In January 2021, the Olson Group, Ltd. (OGL) was contracted by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) to rewrite the Commonwealth of Virginia Radiological Emergency Preparedness Programs (REPP) Plan to fall in line with new standards outlined in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) REPP Program Manual V.2, issued in 2019. OGL subject matter experts worked closely with state, local, and private sector partners to update the Virginia REPP Plan effectively. They submitted a fully revised and comprehensive plan by the end of the performance period.
As an additional component of this contract, OGL provided a REPP Exercise Specialist to help plan and execute Virginia Operations Plan Exercises (VOPEX), two full-scale radiological exercises to meet Federal requirements. Throughout the performance, OGL successfully brought together Federal, state, and local stakeholders throughout Virginia to address and refine REPP planning and exercise efforts.
OGL helped develop numerous virtual workshops, scenario-based discussions, and dress rehearsals to identify REPP-related planning needs, gaps, strengths, and areas for improvement. Identifying such issues allowed the respective entities to address all areas for revisions before Federal evaluation and make any changes needed. All separate interactions followed FEMA REPP Program Manual V. 1 guidelines.
OGL also participated in Federal evaluations serving as controllers and leading controllers during events, ensuring that all participants and evaluators were provided with the appropriate information, and ensuring that assessments were being conducted according to REPP Program Manual standards. Along with the planning and evaluation support provided, OGL concurrently developed the required Annual Letter of Certifications (ALC) needed for the REPP Program Manual to be delivered to FEMA Region III.
In addition to the REPP activities stated above, OGL exercise design specialists on this contract were tasked with the planning, conducting, and evaluating numerous HSEEP-compliant exercise projects, including Virginia Emergency Support Team (VEST) exercises and training events and considerable discussion- and operations-based exercises throughout Virginia.