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Emergency Preparedness Summit Shares Lessons Learned

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The Western District of Washington hosted a multi-district, multi-agency emergency preparedness summit this summer, bringing together representatives from the federal courts, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Marshals Service, and other government agencies. Representatives from the Eastern District of Michigan, the Southern District of Iowa, the Middle District of Louisiana, and the Western District of Washington participated.

Many of the judges and court staff who spoke at the workshop had first-hand experience of natural and man-made disasters, providing "lessons learned" for the group in the ways their courts coped with disasters. With those lessons in mind, participants spent time reviewing their Occupant Emergency Plans and Continuity of Operations Plans.

The take-home message from the workshop: learn to coordinate court and court-related agencies, sharing ideas and resources, for an optimal response in any emergency.