On Friday, the Interagency Committee on School Construction approved a Preliminary Procedure for Emergency Shelter Compliance. The procedure creates a new process for review of facility upgrades by the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.
MACo submitted a letter to the Committee requesting that county emergency management and local emergency plans not be omitted from any new state guidance or regulations regarding school facilities. On Friday, the Committee made two changes in accordance with MACo’s recommendation. First, they altered the procedures so that they are considered “preliminary” and will be re-assessed in six months following communication with local emergency management officials. The relevant regulation (COMAR 23.03.02.29) is under study for amendment and the timeline for the amendment will align with submission of final procedures, within six months of today’s date.
As described by David Lever, Executive Director of the Public School Construction Program,
The Preliminary Procedure will be in effect for six months in order to initiate an interactive communication among the Local Education Agencies, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the Department of Human Resources (DHR), the Public School Construction Program, and local emergency management officials. The IAC has directed the staff of the Public School Construction Program to return within six months with a final procedure, which will reflect the experience gained by all parties in the process of identifying shelter areas, translating these identifications and their power requirements into design documents, understanding the budget implications, and then carrying out the construction activities needed to implement the intention.
Second, the revised procedures require that local emergency managers are invited when MEMA conducts a site visit of a school facility. In the original version of the procedures, that invitation was not required. The original version only required representatives of the Department of Human Resources, Maryland Emergency Management Agency, and the Local Educational Agency to attend the site visit.
The new procedures are in effect, and should be used when submitting the FY 2015 Capital Improvement Program materials on October 4. In particular, the Public School Construction Program asks that agencies use the new Form 102.1 Request for Planning Approval and Form 102.2 Request for Funding Approval, with attention to the checkbox for Electrical Upgrade/Replacement and the explanations required in Section 7 of Form 102.1 and Section 6 of Form 102.2. It is the Local Educational Agency’s responsibility to contact MEMA; and the Public School Construction Program encourages them to begin this process as soon as possible so that the compliance process can be completed quickly.
Any questions may be directed to Dr. Lever at 410-767-0610. For more information, see our previous posts on Conduit Street: MACo Asks IAC to Consider Local Emergency Planning Process; Draft Requirements for School Upgrades Released, and these notes on the procedure change from the Public School Construction Program.