About Us

The Van Buren County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) plans and prepares for emergencies, educates the public about preparedness, coordinates emergency response and recovery, and collects and disseminates emergency information. To accomplish this mission, the Van Buren County OEM coordinates a disciplined unit of emergency management personnel, including first responders, community partners, planners, and an administrative support staff; all of which identify and respond to various hazards. Our purpose is best described as managing risk, so our communities are able to better prepare for environmental or technical hazards and deal with the disasters that they may cause. It is our goal to emphasize to our citizens that emergency management and preparedness is not solely a governmental responsibility. Individuals are responsible for protecting their own lives and property, as well as the safety of family members and neighbors. However, when an individual or community does not have the means to protect themselves, they can rely on the resources and capabilities of their local emergency management response team. In some cases, the support of a few neighbors or a community is sufficient; however, in more extreme cases, the support of a broad network of public, nonprofit, and private organizations is necessary to respond to and recover from major disasters.

EM Principles

As developed in 2007 by FEMA’s Emergency Management Higher Education Project, EM must be:

  1. Comprehensive – emergency managers consider and take into account all hazards, all phases, all stakeholders and all impacts relevant to disasters.
  2. Progressive – emergency managers anticipate future disasters and take preventive and preparatory measures to build disaster-resistant and disaster-resilient communities.
  3. Risk-driven – emergency managers use sound risk management principles (hazard identification, risk analysis, and impact analysis) in assigning priorities and resources.
  4. Integrated – emergency managers ensure unity of effort among all levels of government and all elements of a community.
  5. Collaborative – emergency managers create and sustain broad and sincere relationships among individuals and organizations to encourage trust, advocate a team atmosphere, build consensus, and facilitate communication.
  6. Coordinated – emergency managers synchronize the activities of all relevant stakeholders to achieve a common purpose.
  7. Flexible – emergency managers use creative and innovative approaches in solving disaster challenges.
  8. Professional – emergency managers value a science and knowledge-based approach; based on education, training, experience, ethical practice, public stewardship and continuous improvement.