News Stories

Wilmington District achieves National Emergency Management Accreditation

Published Oct. 11, 2013

   The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Wilmington District (SAW), just received accreditation with the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) for the district’s compliance with 64 national standards in emergency management programs and practices.

     "Accreditation is a hallmark of accountability to the community, stakeholders, and elected officials - the seal of approval from professional peers," according to Barb Graff, director of Seattle Office of Emergency Management and chair of the EMAP commission, “[This] program serves as role models in the profession of emergency management.”

   “The District (SAW) and specifically my Team in the Readiness and Contingency Operations Division are very proud to be recognized into this very professional program,” said Ron Stirrat, emergency programs manager, Wilmington District.

   District Commander Army Colonel Steven Baker credited the Readiness and Contingency Operations Division and district staff who participated in the process for its success in gaining accreditation in the first assessment round.

    “Our emergency management division and district staff spent months preparing for this assessment,” Baker said.  “Assessors examined 128 capability categories from hazard mitigation to crisis communications to ensure compliance with 64 national standards.” 

   The EMAP accreditation is a voluntary process for government programs that coordinate emergency preparedness and response activities for natural or man-made disasters. It verifies an agency’s capacity to utilize staff and resources from a variety of organizations to prepare for, respond to and recover from any disaster.

   Emergency management accreditation represents a significant achievement as a means of demonstrating a program meets industry standards, Emergency Management Standard, for their disaster preparedness and response systems. The intent of the standards and the accreditation process is to promote consistent quality in emergency management programs. Thus, providing preparedness sustainability to the community and public infrastructure these programs serve. To achieve accreditation, emergency management programs document compliance to the standards and undergo a peer-review assessment by EMAP trained assessors. Accreditation is valid for five years from the date the EMAP Commission grants accreditation.

   EMAP is a voluntary accreditation process for emergency management programs that coordinate preparedness and response activities for disasters based on industry standards. The Emergency Management Standards of EMAP create a structure for strategic planning for improvement coupled with methodical, verified assessment by experienced peers from other jurisdictions, which results in stronger capabilities and accountability.

   The EMAP process evaluates emergency management programs on compliance with requirements in standards that include: planning, resource management, training, exercises, evaluations and corrective actions, and communications and warning. EMAP is the only accreditation process for emergency management programs.