Swift County Emergency Management

Swift County Emergency Management is responsible for the four basic phases involved in a disaster:                      mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

  • Mitigation refers to the precautions taken to prevent disasters or lessen the harmful effects of unavoidable disasters.
  • Preparedness is planning and training for potential disasters and emergencies.
  • Response includes all those actions taken to lessen the impact of an actual disaster or emergency.
  • Recovery involves actions taken to return communities and their citizenry to their pre-disaster state, including measures to enhance future disaster preparedness.


Frequently Asked Questions 
I thought this office was Civil Defense?
It was called that until 1974 when congress enacted the Disaster Relief Act (PL 93-288). That is the time when there was a shift from enemy attack mentality, to natural disaster mitigation, response and recovery. That same year gave birth to the Department of Emergency Management for the state and FEMA for the federal government.

What functions does the office do when there isn’t a disaster?
Responding and recovery from disaster is just a small part of functions of the Emergency Management Office. It is responsible for updates and revisions to the county plan, coordinating various exercises to test the plan, compiling periodic reports and reviews that need to be submitted to state offices, applying for State and Federal Grants, meeting and coordinating specialized training with the various Public Safety Agencies, and participating in ongoing training in Emergency Management.

What functions does the office perform when there is a either man made or natural disaster?
The Emergency Management Director basically coordinates the response to an emergency. In some ways you can compare an Emergency Management Director to an Air Traffic Controller. The Air Traffic Controller is not responsible for determining the destination of an airplane or the time of its arrival. Their job is to ensure the safety of the planes in the air and on the ground and the smooth operation of the flight schedule. In the same way, the Emergency Management Director ensures that the response to an emergency is running as safely and efficiently as possible by coordinating the allocation and use of resources. We work hand-in-hand with Law Enforcement, Military, Fire, EMS, DNR, Environmental Services, volunteer agencies like the Salvation Army and Red Cross to make sure that the Disaster Response is as effective and efficient as possible.