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Emergency Management Director (EMDs)

The role of the Emergency Management Director is to recognize vulnerabilities, threats and hazards in their own community. They conduct recovery operations and are responsible for coordinating the various components of the emergency management system: fire, law enforcement, emergency medical services, public works, volunteer groups, and State resources.

When a disaster occurs you must move swiftly according to your preparedness plan. Even though you may be in charge, you cannot do anything you want or act irresponsibly. Your actions must be consistent with those provided for by the law. There are federal, state and local laws that govern what you can do. It is extremely important that you act within these laws so that you are legally carrying out your duties and are not subject to criminal or civil lawsuits because you acted beyond your authority as specified by the federal, state or local laws

Federal Law

The Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950, Public Law 920, 81st Congress as amended, is the legal basis for national civil defense and emergency management in the United States. This Act of Congress establishes that the responsibility for national civil defense and emergency management is vested jointly in the federal government, your state government, and the political subdivision in which your responsibility lies. In other words, you are a partner with the federal and state government when it comes to the actions you must take in disaster situations.

The Local Emergency Management Director needs to incorporate the four phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

There are several core functions a Local Emergency Management Director must perform:

–› Identify hazards

–› Analyze vulnerability

–› Assessment of capabilities-Develop
an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP)

–›Develop effective relationships

–› Improve preparedness

–›Coordinate response/recovery activities

–›Encourage hazard mitigation
–› Develop public information procedures

–› Remain current through emergency management training

–›Act as coordinator to prepare and develop response plans, an all hazards plan, and a mitigation plan.

The individual duties of the Local Emergency Management Director will vary based on the town’s location, local concerns, ordinances, and other regulations. The following is a list of the duties typically performed by the local Emergency Management Director:
Act as the lead point of contact in any emergency situation.
Develop an Emergency Operating Center (EOC) facility, a protected site from which key local officials control operations.
Develop EOC staffing and internal procedures to permit key local officials to conduct coordinated operations in emergencies.
Conduct tests and exercises to give local officials practice in directing coordinated operations under simulated emergency conditions.
Develop a local government emergency operations plan, outlining what each local agency and supporting group would do in the case of any emergency.
Establish a system to alert key local officials in the event of an emergency.
Coordinate and lead emergency communications planning, secure all required equipment, and exercise emergency communications.
Coordinate with doctors, hospitals, and public/private sector medical personnel to develop emergency medical plans and capabilities, as part of local emergency plans.
Establish and maintain a shelter system.
Establish and maintain an emergency public information system and train personnel to utilize it.
Coordinate with the Red Cross and other volunteer groups to develop an emergency welfare capability to care for people needing mass care as a result of any emergency.
Establish and maintain relationships with industry to develop industrial emergency plans and capabilities in support of local emergency plans.
Assist local operating departments such as the police department, fire department, and public works with their training needs.
Coordinate and participate in training programs for the public during local emergencies.
Assist in the establishment of mutual aid agreements to provide needed services, equipment, or other resources during an emergency.
Prepare, submit, and justify the annual emergency management budget.
Secure matching funds and other assistance available through the State Emergency Management program and through other Federal programs.
Things to Think About

–›Local Emergency Management Directors (EMDs) are best at raising awareness of both local needs and solutions.

–›Disaster preparedness and protection begin at home and at work. Educate the members of your community, businesses, schools, scouts, and other youth groups.

–›Develop a close relationship with your State EMD. The State is a valuable source of knowledge and experience.

–›Home and business preparedness and mitigation make a big difference in the amount of damage incurred as well as reduction in injuries and deaths.

–›Individuals need to know when to call for help and who to call to report damages. The town needs to have a good tracking system of these calls.

–›Your knowledge of your town, its needs, and its strengths is invaluable.

–›Your knowledge of Emergency

Management procedures is invaluable to your town in keeping an event from becoming catastrophic, in helping the town plan to avoid disaster, and in helping the town respond safely in the event of an emergency.
Whether paid or a volunteer, everyone performing emergency management functions must be trained in a broad range of emergency procedures. The training necessary for anyone working in this field continues to increase because of Federal Regulations, Industry Safety Requirements, Court Decisions, and the need to keep up with increasingly complex environmental demands.
As in any profession, training is a very important part of the process, which is vital if one is going to keep pace with ongoing changes in the field of Emergency Management.
Emergency Management Training
Independent study courses are available that can be completed at home. These are highly recommended to get an overview of specific subject areas. These courses are an excellent way to begin and continue your emergency management education.
IS-2 - Emergency Management, U.S.A.

IS-3 - Radiological Emergency Management Orientation

IS-7 - A Citizen’s Guide to Disaster Assistance

IS-120 - Orientation to Community Disaster Exercises

IS-195 - Basic Incident Command System

IS-275 - The EOC’s Role in Community Preparedness

IS-393 - Introduction to Mitigation