Emergency management is a means of responding to large-scale emergencies or disasters.
There are four phases to the emergency management model: 1) Mitigation, 2) Preparedness, 3) Response and 4) Recovery.
Mitigation: Refers to actions taken before an event occurs to prevent or lessen the impact the event has to life and property. Examples of mitigation include; building codes, zoning ordinances, grant funding, and training.
Preparedness: Refers to activities, actions, procurements, planning, training and inter-jurisdictional cooperation designed to increase response readiness to identified hazards the community faces.
Response: Mobilization of resources to meet the needs of the community in response to the nature of the disaster. Mobilization includes local, county, state and federal resources as necessary. Response is usually associated with the period of time immediately after the event and necessary to ensure life safety issues are handled. Examples include; Fire and EMS services, Search and Rescue, debris removal, public works activities and law enforcement.
Recovery: Refers to long term mobilization of support operations that work toward returning the community to its pre-event condition.
The purpose of the Office of Emergency Management is to coordinate the activities of various town departments responsible for continued operations during disasters, coordinate inter-local agreements for resource utilization, communicate with state and federal agencies, and provide education and training. Ultimately, the purpose of emergency management is to increase the town's capabilities to respond to the hazard that threaten the Town, all the while, preventing or reducing the impact of the hazards on the community.