About Us

The City of Memphis Office of Emergency Management (OEM)

The Office of Emergency Management is the City of Memphis emergency management agency. We are the primary agency for disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery efforts for the city. We coordinate resources and incidents and assist other departments in day to day events, and during emergency or disaster time. In short, the City of Memphis OEM is similar to FEMA, but a local agency, which is extremely beneficial to the community since all disasters happen locally.

OEM Roles and Responsibilities

OEM performs many roles on a daily basis. You can explore our website to find an abundance of information, but we have summarized a few examples here of what we do:

OEM is responsible for the city's Disaster Coordination Center, commonly called the DCC or War Room. This is the multi-department coordination point for major emergencies and disasters within the City of Memphis, and includes emergency service coordinators and others who provide immediate support and coordination for a large incident.

We have a dispatch center that works closely with other city departments including the Shelby County Office of Preparedness. OEM operations officers are in charge of monitoring incidents, processing calls and dispatching various department crews as needed to any variety of incidents around the city. OEM has field response personnel and volunteers that assist on the scene of an incident, and serve as liaisons for emergency personnel and others. Our field response personnel also assist and are on the scene of many different special events in the city.

OEM has a large group of personnel known as the Emergency Service Coordinators. This group is the primary planning and responding group for major incidents and DCC activations.

OEM personnel continuously monitor for severe weather, terrorism alerts and other developing situations. OEM is city's primary warning and activation point for the outdoor warning sirens when a tornado warning is issued by the NWS for Memphis/Shelby County.

Emergency planning is a large part of emergency management. Our planner is responsible for coordinating, creating, reviewing, revising and distributing many different emergency plans. This includes but is not limited to the city's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, the Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan and many more. Once these plans are completed, OEM coordinates training on and exercising of the plans with various stakeholders.

As part of the emergency preparedness cycle with planning is always training and exercising. OEM has access to a variety of training opportunities either locally or in other locations for emergency personnel. Personnel can also come and assist, observe, stand by during your exercises/drills. If you need an OEM representative present in exercise planning meetings or during an exercise, please contact our exercise coordinator as far in advance as possible.

Public education is an important duty of OEM. We go out to the community for many many different types of events to educate the public on emergency preparedness and most anything related. Since public education is such an important thing we do, we are quite flexible when it comes to educating the public. We can set up educational tables, do presentations, talk with children, or do a class for your group. We have CERT training classes, or basic preparedness classes ready to go for you. We may even be able to bring some emergency equipment to your event to let the community see who we are.