A Question So Often Asked…
What is an Emergency Management Agency and What Do They Do?
Authority for emergency management in Monroe County comes from the Illinois Emergency Management Act (20 Illinois Complied Statutes 3305/1 et seq. January 1, 2002 and 29 Illinois Administrative Code Part 301) that requires each community to appoint an Emergency Management Agency Coordinator as well as at the county level. At any level of government the EMA Coordinator’s duties are to oversee planning, training, and preparing for emergency response during non-disaster times, and to act as the coordinator of emergency operations during disasters.
All levels of government share emergency management responsibilities. Local government is the front line of emergency management and the county serves as the link between local government and the State.
No area in Illinois, including Monroe County, is immune from severe weather, large fires, hazardous material spills, or other disasters. The emergency management program represents insurance to the county when disaster strikes by insuring that all emergency response groups are well trained and coordinated.
The Emergency Management Agency is not a replacement for the police, fire, ambulance or other emergency response groups. The Emergency Management Agency coordinates response and recovery in declared disasters when more than one department is responding to a threat; the disaster extends beyond the normal mutual aid boundaries of the affected community, or when several communities are involved.
The importance of the Monroe County EMA becomes apparent during times of emergency. After a disaster has happened it is too late to write a comprehensive plan, train personnel, or establish complex emergency communications systems. The County EMA provides guidance, planning models, and workshops on emergency management to local communities and their own EMA staff.
This short video, provided by the NY-NJ-CT-PA Regional Catastrophic Planning Team, does a great job explaining exactly what is is that we do here at the Monroe County Emergency Management Agency.