Emergency Management

The Department of Public Safety works closely with the local jurisdictions to plan and prepare for emergencies and potential disaster events that may threaten our communities. Through the help of additional resources from neighboring counties, New York State Office of Emergency Management (NYSOEM) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) planning and preparations of such disasters can occur and begin to prepare for the devastating effects of what may come with these hazards and to be able to recover from the damages and better our communities for such events in the future.

Phases
As time has gone by, the severity of storms and the quantity of such severe storms is on the rise and the best way to prepare for these events is through the defined practices of the 4 phases of emergency management of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

Mitigation
Preventing future emergencies or minimizing their effects on the community:
  • Includes any activities that prevent an emergency, reduce the chance of an emergency happening, or reduce the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies.
  • Buying flood and fire insurance for your home is a mitigation activity that is performed by the homeowner.
  • Mitigation activities take place before and after emergencies, such as replacing culverts or increasing drainage capabilities in problem areas.
Preparedness
Being prepared to handle an emergency that shall occur (naturally occurring or man-made):
  • Includes plans or preparations made to save lives and to help response and rescue operations.
  • Evacuation plans and stocking food and water are both examples of preparedness by the individual.
  • Preparedness activities take place before an emergency occurs and can include but are not limited to planning, training, exercising, and evaluating.
Response
Responding safely to an emergency situation and the immediate actions taken after an event has occurred:
  • Includes actions taken to save lives and prevent further property damage in an emergency situation.
  • Response is putting your preparedness plans into action to facilitate an organized approach.
  • Seeking shelter from a tornado or turning off gas valves in an earthquake are both response activities.
  • A Response activities takes place during an emergency or immediately after the event has occurred.
Recovery
Recovering from an emergency:
  • Includes actions taken to return to a normal or an even safer situation following an emergency.
  • Recovery is the effort to return the community to “normalcy” and the effort to promote community restoration which may also address some of the issues to which caused the severity of the damages.
  • Recovery measures, both short and long term, include returning vital life-support systems to minimum operating standards, temporary housing, public information, health and safety education, reconstruction, counseling programs, and economic impact studies.
  • Recovery includes getting financial assistance to help pay for the repairs.
  • Recovery activities take place after an emergency response is initiated and continues well after the response phase.
  • Information resources and services include data collection related to rebuilding, and documentation of lessons learned to be shared and learned from following the event studies.