About the Office of Emergency Management

About OEM

The mission of the New York State Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is to protect the lives and property of the citizens of New York State from threats posed by natural or man-made events. To fulfill this mission, OEM coordinates emergency management services with other federal and State agencies to support county and local governments. OEM routinely assists local government, volunteer organizations, and private industry through a variety of emergency management programs. These programs involve hazard identification, loss prevention, planning, training, operational response to emergencies, technical support, and disaster recovery assistance.

During disasters, OEM coordinates the emergency response of all State agencies to ensure that the most appropriate resources are dispatched to impacted areas. Since 1954, New York State has received 81 federal emergency or disaster declarations. OEM coordinated the State response and recovery efforts in all of those events, including the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

OEM's legal foundations are in the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950 and the New York State Defense Emergency Act of 1951. Article 2-B of the New York State Executive Law, enacted in 1978, created the New York State Disaster Preparedness Commission and shifted emphasis from civil defense to all-hazards preparedness.

Administrative and program support are provided by OEM to the Disaster Preparedness Commission, which functions as the Governor's policy management group for the State's emergency management program.


Kevin E. Wisely

Director, NYS Office of Emergency Management

The former Commissioner of Onondaga County Department of Emergency Management, Kevin has 30 years’ experience in emergency services, both in the private and public sector.  His oversight and leadership of the Onondaga County Emergency Management, Security, Fire and Emergency Medical Services Bureaus included responsibility for emergency incident response to provide command and control support to County emergency services agencies. 

Active in the emergency services community, Kevin has been an instructor, volunteer fire chief, emergency medical technician, hazardous materials incident responder, deputy coordinator for emergency management and hazardous materials, fire advisory board member and field trainer.  He has contributed his expertise as Chief of Department for the Belgium-Cold Springs Fire Department, Lieutenant of the Liverpool Fire Department and as Captain of the Moyers Corners Fire Department.  As an adjunct instructor at Onondaga Community College, Kevin has been training firefighters for over 20 years in various aspects of emergency response, including serving as an instructor for the nationally certified Fire Fighter Professional Qualification program.

For 21 years, prior to joining Onondaga County Emergency Management, Kevin was employed at National Grid (formerly Niagara Mohawk) serving the company in various capacities including fire protection, corporate and employee safety and emergency dispatch, with his last role as the Manager of Network Operations Training and Development.

Kevin holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA), Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration and an Associates of Occupational Studies Degree.

OEM Sections & Programs

Citizen Corps

The New York State Citizen Corps program encourages NYS citizens to actively participate in their community in areas such as crime prevention, emergency response, and emergency preparedness and mitigation for not only acts of terror, but for all hazards - including those disasters caused naturally, by humans, or by technology.

Chemical Preparedness

OEM continues to seek and receive federal training funds to promote chemical emergency preparedness. The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) complies with the federal Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA) Title III by directing and supervising Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPC) to mitigate emergencies involving acutely toxic substances and other hazardous materials.

Disaster Recovery Assistance

OEM receives and disburses millions of dollars annually in federal and StateBi disaster public assistance funds to local governments, State agencies and other eligible applicants. Since 1995, more than $2 billion in reimbursements have been made to affected entities.

Emergency Alert System

OEM is a co-chair of the State Emergency Communications Committee (SECC) which oversees the planning for the State's Emergency Alert System (EAS).

Emergency Communications

OEM operates a 24-hour alert and warning point in its New York State Watch Center to provide support to local, State and federal governments in reporting and responding to incidents.

Emergency Management Performance Grant

OEM continues to seek, manage and distribute millions of dollars to county and city governments in federal funds annually from FEMA within the Department of Homeland Security.

Public Information

OEM disseminates public health and safety protection information to the general public affected by emergencies and declared disasters. Educational materials are distributed to raise the public's level of awareness and preparedness regarding natural and technological threats. OEM also provides regional training for public information professionals working for State and local government agencies.

