Nevada's Division of Emergency Management Overview

About DEM

The Nevada Division of Emergency Management / Homeland Security’s (DEM) mission was originally established in 1953 under Nevada Revised Statutes, Chapter 414. On July 1, 2021, Governor Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 485 into law, moving the DEM from under the Nevada Department of Public Safety to the Nevada Office of the Military. This realignment has strengthened our mission and commitment to serve our local emergency managers at the city, county, and school levels; Tribal Nations; and private sector partners by improving efficiency and streamlining decision-making throughout the organization.

Staff is on call 24/7/365 to assist local and tribal authorities in response to emergencies and incidents in their jurisdiction. In addition, DEM staffs the Nevada Operations Center (NVOC) when a disaster or emergency threatens the state, as well as prior to, during and after large scale events. Depending on the complexity of the incident, the NVOC is activated when local capabilities are overwhelmed and request assistance or when there is an operational need for the resource. When activated the NVOC is staffed by DEM and representatives from other appropriate state agencies and volunteers, with responsibility for disaster response and recovery efforts.

 Emergency Notifications – DEM Duty Officers   
 Duty Officers rotate on a weekly schedule and are available 24/7/365 
 Primary Emergency Contact Number – 775-687-0498   
 Secondary Number – DPS Dispatch – 775-687-0400 

Nevada Operations Center

The State of Nevada response functions are conducted in the Nevada Operations Center (NVOC). In the NVOC, representatives from various agencies and organizations coordinate supporting response activities such as public alerts and warnings, mobilization of response personnel, and the coordination and application of resources. The NVOC Manager and the Operations Chief coordinate the direction and control of supporting resources.

Situational Awareness   
Incidents requiring DEM Duty Officer (DO) notification for coordination of resources but not requiring NVOC Activation.   
Partial Activation 
The situation is of such a scale that only a part of the DEM and NVOC staff will be needed to handle the incident. These types of incidents are usually attributed to single incidents that do not require multiple agencies or resources.   
Full Activation  
If a disaster or a prolonged incident occurs, the NVOC operation will consist of DEM staff members and other state and local partners in a unified functional National Incident Management System (NIMS) structure. During these disasters, the primary functions of the staff are; Operations, Resource Management (Logistics), Planning, Finance, Public Information and Mission Support (Interoperable Communications).             
In the event of a major disaster in which the Governor declares a State of Emergency and/ or following a Presidential Declaration: The state will expand operations to work with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) personnel assigned to assist the state in the disaster.     
As our team builds toward the future, so do our ambitions to provide the best service possible to build a strong, well-equipped, well-planned, well-trained, and well-exercised emergency management community. 

Section Responsibilities

Administrative/Fiscal Section      
This section manages administrative/fiscal staff, budgets, fiscal accounting, personnel, payroll, travel and all other functions that support all facets of our agency. 

Grants & Recovery Section    
This section manges grant funds for pre and post emergency or disaster related projects. These funds support critical recovery initiatives, innovative research and many other programs.  

  • Grants Management– State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSP), Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), Office of Domestic Preparedness (ODP) funding, Emergency Management Planning Grant (EMPG) funding, Department of Energy (DOE) funding, and Waste Isolation/Project Plant (WIPP) funding.  
  • Hazard Mitigation - Hazard analysis and risk assessment, and grants. Public Assistance - Mutual aid, coordination of financial assistance for state of emergencies and Presidential declarations.

Mission Support Section   
This section is responsible for managing emergency management programs that provide for mission support, interoperable communications and response capabilities; ensure assistance is provided to local governments and other state agencies in sustaining emergency management capabilities. The positions within this section manages resources that must satisfy the emergency preparedness mandates and initiatives associated with federal grant programs as well as operational functions of the State Emergency Operations Center.

  • Communications – Emergency Communications Center, ARES/RACES Volunteers 
  • SEOC Technology – A/V, WebEOC Administration 
  • Facilities Support - Integral property systems and maintenance
  • Public Alerts and Warnings System (IPAWS) is the Nation’s alert and warning infrastructure.
  • Public Information - Communicates with the public, media, local, state and federal agencies with data and facts.

Preparedness Section    
This section provides the support, tools and resources to ensure that the division can build, sustain, and improve capabilities to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. 

  • Operations and Planning - Statewide planning, operations support and communications.   
  • Training and Exercise - Training, anti-terrorism planning, critical infrastructure analysis. 
  • Resource Management - Oversees the resources and supplies need for daily operations and activations.

