Office of Emergency Management
The City of Tampa Office of Emergency Management (OEM) leads the city in emergency planning, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery for major natural and human-caused disasters, as well as large scale citywide events (i.e., Gasparilla, SuperBowl, National Conventions, NCAA Football Playoff, etc.)
Local government is the first line of defense for citizens confronting the impacts of a disaster. OEM provides key coordination and leadership to city departments, stakeholders, residents, businesses, and visitors to respond to and assist with getting back to "normal" in their times of need.
After a disaster, the public will have to be self-sufficient until basic services can be restarted. OEM offers services to those who live, work, or visit the city to help them better prepare to take action while the City is getting back on its feet. This includes holding public outreach meetings and events, including the Hurricane Expo and other community-wide exercises, throughout the year.
Organizing City Response
Tampa has an established an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) that hosts more than 75 representatives from an assortment of local government and non-profit organizations to assist in meeting these objectives. The Tampa EOC enables the efficient use of city personnel and other agencies to perform multiple tasks, coordinate emergency management activities, and continue to provide city government functions before, during, and after disasters strike. The EOC supports field response operations by collecting and sharing important information about the disaster and coordinates resource requests among local, state, and federal governments, as well as private organizations.
Plan, Train, Exercise, and Execute
In order to effectively mitigate against, respond to, and recover from disasters and large scale citywide events, the City of Tampa develops various plans as a blueprint to act. Once plans are developed, OEM works the community to train individuals on their roles and responsibilities during various types of incidents (i.e., hurricane, active shooter, infrastructure failure, etc.) Annually, that training is put into action through drills and exercises so it becomes "second-nature" when its time to act during a crisis.
Recovery and Assistance
After a disaster has occurred, OEM facilitates getting the city and impacted residents help. Federal government funding will become available when a federally declared disaster is determined. The city assists the public first by documenting damage to make a case for a federal declaration. Once it has been declared, we help the public access various federal resources to get back to "normal" (i.e., SBA Disaster Assistance, Individual Assistance, Hazard Mitigation Assistance, etc.) In addition, city assets that have been impacted by the disaster may receive federal assistance to fix services and infrastructure that were broken during the disaster. OEM will lead the charge on obtaining and managing that federal assistance to ensure a speedy recovery for the city.