County Emergency Preparedness Assessment (CEPA)

County Emergency Preparedness Assessment (CEPA)

What Does CEPA Involve?

DHSES works with the County Emergency Managers to schedule the CEPA and to ensure appropriate State and local representation. It takes approximately three hours to complete a session. DHSES provides the facilitator and scribe for the session, and shares participant guides and other resources in advance to ensure all parties understand the process. To date, DHSES has completed two statewide rounds of CEPA, with the first round completed in 2014-2016 and the second round completed in 2017-2019. DHSES is currently conducting the third statewide assessment.

The key components of CEPAs include an in-person or virtual meeting between State and local subject matter experts (SMEs) to discuss and analyze a County’s risk and capabilities using a standardized methodology. Potential response limitations and funding gaps, as well as resource needs, are also discussed. The session concludes ends with a SWOT analysis, to analyze the County’s strengths and weaknesses, identify opportunities for future growth, and to better understand major threats to the County’s emergency preparedness operations.

Who Attends CEPA Sessions?

County Emergency Managers invite local and non-profit SMEs to participate from disciplines including but not limited to  emergency management, fire, 911 communications, EMS, public health, public works, IT/cyber, and law enforcement. Counties with a major metropolitan area will typically participate in the session as well. DHSES will invite State or regional representatives from DHSES’ Office of Emergency Management, DHSES’ Office of Fire Prevention and Control, State Police (NYSP), Department of Health (DOH), DOH’s Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and Department of Transportation (DOT).

How is CEPA Information Used?

Information documented during the CEPA enables the State to better understand county-level capabilities and potential gaps in preparedness. Enhancing our understanding of these capabilities and gaps allows DHSES to develop or modify existing programs and initiatives and support the agency’s mission to protect, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. CEPA also supports eligibility for federal grants and risk and capability assessment requirements such as the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) process.

There are various ways counties use CEPA data, including but not limited to, informing elected officials, justifying budget requests, guiding grant applications, tailoring programs, and informing future planning, training, and exercises. Counties can also use the CEPA results to provide a framework for more detailed discussions with DHSES and other State agencies regarding what resources or support the State can offer to assist the local government during emergencies.

Contact Information

For more information on CEPA, please contact Terry Hastings at [email protected]