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Emergency Management and Preparedness

Emergency Management and Preparedness

About the Emergency Management and Preparedness Division

Emergency management logo
Emergency management logo

The Emergency Management and Preparedness Division provides the support, tools and resources to ensure that the state of Indiana can build, sustain and improve its capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards. IDHS supports first responders and communities as they prepare for and respond to disasters and large-scale events. This includes:

  • Leading and engaging stakeholders at all levels (local, state and federal) to assess risks, create plans, train personnel and practice responses
  • Operating a state-of-the-art emergency operations center to provide a communication hub for sharing information and effectively orchestrating resource logistics when disasters overwhelm local emergency management resources or capabilities
  • Coordinating the state’s response to communities that need help responding to disasters or implementing plans and processes to mitigate them
  • Managing damage assessments and serving as the liaison to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) when distributing individual assistance and public assistance to damaged communities to help them recover
  • Working with communities on mitigation projects that protect citizens from the natural or man-made disasters relevant to Indiana


Deadlines for SBA Disaster Loans

Businesses and residents of several Indiana counties are eligible to apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The filing deadlines for applications for multiple incidents are as follows:

Severe Storms and Tornado on May 7, 2024
  • Counties: Franklin, Dearborn, Decatur, Fayette, Ripley, Rush and Union
  • Physical Damage Deadline: July 22
  • Economic Injury Deadline: Feb. 24
  • Apply now
Severe Storms and Tornadoes on March 14, 2024
  • Counties: Randolph, Delaware, Henry, Jay and Wayne
  • Economic Injury Deadline: Dec. 30
  • Apply now
Ice Jams and Flooding on Jan. 15-25, 2024
  • Counties: Lake
  • Economic Injury Deadline: Dec. 13
  • Apply now
Jefferson County EOC with group of staff
Jefferson County EOC
Jefferson County EOC with group of staff
Jefferson County EOC
Into the Bear's Cage: IDHS District Liaison Has Close Call with Tornado

Four tornadoes touched down in Indiana on March 14. In one case, an isolated supercell developed over southern Indiana and produced a long-track EF-2 tornado that started near Hanover in Jefferson County. It crossed the Ohio River three times between Indiana and Kentucky. IDHS District Liaison Adam Reef and county EMA staff from several southern Indiana counties were meeting nearby at the time and responded to the local emergency operations center when news of the tornado broke. Read about Reef's encounter with the tornado as he drove to the EOC

Recent Updates

Sections and Services

  • Local Government Support (District Liaisons)

    Statewide contacts map
    Local Government Support Staff (select for contacts)

    District Liaisons

    The Local Government Support Section helps local governmental units in all phases of emergency management. It provides comprehensive emergency management/homeland security guidance in the areas of preparedness, training, planning, response and recovery to county emergency management agencies (EMAs) throughout the state. The section's district liaisons carry this out in their assigned areas of the state and act as technical consultants to local EMAs, which includes clarifying and interpreting procedures, giving grant funding guidance, providing references and resolving disputes. The liaisons also work very closely with first responders, universities and local hospitals. For more information or for assistance, contact the Local Government Support Section at or find your county's liaison contact information on the statewide contacts map.

    County Emergency Management Agencies (EMAs)

    Emergencies begin and end locally, and Indiana's county EMAs fill that first line of response. Taking steps to reduce vulnerability to hazards, cope with disasters and liaise with other counties and the state are important aspects of these agencies' day-to-day responsibilities. Emergency managers work with other public safety partners and organizations within communities to prepare for, mitigate, respond to and recover from emergencies.

    Each county in the state has its own emergency management agency to help communities prepare for disasters and emergencies and to be the local link to IDHS, which provides assistance financially and operationally in significant emergencies. Find contact information for your county’s EMA

  • Planning, Training and Exercise
    Illustration of fire, flood, tornado and earthquake

    Planning and Assessment Section

    The Planning and Assessment Section facilitates, manages, supports and revises the ongoing enhancement of Indiana's Emergency Operations Plan, associated emergency support function annexes, standard operating procedures, checklists and planning support of local and state agency plans. The Planning and Assessment Section also ensures incorporation of the National Incident Management System and the National Response Framework components, principles and policies into state agency plans. The section oversees and provides technical guidance for all state agency continuity of operations plans and continuity of government planning, and it conducts and analyzes statewide threat and hazard-risk assessments that provide the foundation to identify targeted training of emergency management professionals and development of exercises to validate and improve capabilities associated with identified assessment gaps.

