New York State Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services
The Local Emergency Management Accreditation Program is a voluntary program that provides local emergency management offices in New York State a mechanism to evaluate and enhance the overall proficiency of their agency. Accreditation is a formal recognition that an office's policies and practices meet or exceed standards in all primary aspects of emergency management, to include preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation. It is expected that emergency management offices seeking accreditation will have an inclusive approach to emergency management, making efforts to engage "Whole Community" stakeholders, including government and non-government partners, and by considering the needs of those that may require specific considerations (e.g., the disabled, the elderly, etc.) during an emergency or disaster.
This Program also represents the strong collaboration and continued partnership between the New York State Emergency Management Association (NYSEMA) and the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES). NYSEMA and DHSES have worked cooperatively to develop this program with guidance and input from the emergency management community in New York State.
In 2017, an Accreditation Council was established as the formal oversight and governing body for the Program, to include making the final determination on whether or not an Emergency Management Office (EMO) has met the accreditation standards. The Accreditation Council is co-chaired by the President of the New York State Emergency Management Association (NYSEMA) and the NYS DHSES Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Director. The Council includes a total of eight members, with the President of NYSEMA and DHSES OEM Director each appointing three additional representatives. In doing so, efforts are made to ensure the Council accurately reflects the emergency management community in New York, to include a cross-section of emergency management professionals from across the State, including urban and rural, as well as large and small jurisdictions. Each of the appointed members serve a three year term.
As the governing body for the Program, the Accreditation Council is responsible for final approval of the accreditation process, ensuring the associated standards are both current and relevant, and that the program remains viable. The Accreditation Council oversees the Standards Workgroup mentioned below and may establish other Workgroups as necessary.
To become accredited, Emergency Management Offices must meet a variety of emergency management standards. The standards were developed by the Standards Workgroup of State and local emergency management professionals appointed by the Accreditation Council. The standards were developed based on a combination of factors, to include the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) standards, relevant State laws (e.g., Article 2B of NYS Executive Law), and emergency management best practices.
Emergency Management Offices at any jurisdictional level in New York State (County, City, Town, and Village) may seek accreditation, if they can meet the standards. For the purposes of this program, the Emergency Management Office (EMO) refers to the agency, office, or entity that has been formally recognized and granted the power and authority to administer the Emergency Management Program on behalf of the jurisdiction, to include but not limited to the coordination of emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts. It is recognized that in some cases the EMO may be part of a larger public safety agency; however, for that agency to receive accreditation, they must meet all of the Program standards.
Role of NYS DHSES
NYS DHSES serves as the administrative agent for the Program. In doing so, DHSES's responsibilities include but are not limited to: providing technical assistance to those interested in seeking accreditation, coordinating the accreditation and assessment process, and providing training to those interested in becoming assessors. DHSES also provides administrative support to the Accreditation Council and covers the associated administrative costs for the Program, including travel and lodging costs for the Assessors. DHSES works closely with NYSEMA, the Accreditation Council, and other members of the emergency management community as it relates to the administration of the Program.
Role of NYSEMA
NYSEMA is a non-profit organization created to support and enhance local emergency management efforts in the State. NYSEMA members include emergency management professionals from across the State and the members play an active role in the Program, to include serving on the Accreditation Council, the Standards Workgroup and as assessors. Like DHSES, NYSEMA also helps promote the Program and is a resource to provide insight and technical assistance to those interested in seeking accreditation.
The accreditation is not in any manner intended to serve as a warranty, affirmation, or guarantee of the quality of performance of or procedures utilized by accredited emergency management offices in their line of work. The Program is only intended to establish a baseline level of proficiency in meeting the defined emergency management standards related to preparing for, responding to, recovering from, or mitigating emergency situations.
NYSEMA and NYS DHSES specifically disclaim any and all liability for any third party claims, actions, causes of action, judgments, liabilities, monetary losses, or injuries or damages to persons or property arising out of or resulting from the services performed by or any errors or omissions on the part of any accredited EMO.