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Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan

Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP)

In the United States of America, there exists a coordination of efforts between levels of government to keep citizens and their property safe. The overarching goal is to integrate Federal, State, local, tribal, non-governmental organization and private-sector efforts during times of disaster or extreme emergency, whether the event is caused by natural or man-made forces.

The Federal government requires each state to have an emergency management plan, as a method of insuring that this coordination of effort happens. State governments require their political subdivisions, such as counties and in some cases, large cities, to have emergency management plans, to further insure that coordination. The City of Tacoma is recognized by the State of Washington as a political subdivision of the state that is responsible for emergency management, so we are required to have this plan to tie us into the framework of the local-state-federal effort. More importantly, the purpose of this plan is to guide Tacoma city officials and community representatives during a major emergency or disaster, to help us do the best we can to keep our citizens and their property safe.

By assigning functions and detailing responsibilities ahead of time, we can make progress toward working in an organized, coordinated manner during such occurrences.


All emergency management efforts at each level of government fall into one of five simple categories:


  • Mitigation - reduce or eliminate risks.
  • Prevention - prevent something from happening, if we can.
  • Preparedness - get ready for it to happen, if it is going to.
  • Response - deal with it when it does happen.
  • Recovery - pick up the pieces and move on, after it happens.

Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan