Local Emergency Management Programs
Emergency Management is a legal responsibility and function of local, county, state and federal government.
Over the past two decades, federal and state laws were amended to include natural, technological and man-made disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery programs. National attention to emergency management began in the early 1950s with emphasis on civil defense or enemy attack preparedness.
Pennsylvania’s Emergency Management Services Code (35 Pa. C. S. Section 7101-7707) became law in 1978 and replaced the State Council of Civil Defense Act of 1951. The 1978 Act consolidated existing state laws and updated the role of emergency management within the Commonwealth. Amendments to this Act in 1988 and 1989 further focused the role of emergency management personnel, organizations and responsibilities.
This state law requires that every county and municipal government develop and maintain an emergency management program consistent with the state and federal emergency management program.
An emergency management coordinator who is appointed by the Governor based upon the recommendation of the county or municipal elected officials administers each county and municipal program. The coordinator is an employee of the county or municipality and is responsible for implementing the program.
For additional information please see the planning guides and sample plans at the following link: Community and State Planning