Private Sector Working Group History

The goal in the creation of the program was to draft a comprehensive disaster response and recover plan that builds on the strengths, experience and expanding capabilities of our private-sector partners.  The resulting Private Sector Working Group forms a well organized collaborative network of Commonwealth corporate, business and industry entities that work in concert with emergency management tasking to re-establish the necessary community infrastructure required to speed the recover process.

The Private Sector Working Group meets on a bi-monthly basis, supplemented with conference calls and KYEM annual workshop educational tracks.  Meeting agenda items include updates of recent response and recovery efforts, member presentations, technology updates, upcoming training initiatives, regional and national PS overviews and sector based workshop sessions. During agency EOC activations, members are notified to monitor and respond to mission requests via the WebEOC Virtual Business EOC and SharePoint portal.

Since the benchmark 2009 Kentucky Ice Storm event, the Commonwealth has received seven Presidential Disaster Declarations.  Following lessons learned in the 2009 Ice Storm, Kentucky began engaging national, regional, state & local corporate, business and industry in a collaborative planning effort, building private-public partnerships in support of disaster response and recovery.  

The PSWG includes “Decision Maker” representatives building the program with a bottom-up format; determining the needs of private sector during a crisis event and providing member organizations with opportunities for situational awareness, training, exercise and advancements in technology.

The program is funded through the agency general-fund budget process.  The PSWG program staffing is accomplished through the existing Resource Management Section.  Funding streams for technology acquisition and infrastructure integration is accomplished through EOC upgrade projects.

Collaborative efforts continue within the PSWG in the development of a variety of concept based projects including training initiatives for senior crisis managers, mutual aid concepts, application integration, sector specific resource management and regional state PS partnerships.

The primary objective of the program is to build on the strengths, experience and expanding capabilities of our private-sector partners.  To that end, the PSWG has demonstrated the effectiveness of the program during exercise events and response to Commonwealth disasters.

During Day 1 of the National Level Exercise (NLE) in 2011, more than 100 Private Sector representatives responded to an email based notification of the alert system.  Mission tasking to the Privates Sector Working Group brought real-time responses posted to the Virtual BEOC hosted on a secure WebEOC portal, with sitreps and briefing documents accessed via a SharePoint portal. 

PSWG members enabled ingress of their service fleet to the impact zone with the use of the virtual applications E-Placard & E-Roster.  In one example, a national Private Sector corporate member was given a no-notice mission to provide air and ground logistics to an eight county area within the New Madrid Seismic Zone.  A response was received within 30 minutes of the tasking, via a real-time conference call involving eight senior corporate managers located in different logistics sections across the country. 

Private Sector response to recent Commonwealth disasters included in-person staffing at the State EOC and access from their corporate centers through the Virtual Business EOC.  Mission tasking for energy, utility, transportation and commodity Private Sectors is integrated into the Resource Management process.

The program began with an initial schedule of quarterly meetings and consistent membership of 20-30 organizations.  Plenary sessions were hosted to determine the needs of our Private Sector members in responding to disaster events within the Commonwealth.  Following sessions were devoted to workshops with sector based groups; Utilities, Commodities, Transportation, Communications, Infrastructure / Logistics and Food / Hospitality, to format the infrastructure requirements to bring the Private Sector back on line within the most efficient timeline. 

Year two of the program increased the in-person contacts to bi-monthly meetings with interim conference calls and membership of 50-60 organizations.  Extensive training and exercise events were directed toward Private Sector readiness for the NLE-11 event.  During this period, the program tested and implemented several major technology advances to include virtual credentialing applications E-Placard & E-Roster, a dedicated SharePoint Portal and integration with WebEOC through the Virtual BEOC.

Key members of the PSWG are routinely seated in the State EOC during event activations.  Those organizations routinely include major power, utility and commodity crisis managers.  In addition, the full complement of Private Sector representatives have unlimited real-time access to sitreps and resource management mission requests through participation in the Virtual Business EOC (VBEOC) hosted on our WebEOC and SharePoint portals.