Homeland Security and Emergency Services


Emergency Planning Tools

The NYS OEM Planning Section, in conjunction with the New York State Emergency Management Association (NYSEMA), develops tools to assist emergency managers and planners in formulating, developing and writing emergency plans

Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP)

History has shown us the importance of continuity planning for both the private and public sectors. In an effort to support New York State's continuity preparedness, the State Office of Emergency Management has developed a series of Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) planning tools, intended to assist the planning teams throughout the development of their COOP. Applicable to all levels of State, county/local and tribal territories, each document is structured in a manner that could be used independently or in conjunction with one another.

COOP Planning Tools

  • New York State's Continuity of Operations Planning Guide and Outline: The guide is intended to serve as the framework and starting point for your Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). It can can be used in tandem with the New York State's Continuity of Operations Resource Guidance, or as a stand-alone document. Throughout this outline, you will find recommendations and prompts that will assist you with the development of your plan in an easy to follow format and layout.
  • New York State's Continuity of Operations Resource Guide: The resource guide is designed to educate readers on Continuity of Operations Planning. This guide is a blend of several best practices from noteworthy continuity methodologies, structured in a manner that will guide the reader through the planning process with the use of "Readers Tips" and "Sample Text."
  • COOP Evaluation Checklist: This checklist can be used in conjunction with either of the above referenced guides. This checklist can be considered a final step in the creation of your COOP or a resource to evaluate the content of your current COOP. After this checklist is complete, your plan will be ready for testing and exercising.
  • Continuity of Operations Planning Workshop: This one-day workshop follows the concept of the NYS Continuity of Operations Resource Guide and the NYS Continuity of Operations Planning Guide and Outline. Intended to educate the participants through instruction and classroom discussion, the participants will be exposed to a variety of COOP methodologies and best practices from both the private and the public sector. Planning staff are available to deliver this workshop to further instill the concepts and principles of continuity planning.
    Please contact the Planning Section at phone number (518) 292-2302 if you are interested in scheduling the COOP Planning Workshop.

Empire County Annex for Pandemic Influenza - Sample Plan Under Revision

This is a sample plan for Pandemic Influenza that may serve as a hazard-specific annex to a county Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) and build upon its process and structure in addressing Pandemic Influenza. 

Dam Safety Preparedness

Several fact sheets were created to guide both EAP planning and local government planning efforts respectively. These include tips and points in how to structure each respective plan, and specific information on the submission EAPs to the NYS Office of Emergency Management.

Mass Fatality Guidance Document

Emergency Response Guidebook

The Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG2012) was developed jointly by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico (SCT) for use by firefighters, police, and other emergency services personnel who may be the first to arrive at the scene of a transportation incident involving a hazardous material.  The new Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG2016) will be available in early 2016.

Hazard Mitigation / Risk Reduction

For more information on New York State mitigation programs, including mitigation planning, please visit NYS OEM's Mitigation Section.

Radiological Emergency Preparedness

State Emergency Response Commission

The State of New York uses E-Plan for accepting online submission of Tier II chemical inventory information.  This program is available for use by local government and industry at no cost.  For more information, see Tier II basic requirements in Programs under SERC.



Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) 8: National Preparedness

This directive is aimed at strengthening the security and resilience of the United States through systematic preparation for the threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation, including acts of terrorism, cyber attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters.

National Preparedness Goal

The National Preparedness Goal is the first deliverable required under Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) 8: National Preparedness. The National Preparedness Goal sets the vision for preparedness nationwide and identifies the core capabilities and capability targets necessary to achieve that vision across the five mission areas: prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery.

Department of Homeland Security Publications

The publications listed on this page may include reports, plans, strategies, federal register notices, brochures, or newsletters. Examples include:

  • National Emergency Communication Plan
  • National Response Framework
  • Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources Support Annex
  • National Incident Management System
  • National Strategy for Homeland Security
  • Tactical Interoperable Communications Scorecards
  • National Preparedness Guidelines

National Infrastructure Protection Plan

Responders Knowledge Base (RKB)

The RKB provide emergency responders, purchasers, and planners with a trusted, integrated, online source of information on products, standards, certifications, grants, and other equipment-related information.

NYS Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP)

The development of the New York State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) is required under NYS Executive Law, Article 2B. The plan is developed and maintained by the New York State Office of Emergency Management and agencies that comprise the NYS Disaster Preparedness Commission (DPC). The CEMP is contained in three distinct, but interconnected volumes.

