The Preparedness Branch works to create coordinated statewide response plans and to provide training for local and state personnel so Missouri effectively responds to emergencies and disasters and includes the Planning and Preparedness sections. The branch has responsibility for All-Hazard Planning, Medical Countermeasures, Missouri’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Plan (NFIP), Training and Exercises, Emergency Human Services, the Missouri Emergency Response Commission and Radiological Emergency Program (REP). Examples of branch work products include the preparation or update of: comprehensive disaster assistance plans; standard operating guides (SOGs) to execute responsibilities in state plans; training of state personnel in disaster recovery and mitigation; and emergency management seminars for local elected officials. It also develops and maintains the State of Missouri Emergency Operations Plan and State Hazard Analysis.
Melissa Friel is the Preparedness Branch Chief
Emergency Human Services includes the Volunteer Coordinator, who, during disasters works with state agencies, and faith-based and volunteer organizations to coordinate disaster assistance. During recovery, the coordinator provides technical assistance to long-term recovery committees. The coordinator is the point of contact for the Governor’s Faith-Based and Community Service Partnership for Disaster Recovery, Missouri Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters and Missouri Community Organizations Active in Disaster. Working together they are commonly referred to as the Disaster Recovery Partnership. The Partnership is an essential part of Missouri’s disaster response and recovery model and acts to enhance the state’s ability to plan and prepare for, mitigate, respond to, and recover from any disaster by maximizing public and private resources to facilitate an efficient, integrated system for addressing human services, housing, infrastructure, community and economic development issues.
Training and Exercises
Jurisdictions across Missouri have found that the best way to respond to disasters is by preparing in advance with training activities and using the skills learned to build effective local teams and coalitions. The Emergency Management Training (EMT) curriculum delivered by SEMA offers an extensive array of training opportunities for Missouri state and local emergency managers, public officials, members of volunteer assistance organizations, and professionals in related fields. The EMT program offers comprehensive courses in disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
SEMA’s Exercise team provides support to local jurisdictions, regional and state agencies, and volunteer and community organizations to design, conduct and evaluate all levels of emergency exercises for threats ranging from local hazmat events to a major earthquake requiring a statewide response.
Missouri Emergency Response Commission (MERC)
The Missouri Emergency Response Commission’s (MERC) mission is to protect public health and the environment by assisting communities with chemical incident prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. MERC implements the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and related Missouri laws pertaining to hazardous chemicals storage. The commission supports local emergency planning committees (LEPC), reviews hazardous chemical contingency plans, provides chemical emergency training, collects information on toxic and hazardous storage and makes this information available to the public. MERC administers the Hazardous Material Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) for hazardous material (HAZMAT) training to local public sector employees and the Chemical Emergency Preparedness Funds (CEPF) for planning and training for LEPCs.
Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) Program
The Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program (REP) develops plans, training, and exercises to assist jurisdictions surrounding commercial nuclear power plants respond to potential scenarios that might occur.
All-Hazard Planning Program
The All-Hazard Planning Program has primary responsibility for providing planning guidance and assistance to state departments, agencies, and local governments so that they can develop and maintain all-hazard (e.g. tornadoes, severe weather, flooding, earthquake) emergency operations plans (EOPs). SEMA planners are assigned to specific regions to establish bonds with local planners and create a common understanding of local hazards and resources.
Missouri Floodplain Management/Floodplain Insurance Programs
The Floodplain Management Program administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for the state of Missouri. Most homeowner insurance does not cover flood damage, so the purchase of specific flood insurance may be necessary. For those who live in a mapped high-risk Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), federal law compels federally backed mortgage lenders to require the purchase of flood insurance. This section works with NFIP-participating communities to ensure they comply with the requirements of the program, which provides nearly $4 billion in flood insurance coverage for homes and businesses in Missouri. SEMA also is a Cooperating Technical Partner (CTP) with FEMA in the production of Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRM) under the federal “Risk Map” modernization program. In addition, the section partners with the Missouri Floodplain and Stormwater Managers Association (MFSMA) and others to offer NFIP training for local floodplain managers, planners, insurance agents, elected officials, engineers and surveyors, lenders and realtors.
Medical Countermeasures Program
The Medical Countermeasures Program manages the planning, receipt, distribution and storage for pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies and equipment necessary to respond to a major emergency or disaster when local supplies may become depleted. These supplies are provided through the federal Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) program, a national repository of critical drugs and medical supplies designed to supplement and resupply state and local public health agencies and hospitals in a major emergency. The goal is to deliver SNS lifesaving pharmaceuticals to any location within 12 hours once the federal decision to deploy is made.
The Earthquake Program informs Missourians about the earthquake risk associated with the New Madrid Seismic Zone and recommends safety and mitigation steps that can be taken to prepare for earthquakes and their potential consequences.