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About the Office . . .

Muskingum County Emergency Management Agency

Muskingum County Emergency Management Agency / Office of Homeland Security


What Is Emergency Management?


A question that is most often asked is, "What is Emergency Management?" Emergency Management implements procedures to reduce eliminate or minimize the impact of disasters on our citizens. Many of you will remember us as Civil Defense. Probably the most vivid reminder is when we see a yellow and black shelter marker still on a public building today. Until a few years ago, we could find bulk containers of water, crackers and candy along with blankets and other shelter items stored at these locations. These items have all been removed and the Red Cross handles sheltering for our communities. Emergency Management Agencies have replaced Civil Defense and the emphasis has changed from nuclear disasters to natural weather emergencies, weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical incidents, hazardous material (haz-mat) incidents and terrorism.


Emergency Management serves as a resource to first responders at all incidents. Local Haz-mat teams are specially trained to properly handle chemical spills, search and rescue teams are properly trained to rescue those trapped and personnel are specially trained to handle weapons of mass destruction situations. If the local resources are totally committed and more assistance is needed, your local Emergency Management Agency requests state and national assistance.


In Ohio, local requests for assistance go to the Ohio Emergency Management Agency which provides state resources or requests Federal resources if they are not available in the state. Part of this process requires local government officials to pass a declaration.


A good example of this process is the need for debris removal assistance from the public right-of-way following a disaster. If the local resources are not able to provide manpower and equipment to remove and haul the debris, due to the large amount of debris left by the disaster, contact would be made with the State of Ohio Emergency Management Agency to request resources to handle the problem. The resources would be assigned either by the Ohio EMA or requested from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). A Disaster of this magnitude would have a request from the Governor to the President for a Presidential Declaration.