Overview of Emergency Management
What is Emergency management?
Emergency management – often referred to as disaster management – is focused on mitigating the risks, preparing for possible catastrophes and disasters, responding to threats or actual disasters, and recovering from disaster.
Emergency management is the process that is put into place to deal with any emergencies that may occur. This could range from a natural disaster like a hurricane or tornado to a man-made disaster like a terrorist attack. Emergency teams involve themselves throughout the entire emergency lifecycle—from prevention, response, and post-emergency assessment.
Emergency managers begin their focus on prevention. This means putting into place plans and procedures to help respond quickly and effectively to any emergency. It also means ensuring you have the resources and capabilities needed to respond, such as personnel, equipment, and supplies.
Once an emergency occurs, the emergency management team will go into action. They will coordinate the response efforts of all the different agencies and organizations involved and make sure that everyone is working together towards the common goal of protecting people and property.
Finally, once the emergency has been dealt with, the emergency management team will conduct a post-emergency assessment to find out what went well and what could be improved next time.
What does the Athens County Emergency Management Agency (ACEMA) do?
The Athens County Emergency Management Agency is the central point of coordination within Athens County for response and recovery to disasters. The ACEMA are the behind-the-scenes emergency management professionals who ensure the seamless coordination or orchestration of emergency services. Their ability to coordinate strategies and procedures with emergency personnel at every level, from state and federal to county and local, is essential for ensuring that emergency contingencies are expertly handled and planned. Their organizational efforts, in such areas as disaster and emergency preparedness, are essential to mitigation/prevention, preparing for, responding, and recovering from a natural or manmade disaster. The ACEMA is the bridge to the Ohio Emergency Management Agency who then coordinates at a Federal Level.
The primary focus of the agency when not in a response or recovery mode is to ensure that the county and citizens residing in it, are prepared to respond to an emergency or disaster and to lead mitigation efforts against the effects of future disasters. This can include conducting notification exercises and drills, attending and holding training, developing/conducting exercises and drills, researching and seeking grants to enhance infrastructure and capabilities, community education and awareness, developing plans and improving historic response efforts using the most recent evidence based best practices and after action response evaluations, to just name some of the work done by the ACEMA.