What is Emergency Management?        
      

                                 Emergency Management (EM) is a collaborative, four step process, within and between local, state, and federal jurisdictions.                                           This process applies to citizens, volunteer organizations, and government entities, as we ALL work to develop prepared and                                                                  resilient communities, in the face of unexpected emergencies and disasters..  

1- Mitigation:  The process of preventing or lessening the impact of natural disaster/terrorism.  This is accomplished through studying the types and potential of natural and man-made disasters which could occur. Then taking steps through planning, and zoning processes, as well as coordinating specific mitigation projects, such as flood plain management, or building code enforcement to meet earthquake or fire suppression standards.

2 - Preparedness: The process of planning for natural disaster/terrorism. An Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) for Box Elder County outlines who will do what in a disaster.  This plan is constantly reviewed and County department heads meet monthly at the Emergency Management Committee to plan and train. There are annexes to this plan for specific hazards, such as hazardous materials. This requires coordination with other agencies, organizations and jurisdictions through the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC)

3 - Response:  The process of requesting and managing resources during a natural disaster/terrorism. If a disaster exceeds our capabilities and resources from within the county, there is tiered process in place for us to access additional resources from our Region 1 ( Northern Utah ) partners, the State (Statewide Mutual  or State to State mutual aid(EMAC)), and FEMA.

4 - Recovery:  The process of recovering from natural disaster/terrorism. This is getting utilities back on line, critical infrastructure repaired, business, economic, political, and community systems back up and running. This could take up to years in some cases.

                                                     This process applies to citizens, volunteer organizations, and government entities,
                                    as we ALL work to develop prepared and resilient communities, in the face of unexpected emergencies and disasters..  



                                            What does an Emergency Manager do?

The Emergency Manager (EM) of a jurisdiction is responsible to see that these steps are completed on behalf of that jurisdiction, it's elected officials, it's agencies, and it's citizens. There are many components to each one of these steps, from providing information to the citizens, to building and managing the volunteer programs, building the plans, coordinating the committees which meet regarding a spectrum of topics and issues, and working with the other local, regional, state, and federal partners before, during, and after an emergency.

In the event of an emergency or a disaster, where local resources are expended or insufficient, and the local dispatch center has no more "toolboxes" to get into for "tools" (resources), the emergency manager activates an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in order to activate the pre-established plans and processes to acquire the needed resources. For example: a local Dispatch Center cannot call the State EOC to acquire resources with out using the local EOC first. It is a tiered process of request and acquiring needed resources: City EM to County EM, County EM to Regional* counterparts, County EM to State EM, State EM to other Regions, State EM to other States, then State to Federal Govt. (FEMA).  (* A Region serves as a formalized, extended mutual aid program, if the other counties in that region have the resources to send. There are Seven Homeland Security Regions in the state of Utah.)

Who does Emergency Management?

Individuals and families play a critical part. This comes as personal and family emergency plans are made, and emergency kits and supplies are built.  In the event of a large disaster there simply won’t be enough resources to meet everyone’s needs, especially if it a widespread disaster where other jurisdictions are dealing with the same problems. Local Governments will be overwhelmed during a disaster. Help will need to come from a long way.    It takes time to restore basic resources like water; power, etc. and get State and Federal assets to the scene.  You need to be self-sufficient until those resources can get there.  The old rule of thumb was a 72 hour kit but various disasters have proven help might not arrive by then.  Think one week minimum when building a disaster supply kit.
 
There are Emergency Managers at various levels of Government. Larger cities and towns will have part-time or full-time Emergency Managers. Each county in the state should have a part time or full time  Emergency Manager. Utah has the Division of Emergency management (DEM) and there is the Federal Emergency Management (FEMA).
   
Box Elder County just recently evolved from a part-time  to a full-time emergency management program. The new Emergency Manager works for Sheriff Kevin Potter, who had been the previous Emergency Manager while serving as the Chief Deputy under Sheriff Lynn Yeates. Sheriff Yeates had done the same when he was Chief Deputy. Prior to that, in the early 1990's, Denny Beecher, the County Surveyor was the County Emergency Manager.                        In August of 2015, Box Elder County hired Mark Millett as a full-time Emergency Manager.  Mark retired as Lieutenant, in 2005, after 22 years with the Utah Department of Public Safety. Eighteen years was with UHP, and the last five years he was assigned to  DEM as a Bureau Chief to head up the Technical Hazards Bureau. Mark was co-chair for the task force which did the hazmat and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) counter-terrorism planning for the 2002 Winter Olympics. He has worked nationally and internationally, as consultant to several federal agencies including the FBI, Homeland Security, Dept. of justice, and the Dept. of Defense., since 1999. He has an notable background in Emergency management.
            Between Sheriff Potter's ten years of EM experience, and Mark experience our county is has a bright future being prepared for large scale disasters or emergencies. The goal is; to increase the amount of preparedness information available to individuals and families; to build robust volunteer programs in the county; and to assist the smaller towns and communities take the steps necessary to be more prepared for unexpected disasters.    

                          

               What is a citizen’s role in Emergency Management? 
                           (CLICK HERE)

Learn about emergencies / disasters and how to prepare for them:
                          (CLICK ON ONE)

 

Additional emergency preparedness information and reference material can be obtained by contacting the Box Elder County Sheriff's Office, Emergency Management Director at 435-734-3813.