What is Emergency Management?

Emergency Management is the system used to coordinate the efforts of city agencies and partners to plan for, coordinate the response to, and recover from major emergencies and disasters.

There is a difference between emergencies, major emergencies, and disasters.  Emergencies are smaller contained incidents that are handled by a single response agency and their partners.  Major emergencies exceed a single agencies capabilities and require multiple response partners working together over a limited period of time.  Disasters exceed the capability of all the city’s resources combined and require assistance from the state and federal government.

Some of the hazards we face that could result in a disaster include:

Severe Thunderstorms | Tornadoes | Flooding | Winter Storms | Excessive Heat | Drought | Earthquakes | Utility Outages | Terrorism | Etc.

There are four major steps in the emergency management cycle:

emergency management cycle 


Preparedness includes planning, training, evaluating and improving procedures before a disaster occurs. This could include things like writing an evacuation plan, installing tornado outdoor warning sirens, strengthening partnerships, etc.  While emergency management staff coordinates preparedness on behalf of the City, it is everyone’s responsibility to participate.  You might consider taking a Community Emergency Response Team class, conducting a home hazard hunt, developing emergency kits for your family and pets, etc.


Response begins when the disaster is imminent or has already occurred.  This may include monitoring conditions, activating the emergency operations center, acting as liaison with local, state, and federal agencies, and providing support to emergency response organizations that are directly involved with the incident.


Recovery is the process of returning the community to its pre-disaster state.  This phase takes place when the immediate threat to life and property has ended.  This is a restoring process that includes things like repairing damaged homes, making repairs to city utilities, tracking costs, applying for federal assistance and generally re-establishing a sense of normalcy.


Mitigation refers to the steps taken to reduce the impact of a disaster before it occurs.  This could include projects such as constructing a dam to prevent flooding, reducing residential zones in hazard areas, constructing new buildings to withstand high winds and earthquakes. One local example of mitigation is flood management along Brush Creek.