MDE has enhanced security and preparedness at its headquarters and regional offices. Building evacuation plans have been updated and drills are conducted on a more frequent basis. Additional security staff have been hired and MDE facilities staff are meeting with regional office managers to review increased preparedness measures.
In the wake of recent anthrax incidents around the nation, MDE's central mailroom staff has been utilizing basic protective equipment such as latex gloves and dust masks to minimize any risk of exposure to suspect materials. Mailroom staff members are following law enforcement guidance for handling of suspect letters and packages. Mail handling awareness information has also been provided to MDE's regional offices.
MDE has implemented their business continuity plan preparedness to assure the availability of critical data and information systems. Information technology staff members are monitoring computer resources for any indications of a malicious computer virus or cyberterrorism attack.
MDE finalized a departmental emergency contact directory that allows 24-hour access to critical staff, key external agency contacts and support resources such as laboratories and environmental response contractors.
MDE is working with the Department of General Services to identify back-up operating locations in the event its offices are evacuated.