The mission of the Nevada Division of Emergency Management (NDEM) is to coordinate efforts, protect lives and property, to prevent, respond to, recover from and mitigate all threats, hazards and emergencies. NDEM is part of the family of divisions belonging to the Department of Public Safety. When a disaster or emergency impacts a city, county or tribal nation in the state, NDEM staff are ready to provide support. Representatives from many other state agencies, as well as volunteers who are responsible for disaster response and recovery efforts, also participate in emergency operations at the state level. Some division staff members are on call 24-hours a day to assist local and tribal authorities in response to all types of emergencies that occur around the state and the region. In addition to daily support, the division staff also maintains a ready posture in the State Emergency Operations Center.
People ask quite regularly, “What do you do when there are no emergencies?” There are a variety of activities the staff performs at this agency to maintain a world-class emergency management program; all of the employees at NDEM wear multiple hats. We all have our “day jobs” where we work to develop and maintain emergency management capabilities statewide through grants, trainings, exercises and developing plans.
This agency supports local agencies and coordinates efforts to help citizens become more aware of the threats and hazards around them and ways in which to deal with or mitigate these threats, statewide. When an alert comes in that a local jurisdiction is dealing with an emergency and has activated their emergency operations center, the state agency takes the same action in its center to actively support the impacted area.
This year, NDEM earned a national emergency management accreditation. The emergency management standard by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) is a set of 64 standards by which programs that apply for EMAP accreditation are evaluated. The standard is designed as a tool for continuous improvement as part of the voluntary accreditation process for local and state emergency management programs. The emergency management standard covers areas including but not limited to hazard identification, risk assessment and consequence analysis, hazard mitigation, operational planning, incident management, communications and warning, exercises, evaluations and corrective action and public education and information.
As the division prepares for the fall, we are doing so with a series of outreach events in September, during National Preparedness Month. We are excited to promote a variety of activities and share information that individuals, groups, businesses and agencies can use to prepare for emergencies and enhance swift recovery from such events.
A few activities scheduled for this fall:
- NDEM’s National Preparedness Month open house: This September 3rd event will include the EMAP accreditation ceremony, demonstrations, tours and emergency preparedness tips.
- America’s PrepareAthon – Held on September 30th, this event allows individuals, organizations and communities to prepare for specific hazards through drills, group discussions and exercises.
- Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills: Held on October 16th, these drills are an annual opportunity for people in homes, schools and organizations to practice what to do during earthquakes, and to improve preparedness.
- Flood Awareness Week: On the week of November 10th, NDEM will promote flood awareness in order to help create flood resilient communities in the state.