About the Workshop
Thank you for your interest in participating in the CY2024–2025 Regional Integrated Preparedness Plan (IPP) Development Workshop. This page gives a general overview of the workshop’s purpose and process, as well as additional details about what an IPP is and how it is developed. At the end of this page are helpful links committee member should consider reviewing before the workshop.
Click this link to register for the workshop: https://houstonuasi.com/urban-area-working-group-uawg/may2023-ipp-workshop/may-2023-ipp-registration.
Multijurisdictional and multidisciplinary partners in the Houston Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) region will convene to 1) Establish preparedness priorities for the region and 2) Develop a multi-year schedule of preparedness activities designed to address those priorities and to validate regional capabilities.
The workshop will include seminar and breakout group components. During the breakout sessions, participants will group up with other members of their committee. The following is how the workshop will generally proceed (subject to change):
- Large group: overview of the region’s preparedness cycle and how the regional IPP fits into it; overview of the IPP and its components; instruction for developing preparedness priorities and rationales for each priority
- Committee breakout groups: facilitated development of priorities and rationales
- Large group: instruction for developing a schedule of preparedness activities
- Committee breakout groups: facilitated development of preparedness activities for each priority
- Large group: committees brief on preparedness priorities and activities
Register for the Workshop
The workshop registration page can be accessed at this website: https://houstonuasi.com/urban-area-working-group-uawg/may2023-ipp-workshop/may-2023-ipp-registration.
- Workshop Time: This workshop will be held on May 23. As the agenda is still being developed, it would be good to set 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. as a placeholder on your calendar.
- Workshop Location: The workshop will be conducted at the Harris County Department of Education facility at 6300 Irvington Blvd., Houston, TX 77022. It will be in the conference room above the parking garage.
General Information about the IPP Process
The IPP process is intended to enable the region to follow a continuous and reliable approach for improving its capabilities to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate its most relevant threats, hazards, and risks. There are four notable steps to this process.
Step 1: Identify Factors for Consideration
The first step involves determining factors that prevent the region from being at a level of optimal preparedness. These factors can be identified by examining the region’s threats, hazards, and risks; reviewing areas for improvement from after-action reports or other capability assessments; and monitoring external requirements (e.g., grant requirements) or updated standards or regulations. For our region, the greatest source for identifying these factors is the yearly Stakeholder Preparedness Report document, which contains gaps identified during the annual Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA)/Stakeholder Preparedness Review (SPR) process.
Step 2: Establish Preparedness Priorities
After reviewing the various factors identified in applicable sources of information, the planning team should begin seeing trends among them. As an example, perhaps after reviewing various sources of information, there are several indications that regional partners are not good about talking with each other and sharing information during incidents. The more you read, the more obvious it becomes that the region needs to identify ways to improve its capabilities for communication. “Communication,” as a strategic, high-level area for improvement is a potential preparedness priority. These priorities can be used to guide preparedness activities (see Step 3) that will help ultimately begin to improve regional communication.
When reviewing the various sources of information, several preparedness priorities may become apparent. Our job isn’t to fix all of them at once. As the IPP process is part of a continuous cycle, we can work on a handful of priorities each year. Determining how many and which of the preparedness priorities to work on will be up to the committees.
Step 3: Develop a Multi-Year Schedule
Step 3 involves developing a multi-year schedule of preparedness activities designed to address the selected priorities and to validate regional capabilities. Preparedness activities, or “implementation steps” as they were called in the region’s Strategic Plan, are POETE-based (planning, organization, equipment, training, and exercise).
Using the example in the previous step (improving deficiencies related to “communication”), several preparedness activities may spring to mind such as:
- [Planning] updating our various regional plans to better address communication;
- [Organization] establishing a workgroup focused on developing resources to improve regional communication;
- [Equipment] upgrading or finding new technology to help us better communicate with each other;
- [Training] provide training on various aspects of communication and on the use of communication technologies;
- [Exercise] conduct tabletops on regional plans or conduct drills for no-notice incidents that help improve the use of certain technologies.
The types of preparedness activities should be determined based on the review of the various sources of available information. How comprehensive a list of preparedness activities is should be up to the committee; the committee will be responsible for completing each of them. Some activities may involve participation and collaboration with other committees.
Once preparedness activities have been identified, they should be plotted out on a multi-year schedule. The work done during this IPP workshop is building toward calendar years 2024 and 2025. The timing and order of completing these activities will be up to the committee. If the activities involve participation from other committees, those committees should be alerted so that can be adequately represented. Preparedness activities should also build upon each other. For example, it would not make sense to conduct a full-scale exercise ahead of developing or updating the relevant plan.
It should be noted that the multi-year schedule is merely a guide or a planning tool and can be fluid. Scheduling activities over two years with accuracy is a difficult task. If an activity is planned for a certain quarter but isn’t completed that quarter, there is no consequence. That said, committees should establish program reporting to help ensure they remain accountable for completing these activities.
Step 4: Establish Program Reporting
The final step in the process deals with accountability for accomplishing the preparedness activities added to the multi-year calendar. Committees should develop or have internal processes for reporting progress toward preparedness activities. Outside of the committees themselves, the Urban Area Working Group (UAWG) should consider ways to track the progress committees are making toward addressing the preparedness priorities. Ultimately, the progress should also be captured during the yearly THIRA/SPR process, which can be a helpful indicator of overall improvements for given core capabilities.
The following resources may help you prepare for participating in the IPP development process. Some items are protected by a password. Contact your committee chairs for the password.
- Conducting an IPPW and Developing an IPP: https://youtu.be/OBStgz9WeKM
- IPP Templates, Guidance Documents, and Examples: https://preptoolkit.fema.gov/web/hseep-resources/program-management
- 2022 SPR Gap Statements (password protected): https://uasi-jtti.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2022/12/12163007/2022-SPR-Gap-Statements_FINAL_pw.pdf
- 2021–2022 Houston Urban Area Homeland Security Strategic Plan (password protected): https://uasi-jtti.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/09/08161156/2021_2022-Houston-UASI-HS-Strategic-Plan_final-pw.pdf
For additional information about the workshop or the IPP process in general, contact Jonathan Wiggins, email@example.com.