These are:

  • Volume 1: The State Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan: This portion of the CEMP addresses the State's overall hazard mitigation planning process, risk assessment, strategy development and plan implementation.  Having a FEMA-approved mitigation plan provides New York State and its communities access to the full range of post-disaster recovery programs and each of FEMA's five hazard mitigation programs to reduce the effect of similar events. It also allows New York State to identify ongoing mitigation opportunities and take maximum advantage of available Federal funding to implement mitigation measures at the State and local levels. The plan offers a source of natural hazard data and can serve as a guide in content and formatting as local plan writers prepare their own mitigation plans and develop local strategies.
  • Volume 2: Response and Short-Term Recovery: The purpose of this document is to identify the State's overarching policies, authorities and response organizational structure that will be implemented in any emergency or disaster situation that warrants a collective, multi-agency State response. This volume of the CEMP serves as the basic planning framework for the State's response, and includes the mechanisms to address short-term recovery from any hazard that could adversely affect the State. This volume also serves as the basic foundational framework for the development of several functional and hazard-specific annexes.
  • Volume 3: Long-Term Recovery Plan: This volume includes the provisions for implementing long-term recovery activities and functions, including mitigation, as provided for under the Federal Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and a variety of Federal-State programs. Volume 3 also recognizes the primacy of local governments in the implementation of long-term recovery plans and, depending on the nature and impact of the disaster, new programs that might be necessary to effectuate full recovery.

State Multi-Agency Functional Branch Annexes

The State CEMP is supplemented by a series of other operational plans, including several functional branch annexes. Each functional branch annexes identifies the individual and collective response activities of multiple state agencies in applying their collective resources to an emergency. The functional branch annexes are listed below.

  • Animal Protection Branch (APB) Annex: This annex outlines the approach to providing services to protect humans and animal populations from animal-borne disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and other emergencies. This annex is supported by detailed appendices for emerging infectious diseases in non-human populations and temporary emergency animal sheltering.
  • Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CI/KR) Branch Annex: This annex provides coordinated, short-term and focused assistance to facilitate the restoration of critical infrastructure. In addition, this annex provides the platform to continually monitor and report the operational status of critical infrastructure during emergency situations. This scope of this annex does not address transportation related concerns, which are addressed in the Transportation Infrastructure Branch (TIB) Annex.
  • Emergency Services Branch (ESB) Annex: This annex outlines the operational capabilities to support state and local emergency services activities and response efforts. The annex identifies the general concept of operations for proving state-level support to search and rescue efforts, emergency medical services, and overall support for hazardous materials incidents.
  • Law Enforcement and Security (LE&SB) Branch Annex: This annex outlines the state's approach to providing state law enforcement personnel and services in times of need. This plan includes multi-agency capabilities that can be applied to augment local law enforcement response activities across a broad range of hazards.
  • Public Health and Medical Functional Branch Annex: This annex outlines the state's approach to providing a unified public health response component across state and local response activities. The annex provides general concepts in applying a public health focus and operational support to an emergency, and describes the assignment of responsibilities for various public health functions.
  • Transportation Infrastructure Branch (TIB) Annex: The purpose of this annex is to provide prioritized, coordinated, temporary, and focused, strategic planning assistance and resources to restore transportation infrastructure. The TIB also supports awareness of the operational status of the State's transportation infrastructure during emergency situations or planned events, which may include the status of transportation infrastructure elements in adjacent states or provinces. The TIB annex is supported by a Transportation Coordination Appendix: which identifies headquarters-level support and oversight for managing closures on the NYS Thruway.
  • Human Service Branch (HSB) Annex: The Human Services Annex and Standard Operating Guide (SOG) to the State’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) supports the human services response to disasters in New York State through all phases of emergency management. It provides details on the roles and responsibilities of member agencies and groups supporting the overall human services mission to minimize the disaster impact by responding quickly and compassionately to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs of disaster victims to restore the dignity, self-esteem and well-being of the citizens. The Human Services Branch consists of several groups that focus on specific functional areas that align most with Emergency Support Functions #6 and #8, as well as long-term recovery. The branch structure includes groups to support the following activities: Mass Care, Mental Health, Disaster Assistance Centers, Housing and Unmet needs. Coordination and collaboration of member agencies and partners at the federal, state, local and non-governmental and voluntary agencies is critical to accomplish this task. The HSB annex is supplemented by a Mass Care Support Plan, that includes provisions to support shelters. The Mass Care plan meets the required guidelines to address access functional needs in all shelters in NYS.