    Planning and assessment

    Emergency Management Training

    IDHS is responsible for providing a comprehensive training program based on the needs of the state in the areas of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. To help raise and maintain professional standards in emergency management and recognize individuals who have demonstrated basic competencies in the field, IDHS offers a certification program called the Professional Emergency Manager (PEM) Program.

    Emergency management training

    Exercise Section

    The Exercise Section provides first responders, volunteers, elected officials, emergency managers, private industry and others a chance to implement the skills necessary to protect lives and property through simulated catastrophic events. The goal of the section is to improve the overall readiness and core capabilities of emergency response by validating training, emergency plans and procedures to reveal strengths and weaknesses, demonstrate operational capabilities and prepare personnel for real-world events. The section fields exercise support requests by state and local governments.


  • Mitigation and Recovery
    Group with clipboards interviews man

    Mitigation Section

    The Mitigation Section helps Hoosiers take sustainable actions that reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from disasters. This includes administering federal grant programs designed to assist governments in reducing overall risk to the population and structures from future natural-hazard events.


    State Disaster Relief Fund

    The Indiana State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) was established in 2003 to provide assistance to individuals and local governments that may not be eligible for federal disaster assistance but meet the state’s criteria for disaster relief.

    State Disaster Relief Fund

    Individual Assistance Section

    The Individual Assistance Section administers programs as provided under federal law during a Presidential Declared Disaster. These programs provide disaster assistance in the form of grants for home repair, rental assistance and personal property lost or damaged during the disaster for homeowners and renters.

    Individual assistance

    Public Assistance Section

    The Public Assistance Section provides supplemental federal disaster grant assistance to state, tribal and local governments, and private non-profit organizations so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from man-made or natural disasters or emergencies declared by the President. This may include debris removal, emergency protective measures and the repair, replacement or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly-owned or eligible private non-profit facilities.

    Public assistance

  • Emergency Operations and Incident Management
    Workers in state EOC room

    State Emergency Operations Center

    The State Emergency Operations Center functions as a central coordination center for subject matter experts and key organization personnel who facilitate effective, direct and coordinated responses to natural disasters and other significant incidents.

    EOC operations

    Incident Management Teams

    The All-Hazards Incident Management Program provides guidance to Incident Management Teams (IMTs), which serve as resources to manage or enhance emergency response operations. Apply for a position, update credentialing, find task books and more.

    Incident management teams

    Incident Management Assistance (IMAT)

    The Indiana Incident Management Assistance Team is the forward response team for IDHS during times of disaster and large-scale emergencies. While the team is hosted by IDHS, the team consists of members from multiple state agencies and is designed to handle all types of emergency incidents.

    Incident Management Assistance Team

    Mass Fatality Incident Management

    The Indiana Mortuary Response Team (IN-MORT) provides assets to support mass fatality incidents when the resources of the local coroner or morgue are overwhelmed. Learn more about the team and apply to be a volunteer member.

    Mass fatality incident management

  • Volunteering
    Volunteers huddling

    Volunteering for IDHS

    When disasters strike, the IDHS State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) supports and assists local officials in a variety of ways. The SEOC utilizes volunteers from around the state to keep the agency prepared for these incidents as well as during the emergencies themselves. Learn how you can serve on a regular or as-needed basis.

    IDHS volunteering

    Citizen Corps and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs)

    The best time to become a volunteer is before a disaster occurs. This allows citizens to be properly trained and ready to act when emergencies occur. Citizen Corps programs help Hoosiers find their role in emergency response efforts. IDHS coordinates Indiana's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) programs, which are teams of citizens in neighborhoods, workplaces and schools trained in basic disaster response skills. Learn more about starting or joining a local CERT, Fire Corps or Medical Reserve Corps.

    Volunteer programs

    Voluntary Organizations

    Both government and private sector organizations are needed to respond effectively to disasters, and the State Emergency Operations Center coordinates their efforts. Hoosiers are invited to learn more and join an organization where their skills can be put to use when they are needed most.

    Voluntary organizations

    Volunteering After a Disaster

    Helping those affected is a natural response to a disaster. IDHS offers tips for how to help.

    Helping after disasters

  • Emergency Manager Resources