(Washington, DC) – The District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) has received full accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP)*. The program is a voluntary, non-governmental process in which state and local emergency management organizations and their stakeholders demonstrate and document compliance with EMAP national standards. The process involves a detailed program assessment, and external review by independent assessors. The standards represent the characteristics of a quality emergency management program and cover the range of capabilities including: planning; resource management; training; exercises, evaluations, corrective actions; and communications and warning.
Emergency management accreditation represents a significant achievement. EMAP recognizes and measures the ability of state and local governments and private companies to assemble personnel resources and communications from a variety of agencies in preparation for and in response to an emergency – which forms the foundation of the nation’s broader emergency preparedness system. Agency Director Millicent West states, "The District of Columbia was one of the first jurisdictions to have earned this designation almost 8 years ago and we are pleased that we have proven ourselves worthy, once again, to become fully accredited. The work of the staff over the past two years has shown the level of commitment and determination to further legitimize the work of the agency as we worked toward the goal of full accreditation. We would also like to thank partner agencies that have worked in cooperation with us over the past several months to ensure that our efforts would be successful."
Working collaboratively since 1997, state, local and federal emergency managers developed EMAP to provide quality standards and a process for determining compliance. The Emergency Management Standard creates 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.
Accreditation is valid for five years from the date the EMAP Commission issues accreditation. Accredited programs are expected to maintain compliance with EMAP standards, keep proof of compliance up to date, and conduct their activities in accordance with EMAP’s goal of continuous improvement. Additionally, an annual report summarizing maintenance of the program for the preceding year is due to the commission on the anniversary of accreditation.
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