Hazard-Specific and Functional Annexes

The State CEMP is also supplemented by additional emergency plans that are very narrow in their scope. These include several hazard-specific plans that address one individual hazard or risk, as well as other functional plans that can support response operations across a broad range of hazards. Several plans are currently under review. The completed annexes and their descriptions are listed below.

  • Emergency Public Information Annex: The Emergency Information Annex establishes policies and operational procedures for disseminating official information and instructions to the people of New York State through all available communications media before, during, and after an emergency or disaster in any location of the State in support of State response/recovery operations. This function must be capable of issuing emergency instructions; responding to the needs of the public, the media and elected officials; and conducting media monitoring and public inquiry.
  • Drought Annex: The New York State Drought Management Coordination Annex provides the framework for the implementation of strategies and actions to reduce the impact of drought conditions. Through coordinated preparedness and response efforts, the impact of drought conditions on communities and commerce can be reduced. This Annex identifies State and local actions to be undertaken for drought mitigation, preparedness and response as drought conditions become evident.
  • Coastal Storm Annex: This Annex applies to any warm weather or cold weather coastal storm that warrants a collective, multi-agency state disaster response.  This Annex identifies the key mechanisms in coordinating with local and federal stakeholders in response to an impending coastal storm.  This document includes an operational timeline and operating protocols that ensures the State's response is mobilized in advance of all local or Federal plans.
  • Pandemic Annex: This Annex to the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan outlines New York State's strategy in preparing for, responding to and recovering from a pandemic in a collective, multi-agency approach. This annex outlines the potential impacts and concerns associated with a novel strain of virus in New York State, and aligns State/Federal response activities that encompass the efforts of the New York State Department of Health Pandemic Influenza Plan, and the recently revised operating framework of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
  • NYS Mass Fatality Annex: Several events have occurred in New York State that serves as a constant reminder of the challenges and sensitivities associated with fatality management. Over the last two years, State OEM Planning Staff and staff from the NYS Department of Health jointly spearheaded a planning effort to develop a State-level Mass Fatality Annex to the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP). The planning team included representatives from numerous DPC agencies, as well as local government, health and hospital organizations, volunteer organizations, and the private sector. The annex is an all hazards, capabilities-based plan that leverages the wealth of resources and support from multiple DPC agencies and identifies the linkages into the Federal response system. The Annex will serve as the state's operating plan for all incidents in New York State that require state-level mass fatality support.
  • Donations Management Appendix: New York State's donations management goal is to provide victims of disasters with as much support as possible by effectively channeling offers and goods from the public. This Appendix provides guidance concerning donations of goods, materials, services and cash. Topics addressed include the advantages of cash donations, State preparations for receiving, managing and distributing donations, including close coordination with volunteer organizations.
  • Emerging Infectious Diseases in Non-Human Populations (EIDNHP) Appendix 1: This appendix to the Animal Protection Annex applies to diseases that impact the agricultural community or portions thereof, when local and State capabilities are exceeded and Federal assistance is necessary. This document reflects the potential for an animal-borne disease to impact public health and identifies key mechanisms to facilitate an efficient, coordinated response to such emergencies.

NYS Homeland Security Strategy

The New York State Homeland Security Strategy provides a comprehensive framework to guide, organize and unify homeland security efforts in New York State, including strategic planning and the investment of federal homeland security grants and other applicable local, State or federal funding sources.


CEPA Overview and FAQs

CEPA Overview

CEPA is a framework and tool to help State and local stakeholders assess risk, capabilities, and the potential need for support and resources during emergencies or disasters. CEPA provides for a standardized and repeatable process to understand capabilities at the County level and identify statewide trends. CEPA is a tool to help guide disaster preparedness and response efforts, but it is not intended as a scorecard or ranking system.

How was CEPA developed?

DHSES worked with the local first responder community to develop and test the CEPA tool and methodology, to include pilot testing CEPA with several Counties. DHSES has worked to streamline the approach based on stakeholder feedback. The goal is to develop a flexible, intuitive and user friendly approach that will work for every County. The current approach leverages existing data sources and builds off previous capability assessments.

What does the CEPA process entail?

