Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency (TCEMA) is a multi-jurisdictional, jointly funded organization. TCEMA is primarily funded by the City of Tuscaloosa, City of Northport and Tuscaloosa County; however, EMA serves all jurisdictions and stakeholders within the county. EMA also works with multiple volunteer organizations, business and industry representatives on emergency management matters. EMA endeavors to develop disaster preparedness plans, provide training and exercise activities and coordinate the overall response to large-scale emergencies and disasters.
A common misunderstanding about the role of emergency management is that EMA directs the activities of first responders during an emergency. In reality, the responders are the ones best trained and suited to determine what needs to be done in emergencies. EMA’s role is to support the responders with communications, resources, and information while maintaining a common operating picture for field personnel, elected officials and other community stakeholders. EMA is the local coordinator and conduit of State and Federal resources that may be needed due to a disaster.
The mission of EMA is to reduce the effects of all hazards through an approach that includes the four phases of emergency management: offering training and exercise activities, developing and implementing disaster preparedness plans, and communicating and providing resources to first responders and the community when a disaster occurs, and assisting agencies in helping the stricken area recover and return to its normal state. In summary, TCEMA provides leadership, planning, education, and resources to protect lives, property and the environment if a disaster was to strike.
One of emergency management’s primary goals is to ensure training and information is available to both first responders and the community. TCEMA prepares and trains to ensure that the community is ready if a disaster strikes and helps educate the public on related matters.
Disasters can strike quickly and history shows Tuscaloosa is not immune.