Office of Emergency Management

Education & Documents

Emergency preparedness can be divided into four phases:

Mitigation - This phase includes actions taken to prevent or reduce the cause, impact, and consequences of disasters.  Examples of hazard mitigation include:

  • Tying down homes or barns with ground anchors to withstand wind damage
  • Digging water channels to redirect water and planting vegetation to absorb water
  • Constructing levees or permanent barriers to control flooding
  • Buying insurance policies

Preparedness - This phase includes planning, training, and educational activities for events that cannot be mitigated. Examples include:

  • Developing disaster preparedness plans for what to do, where to go, or who to call for help in a disaster
  • Exercising plans through drills, tabletop exercises, and full-scale exercises
  • Creating a supply list of items that are useful in a disaster
  • Walking around a home and identifying possible vulnerabilities to high winds

Response - The response phase occurs in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. During the response phase, business and other operations do not function normally. Personal safety and wellbeing in an emergency and the duration of the response phase depend on the level of preparedness. Examples of response activities include:

  • Implementing disaster response plans
  • Conducting search and rescue missions
  • Taking actions to protect yourself, your family, your animals, and others

Recovery - During the recovery period, restoration efforts occur concurrently with regular operations and activities. The recovery period from a disaster can be prolonged. Examples of recovery activities include:

  • Preventing or reducing stress-related illnesses and excessive financial burdens
  • Rebuilding business processes, knowledge, data, and operations
  • Rebuilding damaged structures based on advanced knowledge obtained from the preceding disaster
  • Reducing vulnerability to future disasters

County Preparedness

Family Preparedness

Business Preparedness