The Emergency Preparedness & Homeland Security Department is responsible for preparing, planning and coordinating the various agencies that respond to emergency situations within Jackson County. The department prepares for disasters and large-scale emergencies that are either man-made or caused by nature. It also coordinates both planning and response activities with other local jurisdictions and with other County agencies, including the Sheriff’s Office, Health Department, Public Works, Information Technology and the Medical Examiner.
Emergency Preparedness & Homeland Security coordinates its activities with the State of Missouri Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and with federal (FEMA) coordinators to ensure that the citizens of Jackson County and their property are protected. Created by a County Executive Order on November 2, 2007, the department develops and maintains an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), which is to be reviewed and certified by SEMA annually.
The department operates a functional Emergency Operations Center (EOC) that is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It also oversees the training of various County agencies and individual employees, the development of County facility evacuation plans, the generation of federal-grant funding and involvement in community service through volunteer groups within Jackson County.
The Department of Emergency Preparedness is currently working on several projects, including the expansion of the Faith-Based Organization (FBO) Safe Shelter Program; the development of regional shelters in Eastern Jackson County that will shelter up to 18,000 people; an extension of the Citizens Responsibility Annex; and the training of 1,000 Red Cross volunteers, as well as Certified Emergency Response Teams (CERT) and Citizen Search groups.
Jackson County Emergency Preparedness works in concert with the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Kansas City Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD), the Untied Way and Family Services Division, and area faith-based organizations. The Jackson County Emergency Preparedness Directors works in concert with the Public Safety Commission, Regional Homeland Security, LEPC and MEMC committees, and serves as an advisor to the Medical Reserve Crops and the KC Regional Voluntary Organizations Active In Disaster.