Emergency Equipment Stockpile

OEM maintains the State's Emergency Equipment Stockpile. Equipment is made available on a temporary loan basis to local and State governments primarily for drought relief, flooding, and emergency power and light generation. Available for loan are power generators; pumps, piping and water filters; potable water tankers; portable light towers; chainsaws; chlorinators; and sandbag-filling machines.

Emergency Operations

OEM coordinates all State response and initial recovery activities to support county and local government operations during an emergency. OEM also coordinates federal resources to support the State's activities. The State response is guided by Article 2-B of the State Executive Law, the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, and Executive Order No. 26 which establishes the National Interagency Incident Management System - Incident Command System as the State standard command and control system.

Homeland Security

OEM works with State agencies to coordinate response protocols and policies. The Director of OEM is a member of the Governor's security team that provides technical advice and guidance on all Homeland Security issues for New York State. OEM works with all levels of government, voluntary organizations and the private sector to assure that specific, identified areas of vulnerability are addressed and mitigated. OEM provides technical assistance to local governments in developing and enhancing Homeland Security plans. It also develops, facilitates and participates in multi-agency, multi-discipline exercises directly related to terrorism response.

Human Services

OEM coordinates the provision of goods and services to victims of emergencies and disasters through the partnership of State, federal and local agencies, voluntary organizations and the private sector. OEM works with State and local governments in developing plans to incorporate human services into readiness, response and recovery activities.


OEM initiates and promotes mitigation planning and project implementation to protect lives and reduce the impact of disasters on developed land including roads, bridges, and buildings in New York State. OEM provides project management and technical assistance for planning, project identification, application development, environmental review, and benefit cost analysis. Major mitigation programs include Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, Flood Mitigation Assistance Program, and Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program.


OEM provides planning assistance to counties, municipalities and State agencies in assessing hazards and developing emergency response and business continuity plans. As described in the OEM publication, Emergency Planning Guide for Community Officials , OEM will guide a community or agency through a 10-step planning process, including a Hazard Analysis Workshop, Risk Reduction Report, and Capability Assessment. OEM also offers a variety of training courses on planning and, on its website, various "Planning Tools" through which a self-starting community or organization can undertake the planning process by itself. OEM is responsible for the development and maintenance of State-level plans, including the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and its various hazard-specific and functional annexes.

Radiological Preparedness

OEM assists the seven counties surrounding New York State's three commercially licensed nuclear power sites with federally-mandated emergency planning, training and emergency response and recovery activities. OEM is also responsible for the State's planning efforts, coordinating the State's response to an event, and interfacing with the appropriate federal agencies.


OEM has state-of-the-art communications technology to assist county and local governments and State agencies in times of emergency. This includes Command 1, a multiple use vehicle which serves as a multi-mode communication link at the scene of a disaster or planned event. The vehicle may also serve as an executive briefing suite with video conferencing capability, provide a video link from the scene of the event to a remote location, and offer redundant communications from the incident scene.

Training & Exercises

OEM provides access to emergency management training and exercises through customized curricula and coordination of external training programs to meet the needs of the emergency management professionals in the State of New York. Training programs include Incident Command System (ICS), Emergency Coordination Center Operations, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Train-the-Trainer, and the Professional Development Series, as well as other specialized training and exercise programs.

Regional Map

Region Iregional map

Phone: (631) 952-6322
Fax: (631) 952-3364
Email: OEMRegion1dl@dhses.ny.gov

Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk

Region II

Phone: (845) 454-0430
Fax: (845) 454-4620
Email: OEMRegion2dl@dhses.ny.gov

Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester

Region III

Phone: (518) 793-6646
Fax: (518) 793-6647
Email: OEMRegion3dl@dhses.ny.gov

Albany, Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, St. Lawrence, Warren, Washington

Region IV

Phone: (315) 438-8907
Fax: (315) 438-3350
Email: OEMRegion4dl@dhses.ny.gov

Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Otsego, Oswego, Tioga, Tompkins

Region V

Phone: (315) 331-4880
Fax: (315) 331-3934
Email: OEMRegion5dl@dhses.ny.gov

Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates

Kevin E. Wisely