The key component of CEPA is an in-person meeting between State and local subject matter experts (SMEs) to discuss and analyze local hazard and capability information and potential resource gaps. DHSES provides a facilitator and scribe for each CEPA session. DHSES works through the County Emergency Manager to schedule the CEPA sessions and ensure the appropriate State and local representation. A CEPA participant guide and other resources are shared in advance of the sessions to ensure all parties understand the process and know what to expect.

Who should attend the CEPA sessions?

From a State agency perspective, it will likely include regional representatives from the following agencies:  DHSES Office of Emergency Management, DHSES Office of Fire Prevention and Control, State Police, Department of Health (DOH), DOH Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Transportation. It will be up to the County Emergency Manager to identify the proper County agencies/SMEs to participate, to include City reps if the County includes a major metropolitan area, but all of disciplines outlined above (i.e., Emergency Management, FIRE, EMS, Public Health, Public Works, and Law Enforcement) must be included.

How long is the CEPA session?

The sessions typically run for a full day.

What occurs at the CEPA session?

Using the CEPA tool, the facilitator will engage the participants in a discussion designed to:

  • Validate (or capture) some key information about the County (population, square miles, unique issues, etc.).
  • Conduct a hazard assessment using a standardized methodology (likelihood x consequence) based on credible worst case scenarios.
  • Conduct a capability assessment using a standardized methodology to examine: Planning, Organization (People), Equipment, Training and Exercise (POETE) components of each capability, and identify any capability gaps.
  • Determine capacity limitations for each response capability (i.e., how long the County can deliver the capability without mutual aid).
  • Identify an inventory of some key response resources within the County and any anticipated resource needs
  • Capture strengths/best practices and areas for enhancement.

What capabilities are examined as part of the session?

DHSES has again worked with the first responder community to develop a list of 28 critical capabilities . Each of the capabilities are examined as part of CEPA.

How often do we need to complete a CEPA session?

A full CEPA session should be completed at least once every three years but DHSES recommends that the CEPA data be reviewed and validated at least annually.

How will t he State use the information collected?

To better understand County capabilities and potential statewide capability gaps in an effort to better plan for and respond to the needs of the Counties. The trend information will also help the State validate and/or develop or modify State programs and initiatives based on the needs of the Counties. Summary/trend information may be used to help support federal risk and capability assessment requirements, including the Threat Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA).

How can the Counties use the information?

After completing the CEPA assessment, Counties can use the results to inform their elected officials, to justify budget requests, to tailor future programs and resource allocations, and to inform future planning, training, and exercise activities.  Counties can also use the CEPA results to provide a framework for more detailed discussions with DHSES (and other State Agencies) regarding exactly what resources and support the State can offer to best support local government during emergencies.

What is the Threat Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA)

THIRA is an annual requirement that all states must complete to remain eligible to receive federal homeland security grant funding. It also involves a hazard and capability assessment but DHSES has several methodological concerns with the THIRA process and has developed CEPA to serve as the State’s system to capture and analyze hazard/capability information. However, CEPA has been engineered to support the completion of the THIRA.

How will CEPA impact grant funding?

Every County in NYS and the City of New York will be required to participate in CEPA to remain eligible for grant funding administered by DHSES. However, CEPA is not intended as a mechanism for the State to award grant funding. The information obtained from CEPA should help the Counties guide the use of grant funds and other resources to sustain critical capabilities or address capability gaps. DHSES also plans to review CEPA trends/findings on a statewide basis to help inform potential new targeted grant programs to address CEPA gaps.

What if I “fail” the assessment?

It is not possible to “fail” the assessment as it is designed to help understand and guide preparedness efforts. It is not a test and there are no right or wrong answers.

How do I schedule a CEPA session?

Contact your OEM Regional Director if you are interested in scheduling a session. We will make every effort to accommodate all scheduling requests.

How does CEPA relate to the HAZNY program?

HAZNY (Hazards New York) is an automated hazard analysis program. HAZNY asks questions concerning hazards that you face and, based upon your responses, rates and ranks each hazard. CEPA includes a hazard assessment component similar to HAZNY, but CEPA also includes a capability assessment and additional elements. Due to the fact that CEPA is more comprehensive and a grant requirement (HAZNY is not), Counties should focus their efforts on completing CEPA, although they can certainly choose to do HAZNY as well if they want to conduct a deeper level of hazard analysis. But please keep in mind that DHSES is currently in the process of evaluating the future of the HAZNY program.

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

Any questions or concerns about CEPA can be directed to Terry Hastings, DHSES Senior Policy Advisor, at 518-242-5163.