Scioto County Emergency Management Agency
Who We Are And What We Do
The Scioto County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) was established under Chapter 5502 of the Ohio Revised Code. Scioto County EMA is the central point of coordination within the county for response and recovery to disasters. The primary focus of the agency when not in a response or recovery mode is to ensure that the county with its 83,000 citizens residing in it are prepared to respond to an emergency or disaster and to lead mitigation efforts against the effects of future disasters.
Effective emergency management systems are a tiered effort. When an emergency exceeds the capacity of local government, we request the assistance of the state through the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (EMA). If an emergency response exceeds the capacity of the Ohio EMA, aid is requested from the President of the United States through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. To ensure preparedness and the capability to respond to all levels, it is critical that Scioto County EMA interface regularly with their state and federal counterparts.
During an emergency response or recovery effort, all jurisdictions of local government are focused on the event. Scioto County EMA, as the county commissioner's emergency management organization, may activate the Scioto County Emergency Operations Center located at the Courthouse to better coordinate the county's response.
The team approach is utilized in Scioto County as part of an integrated emergency management system, encompassing key individuals from various agencies, including fire service, emergency medical services, local hospitals, law enforcement, city and county engineering departments, amateur radio operators and various human service entities from government to charitable to civic organizations.
The Scioto County EMA focuses on four phases of an integrated emergency management system-- mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery phases:
- Mitigation is defined as any activity taken to eliminate or reduce the degree of long term risk to human life and property from natural and manmade hazards. Mitigation assumes that society is exposed to risk whether or not an emergency occurs. Typical measures taken for mitigation include building codes; disaster insurance; land use management; litigation; public education and risk mapping.
- Preparedness is defined as any activity taken in advance of an emergency that develops operational capabilities and facilitates an effective response in the event an emergency occurs. Typical measures taken for preparedness include planning for continuity of government in times of disaster; operation of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) for alert and notification of emergency conditions; planning for emergency communication provisions; upgrading of the Emergency Operations Center for coordination during emergency events; providing emergency public information materials; exercising the existing plans through mock disaster drills; updating hazard analysis for the county; updating resource management capabilities; training of emergency response personnel and pursuing warning system capabilities.
- Response is defined as an action taken immediately before, during or directly after an emergency occurs to save lives, minimize damage to property and enhance the effectiveness of recovery. Typical measures taken for response include activation of the Emergency Alert System (EAS); providing emergency instructions to the public; enhancing emergency medical assistance available; alerting public officials to assistance available; reception-care-shelter-and evacuation of the citizenry impacted by emergencies; search and rescue support to field operations; mobilizing local resources and staffing the Emergency Operations Center.
- Recovery is defined as short term activity taken to return vital life support systems to minimum operating standards and long term activity designed to return life to normal or improved levels. Typical measures taken for recovery include damage assessment; debris clearance; crisis counseling; disaster assistance center operations; disaster loans, grants, insurance and unemployment assistance; public information; reconstruction of infrastructure and temporary housing assistance.