Emergency Preparedness Outreach

After a disaster, the public may have to be self-sufficient until basic services can be restored. Emergency Preparedness offers services to help citizens prepare to take action while the City is getting back on its feet. This includes outreach meetings and events with our community partners at Home Owners Associations Meetings, Faith-Based Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations throughout the year. If you would like an emergency preparedness team member to speak at your event call 912-652-3812.

Organized City Response

In 2013, the City of Savannah adopted the National Incident Management System or NIMS as the City’s operating framework for all disasters and planned events.

National Incident Management System (NIMS)

Emergency Management 3

The National Incident Management System is a systematic, proactive approach guiding departments and agencies at all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to work together seamlessly. NIMS enables groups to manage incidents involving all threats and hazards—regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity—in order to reduce loss of life, property and harm to the environment.

The purpose of the NIMS is to provide a common approach for managing incidents. NIMS concepts provide for a flexible but standardized set of incident management practices with emphasis on common principles, a consistent approach to operational structures and supporting mechanisms, and an integrated approach to resource management.

Incidents typically begin and end locally. They are managed daily at the lowest possible geographical, organizational and jurisdictional level. There are other instances where success depends on the involvement of multiple jurisdictions, levels of government, functional agencies, and/or emergency-responder disciplines. These instances necessitate effective and efficient coordination across this broad spectrum of organizations and activities. By using NIMS, communities are part of a comprehensive national approach that improves the effectiveness of emergency management and response personnel across the full spectrum of potential threats and hazards (including natural hazards, terrorist activities, and other human-caused disasters) regardless of size or complexity.

The Incident Command System 

The Incident Command System (ICS) is a feature of the Command and Management component of NIMS. ICS is designed to enable effective and efficient domestic incident management by integrating a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures and communications operating within a common organizational structure.

Emergency Management 4

ICS is normally structured to facilitate activities in five major functional areas: 

  • Command
  • Operations
  • Planning
  • Logistics
  • Finance and Administration

 It is a fundamental form of management, with the purpose of enabling incident managers to identify the key concerns associated with the incident—often under urgent conditions—without sacrificing attention to any component of the command system.

Preparedness Cycle

Emergency Management 5In order to effectively mitigate against, respond to, and recover from disasters and large scale citywide events, the City of Savannah develops various plans as a blueprint for action. Once plans are developed, Emergency Preparedness works to train City staff for their roles and responsibilities during various incidents, such as those involving a hurricane, active shooter or infrastructure failure. That training is put into action through annual drills and exercises so it becomes "second-nature" during a crisis.

Recovery and Assistance

After a disaster occurs, the Emergency Preparedness Division facilitates help for the City and impacted residents. Federal funding becomes available when the incident becomes a federally declared disaster. The City is responsible for documenting damage and making the case for a federal declaration. Once a federal disaster is declared, the Emergency Preparedness Division helps the public access various federal resources to return to normality, such as SBA Disaster Assistance, individual assistance and hazard mitigation assistance. Additionally, the City may receive federal assistance to restore services and repair disaster damaged infrastructure.

Emergency Management 6