Office of Emergency Management
The primary mission of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is to assist County and Local Governments and the public in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from natural, technological, or human-caused disasters.
The primary duties of the OEM may change depending on the stage of the disaster response.
Before a disaster, OEM staff spend much time collaborating with local, state, and federal agencies and non-government organizations (NGOs) to review and update Saginaw County disaster response plans. These plans are guides during emergency response and recovery activities and cover hazardous materials releases, severe weather, and mass casualty incidents, to name a few.
OEM staff can also assist schools and businesses with creating or reviewing their Emergency Response Plans and training staff in disaster prevention and response.
Training and Exercise
OEM staff coordinates or facilitates training for first responders and the public. As part of a regular training cycle, exercises are conducted to test existing plans and response capabilities. These exercises may be as simple as gathering responders to talk through the expected response to an emergency (a tabletop exercise) or as complex as a live simulation where equipment and personnel are dispatched to a location. The full-scale exercise often involves volunteers who “play” the part of victims with various levels of injuries.
During a disaster response, the OEM may monitor an incident to prepare for a more involved response or to act as a conduit for information between local responders to various agencies at the State and Federal levels of government.
The Saginaw County Emergency Operations Plan and Emergency Operations Center may be activated during a more complex or long-term response. Through the EOC, information is gathered and routed to the appropriate agencies or the public, and resource needs are evaluated, fulfilled, and tracked.
Once an incident is stabilized, the OEM assists with damage assessment and debris management. They also coordinate with State and Federal agencies to provide recovery services and act as part of a Long-Term Recovery Group for the Area (LTRG). The LTRG consists of government, non-government, and private organizations whose goal is to assist the disaster survivors in, as much as possible, returning to a pre-disaster state. This assistance could be through grants, monetary, material, or labor donations.