The Emergency Management Department exists to strengthen and protect the community by coordinating and integrating all activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve our capability to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from threatened or actual natural disasters, acts of terrorism, human caused incidents, and major event.
Simply stated, emergency management is the process of creating a framework with which communities reduce vulnerability to hazards and cope with disasters and large scale events.
The Emergency Management Department accomplishes this through Prevention/Mitigation, Protection, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery strategies.
Prevention Protection and Mitigation - Prevention focuses on preventing human hazards primarily from natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Preventative and protective measures are designed to provide more permanent protection from disasters, keeping in mind, not all disasters can be prevented.
Mitigation activities are designed to reduce or eliminate the effects of a disaster in the community. Examples include developing good evacuation plans, environmental planning and design standards as well as flood control measures such as elevating roads, installing culverts, and reviewing planning and zoning requirements. Mitigation sometimes takes place long before a disaster strikes as part of a risk analysis for a community, but often are identified immediately following an emergency or disaster. Mitigation projects typically involve long term planning for implementation.
Preparedness – Preparedness efforts are put in place before an emergency or disaster strikes. Through our emergency management program, we develop Emergency Operations Plans (EOP), provide training to personnel, and test the plans through drills and exercises. Members of the community can assist by staying informed, making plans, building a kit and getting involved.
Response – Response involves the coordination of emergency responders and critical resources to save lives and protect property and the environment. During times of large emergencies and disasters these activities are coordinated through an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) with the guidance set forth in the City of Surprise Emergency Operations Plan (EOP).
Recovery – Recovery takes place immediately following the response phase of a disaster when life safety concerns have been addressed and immediate concerns for public safety have been mitigated. Recovery is the process of rebuilding the community by replacing damaged infrastructure, bringing critical systems back on line, and working with human service agencies to address the ongoing needs of individuals and families impacted by the event.