The Preparedness Section within DEMA is staffed with individuals dedicated to the delivery of “All Hazards” emergency management services to the citizens of Arizona through a consortium of “Whole Community” partners. This Section is comprised of four distinct Branches, each with a specific mission, and each serving the 15 counties, 22 Sovereign Tribal Nations, and all of our state, local, county and non-governmental organizational partners across the state of Arizona.
- The Training Branch is responsible for statewide training for the emergency services community. Delivering nearly 300 courses every year, with approximately 5000 attendees, the Training Branch ensures first responders are prepared in the best practices of Homeland Security, Hazardous Materials Response, and Emergency Management. These classes are taught by Subject Matter Experts who are relevant and current to their field(s) of expertise. This instructor cadre is a group of highly trained individuals and a valuable critical resource for the delivery of the best training available.
- The Exercise Branch delivers a variety of services including Tabletop Exercises, Drills, Functional Exercises, and Full-Scale Exercises. These exercises are the culmination of the training that has been provided, and provides a mechanism for the emergency services community to test and evaluate the training they have received, their equipment, leadership, policies and procedures, and the subsequent operational capabilities they have gained. Following the federal Homeland Security Exercise & Evaluation Program (HSEEP) guidelines, these exercises are specifically designed around identified objectives, and are closely monitored and evaluated. After every event an After Action Report/Improvement Plan (AAR/IP) is authored, and agencies are provided a critical look at their performance to identify both the positive gains, and any further gaps that need to be closed through further training, exercise equipment acquisition, or policy and procedure changes.
- The Planning Branch develops and maintains plans as well as provides technical planning assistance to our local, tribal and state partners. The State Emergency Response and Recovery Plan (SERRP) brings together the state emergency management functions at a high level and lays the base framework for the emergency services community to ensure a collective and coordinated response in time of crisis. Hazard mitigation plans guide pre- and post-disaster activities and reduction of hazard risk. Continuity of Operations Plans and Continuity of Government Plans ensure the continued function of state agencies and government officials in the event of an impact or threat to our Executive Branches.
- The Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) Branch primary responsibility, as tasked by state statutes and federal regulations, is leading the offsite emergency preparedness program to support the safe operation of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (PVNGS). This includes plan and procedure development and maintenance, training, drills and exercises, and public education and information functions, all of which are evaluated regularly by the federal government. Additionally, the Branch also leads the planning efforts for improvised nuclear devices, radiological dispersion devices (dirty bombs), and all other things nuclear or radiological.
The entire Preparedness staff is dedicated to the training, planning, exercising, and response coordination of the emergency services community and non-governmental agencies to proactively ensure the safety of the citizens of Arizona, prevent tragic impacts when possible, and to move toward swift recovery in the wake of an actual event.