed.

Whole Community

Unit Leader: Melanie Manville
Deputy Unit Leader: Jonathan Wiggins


# Corrective Action
54 Describe processes for simultaneous multilingual content creation in the JIC
55 Describe process for identifying multilingual JIC staff
56 Describe process for determining language needs in an incident
57 Develop regional outreach for population requiring assistance during disaster and share with partners.
58 Identify other sources of data and integrate with database for distributions to whole community (e.g. Enable Fort Bend)