Emergency Management in Williamson County
The mission of the Williamson County Emergency Management Agency is to develop and implement a comprehensive, integrated emergency management program that: mitigates against, prepares for, responds to, and recovers from all hazards, emergencies and disasters including natural, man made, and acts of terrorism ensuring the safety and welfare of the entire Williamson County community.
History of Emergency Management:
Williamson County Emergency Management History:
The Williamson County Emergency Management Agency was initially formed in May of 1979 as the Office of Civil Defense. Later, in coordination with state efforts and the formation of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency soon after the Waverly Tennessee rail disaster this name was changed to the Williamson County Emergency Management Agency. This change took place in September of 1984 and has remained the agency designation since. The Williamson County Emergency Management Agency, or EMA, has undergone many changes since its creation but is dedicated to the mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery needed to keep Williamson County a thriving and safe community. This is achieved through programs which encourage and provide emergency services training, community programs and support, all hazards planning and coordinated response.
Tennessee State Emergency Management History:
In 1951 the State of Tennessee formed the Office of Civil Defense in an effort to promote national preparedness against threats of the Cold War and other catastrophic events. It was under Civil Defense that the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency finds its roots. Formed in 1984, after the Waverly Tennessee Disaster involving a rail car hazardous materials explosion, TEMA is the lead agency in the State of Tennessee for coordinating a state level response to disasters within Tennessee. TEMA also manages emergency plans for the state such as the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan (TEMP) which direct and plan the state's response to disasters and coordinates the recovery from those disasters. TEMA is also involved in training state and local responders in hazardous materials, search and rescue as well as incident command system, or ICS. In addition to this TEMA coordinates and assists in programs and grants which aid state and local agencies in emergency response.
Emergency Management at the Federal (National) level was consolidated under the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 1979 under President Carter with Executive Order 12127. This brought unity of effort to the federal government's response to catastrophic events and disasters which had started in 1803 when congress issued its first piece of disaster legislation in support of destructive fire in a small New Hampshire Town. Today FEMA exists under the Department of Homeland Security and continues the federal governments assistance of state and local government's response to large scale and high profile incidents.