(UNDATED) – The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) celebrates the tireless dedication of the state’s emergency management personnel this week during the first-ever EMA Appreciation Week, Feb. 24-28.
“The entire state of Indiana relies on emergency management agencies to help communities and Hoosiers regain a sense of normalcy after a disaster strikes,” said Stephen Cox, executive director of IDHS. “Their widespread knowledge of emergency response and recovery make them vital partners to our fire departments, emergency medical services, and law enforcement agencies.”
Emergency management agency (EMA) personnel are responsible for a wide variety of tasks. Just a few of these responsibilities include assisting with drafting disaster response plans, working with state and federal government agencies on community assistance programs and planning response and recovery training that include their community’s first responders.
According to a FEMA report, the idea of an emergency management agency formed in response to World War I. The concept transformed through the years into the structure recognized today as a collaborative response and recovery to emergencies across private organizations, volunteer agencies and all levels of government.
“A lot of what we’re doing is behind the scenes and not many community members know that we’re the ones initiating assistance a lot of the times,” said Larry Robb, president of the Emergency Management Alliance of Indiana and director of Posey County EMA. “But, it is so fulfilling to see individuals receive help. They’re at a vulnerable moment in their life and sometimes they’re so appreciative they can’t even voice what they’re feeling.”
Every day of this week, Hoosiers will learn more about one of these dedicated individuals on IDHS’s social media platforms. Community members also can honor EMA personnel by taking time to prepare for emergencies; creating a disaster go kit, practicing an escape plan and sharing emergency preparedness information with loved ones.
For more on EMA Appreciation Week, visit the IDHS website.