Maine's Local Emergency Management Directors coordinate local response and recovery when more than one department is responding to a community emergency. This is usually accomplished in two ways: through the development of local disaster plans and mutual aid agreements and the establishment of an Emergency Operations Center. The local director does not replace or direct the police, fire, ambulance, or American Red Cross; he or she helps them work together in an emergency.
The Local Emergency Management Director also acts as a liaison to County Emergency Management. They can look to the County for technical assistance and training, and emergency access to needed resources, from neighboring communities, the State or the federal government.
Local Emergency Management offices vary widely depending on the hazards present, the size of the town and available funding. Most municipal Emergency Management prorgrams have one person and little to no budget. However, the responsibility for the community does not go away just because the town is small.
When your community is struck by a hazardous materials spill, hurricane, ice storm, forest fire, flood, tornado or other type of disaster event, your municipal Emergency Management Director will be the lead figure in the response and recovery efforts. And before a disaster event occurs, your local Emergency Management Director will be busy behind the scenes working on disaster plans, attending meetings, organizing training and exercises for your public safety departments and providing public information on disaster preparedness.
The next time you are visiting the municipal office, be sure to ask about your local Emergency Management Director. You can also contact your County Emergency Management Agency to learn who the Local Director is in your town.