County Emergency Preparedness Assessment (CEPA)

County Emergency Preparedness Assessment (CEPA)

What Does CEPA Involve?

DHSES works with 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.

DHSES has completed three statewide rounds of CEPA with the first round completed in 2014-2016, the second round in 2017-2019, and the third round in 2020-2022.

One key component of a CEPA is in-person or virtual meetings 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 with a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) to identify opportunities for future growth and better understand major threats to the county’s emergency preparedness operations.

Who Attends CEPA Sessions?

County emergency managers invite local and non-profit subject matter experts to participate from various disciplines including emergency management, fire, 9-1-1 communications, emergency medical services, public health, public works, information technology and cyber security, and law enforcement.

Counties with a major metropolitan area typically participate in the session as well. DHSES invites State or regional representatives from its offices of Emergency Management and Fire Prevention & Control, State Police, Department of Health and its Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, Department of Environmental Conservation, and Department of Transportation.

How is CEPA Information Used?

Information documented during the CEPA enables the State to better understand county-level capabilities and potential gaps in preparedness and 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 informing elected officials, justifying budget requests, guiding grant applications, tailoring programs, and informing future planning, training, and exercises. Counties can also use CEPA results to provide a framework for more detailed discussions with DHSES and other State agencies regarding support and resources that the State can offer to assist local governments during emergencies.

Contact Information

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