The New York City Emergency Management Department (NYCEM) plans and prepares for emergencies, educates the public about preparedness, coordinates response and recovery, and collects and disseminates emergency information.
Established in 1996 as a mayoral office, the NYC Office of Emergency Management, it was granted departmental status in the New York City Charter in November 2001.
Preparing the City for Emergencies
Planning and preparedness activities — from contingency planning and nurturing private sector partnerships to conducting drills and seeking funding for future programs — are central to NYCEM’s mandate.
- Contingency planning: NYCEM oversees planning efforts for natural and man-made hazards.
- Public-private initiatives: NYCEM helps companies develop business continuity plans, conducts basic emergency management training, and fosters public-private communications.
- Training and exercises: NYCEM conducts citywide preparedness exercises to test plans and response techniques,and to identify areas for improvement.
Coordinating Emergency Response and Recovery
NYCEM works to ensure information gathering, decision making, and resource allocations are carried out effectively.
- Incident monitoring: Through Watch Command, NYCEM tracks local and national incidents affecting New York City 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Field response: NYCEM sends responders to larger incidents to facilitate interagency communication and resource requests, and to ensure agencies follow incident command protocol.
- Emergency Operations Center (EOC): During major events, the EOC is a central point for information coordination, resource requests, and decision making.
- Recovery and relief: Following an emergency, NYCEM works with government agencies and non-profit organizations to provide assistance and disaster relief.
Educating and Informing the Public
- Ready New York: Introduced in 2003, NYCEM’s Ready New York preparedness campaign provides information to help New Yorkers prepare for all types of emergencies.
- Public information: During an emergency, NYCEM works to provide unified, accurate, and timely messages to the public.