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About Us: Our mission is to lead statewide efforts to develop and enhance preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation capabilities to protect the lives, property and environment of the whole community
The purpose of the Office of Emergency Management is to execute the Governor's responsibilities to maintain an emergency services system as prescribed in ORS 401 by planning, preparing and providing for the prevention, mitigation and management of emergencies or disasters that present a threat to the lives and property of citizens of and visitors to the State of Oregon.
The agency is responsible for coordinating and facilitating emergency planning, preparedness, response and recovery activities with the state and local emergency services agencies and organizations, and shall; 
  • Make rules that are necessary and proper for the administration of ORS 401;
  • Coordinate the activities of all public and private organizations specifically related to providing emergency services within this state;
  • Maintain a cooperative liaison with emergency management agencies and organization of local governments, other states, and the Federal Government;
  • Have such additional authority, duties and responsibilities authorized by ORS 401.015 to 401.105, 401.260 to 401.325 and 401.355 to 401.580 or as may be directed by the Governor;
  • Administer grants relating to emergency program management and emergency services for the state;
  • Provide for and staff a State Emergency Operations (Coordination) Center to aid the Governor and the office in the performance of duties;
  • Serve as the Governor's authorized representative for coordination of certain response activities and managing the recovery process;
  • Establish training and professional standards for local emergency program management personnel;
  • Establish task forces and advisory groups to assist the office in achieving mandated responsibilities; and
  • Enforce compliance requirements of federal and state agencies for receiving funds and conducting designated emergency functions.
The Office of Emergency Management evolved from the Department of Civil Defense, which formed within the executive branch as part of the Civil Defense Act of 1949.  The initial duties of the Department were to deal with disasters including those caused by “enemy attack, sabotage, or other hostile action, or from fire, flood, earthquake, or natural causes.”
In 1967, the Department of Civil Defense was renamed the Department of Emergency Services.  This name change reflected a policy shift that emphasized dealing with natural disasters rather than military conflict.  In 1969, the Department of Emergency Services was transferred to the newly created Executive Department and the name was changed to the Emergency Services Division.  In 1981 the name changed to the Emergency Management Division.  In the 1993 move from the Executive Department to the State Police the name changed to Oregon Emergency Management.  In 2007, it moved from the Oregon State Police to the Oregon Military Department where it remains today and changed to the current Office of Emergency Management.
The Office of Emergency Management coordinates and maintains a statewide emergency services system for emergency and disaster communications.  OEM is divided into three sections:  Technology and Response, Mitigation and Recovery, and Plans and Training.  OEM awards grant funding to local governments, coordinates search and rescue efforts, and the State 9-1-1 Program.  The Drought Council and Oregon Seismic Safety Advisory Commission (OSSPAC) also operate out of OEM.