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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Jurisdiction Emergency Management Program

The jurisdictional EMP brings together the many agencies that have defined roles in emergency or disaster response, including public health and acute-care medical organizations (see below). It involves their active participation as a group in activities to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from mass casualty and/or mass effect events. It does not (and should not) preclude agencies from conducting their own EMP; rather, it provides a platform for individual efforts to be coordinated.

Participant Agencies/Organizations in the Jurisdiction Response:

  • Emergency management
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
  • Fire service (often combined with EMS)
  • Local law enforcement (police, sheriff, and others)
  • Public health and human services (often combined)
  • Public works
  • Acute medical services (hospitals, community health centers, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, private medical physician offices and other acute-care providers)
  • Others, as determined by incident circumstances (e.g., school system, local Federal resources, such as Federal law enforcement, military assets, or Veterans Affairs facilities)

The jurisdictional EMP is best developed (and refined) through regular meetings of the leadership of each participant agency. These meetings should be conducted using formats similar to those developed for incident planning (i.e., there should be a designated leader/moderator, an agenda specifying the meeting objectives, defined processes for decision-making, and documentation of pertinent information and action items). The meetings allow participants to interact with one another and work toward common goals, just as they would be called on to do in an actual incident response.

An effective Tier 3 preparedness planning process accomplishes the following:

  • Provides an opportunity for a jurisdiction's emergency response "players" to get to know one another and to understand each other's operations and perspectives
  • Enables response disciplines to better understand the emergency procedures and methods that characterize each other's response domain
  • Promotes a sense of trust between response disciplines
  • Provides a forum for discussing issues or concerns and implementing effective methods to resolve differences fairly.

Similar to Tiers 1 and 2, a valid hazard vulnerability analysis (HVA) forms the cornerstone of the jurisdictional EMP. Findings of each response agency's HVA may be summarized to develop the jurisdiction's HVA, or a separate joint analysis may be performed. An integrated HVA provides an opportunity for agencies to assist one another in addressing collective and individual risk. It also gives advance warning of areas where certain agencies are particularly vulnerable. The jurisdiction's emergency management authority usually develops the jurisdiction's HVA, which should be reviewed and updated annually to address new or emerging threats to a population (e.g., construction of a chemical manufacturing plant).

Important insight is gained by incorporating public health and acute-care medical disciplines in the jurisdiction's HVA. In many jurisdictions, public health authorities have already undertaken HVA activities in accordance with State and Federally funded mandates related to bioterrorism. These efforts may help with examinations of risks that may complicate jurisdictional (Tier 3) response to a bioterrorism event. There will be common hazards identified and, potentially, common vulnerabilities. Most significantly, the medical sector may have vulnerabilities not recognized and addressed in the jurisdiction's regular planning process. This is important since jurisdictional planning usually assumes that HCOs will survive the hazard impact and be available to care for incident victims.

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  • This page last reviewed: February 14, 2012