Homeland Security Section    
In 2003 the Nevada Legislature created the Nevada Commission on Homeland Security as a response to the terror attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001. As described in Chapter 239C of the Nevada Revised Statues (NRS 239C), the Nevada Commission on Homeland Security is tasked with several responsibilities directed toward making recommendations to the Governor, the Legislature, local governments, private business, and citizens about actions and measures that may be taken to protect the citizens and visitors to this State from potential acts of terrorism and related emergencies.

Mission & Vision Statements

Vision: Building Nevada resilience through coordination and partnerships.  

Mission: Coordinating mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery programs and resources through partnerships to build resilient communities for Nevada’s residents and visitors.


  • Stewardship: I am not here for me, I am here for Us, and We are here for Them. 
  • Integrity: Doing the right thing when no one is looking. 
  • Innovation: Finding a way to say Yes! 
  • Collaboration: we work with our partners for a better outcome.  
  • Teamwork: we all pull our weight together but subordinate our personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole.

Division Goals

  •  Actively cultivate a diverse and professional emergency management workforce who embodies integrity, collaboration, and innovation.  
  •  Strengthen Nevada by supporting the development and improvement of capabilities, capacities, and communications.  
  •  Lead and coordinate the equitable delivery of emergency management resources and services to the whole community.

Strategic Planning Framework

The strategic planning framework was built upon over 18 months of effort and establishes a roadmap for the Nevada Division of Emergency Management (DEM) to evolve over the next five years. It is based on previous DEM strategic planning efforts with input from the statewide community, and it aims to provide a vision for emergency management throughout the state, and not just a vision for DEM.

Nevada State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (SCEMP)

The objective of the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (SCEMP) is to reduce the possible consequences of an emergency by preventing loss of life and injuries; reducing damage to infrastructure, buildings, and homes; thus accelerating the resumption of normal daily life activities; and to the maximum extent possible, protect the environment.

Pursuant to Chapter 414 of the Nevada Revised Statutes, the SCEMP is the master emergency operations document for the State of Nevada in the prevention of, preparation for, response to, and recovery from an emergency or disaster. The SCEMP describes strategies, assumptions, operational objectives, and mechanisms through which the Nevada Operations Center will mobilize resources and conduct activities to guide and support local emergency management efforts through preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation.

Continuity of Operations Plan

The Continuity of Government (COG) Plan of the State of Nevada provides that each of the three branches of government (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) will establish and maintain a viable Branch Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan that assures the performance of essential functions during emergency or other situations that disrupt normal operations. This document is updated annually. 

Continuity of Government is paramount in the event of a crisis or emergency within, or affecting the State of Nevada. The State is vulnerable to a variety of hazards that threaten its citizens, communities, businesses, economy and the environment.  The September 11, 2001 attack on our nation emphasized this point and increased the urgency to strengthen plans and procedures that provide for the continuation of civil government and a capability to perform essential functions over a wide range of contingencies.

National Incident Management System / Preparedness Framework

The Nevada Division of Emergency Management (DEM) is responsible for preparing and updating a statewide National Incident Management System (NIMS) / Preparedness Framework. This overarching framework will consolidate several existing preparedness documents and formally articulate the Integrated Preparedness Planning (IPP) model in the State of Nevada DEM’s emergency management program. The Framework and IPP highlight Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) standards and Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) compliance.

Disaster Recovery Framework

The State of Nevada Disaster Recovery Framework has been developed to address how the State of Nevada will address recovery activities in the aftermath of a disaster. The Framework delineates the policies, procedures, and organizational structures that the state will use in coordinating state recovery activities in support of local and tribal governments, community-based organizations, and the private sector.

Statewide Resilience Strategy

The Statewide Resilience Strategy provides a general overview for how and why Nevada should transition to a resilience paradigm for its emergency management and  homeland security initiatives. It examines the existing efforts and provides proposals for how to reinforce existing systems, and more important, how to coordinate all of these systems in the most efficient and productive way possible. 

Nevada Resilience Advisory Committee Annual Report

This report captures the statewide collaboration of the development and implementation efforts for homeland security and emergency management preparedness initiatives and allocated grant funds for statewide needs.

EMAP Accreditation

The State of Nevada-Division of Emergency Management/Homeland Security (DEM) has achieved full accreditation and exhibits “best practices” in the management of emergencies by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP).

EMAP is a voluntary accreditation process for state, territorial and local governments’ emergency management programs that coordinate preparedness and response activities for all disaster types based on national standards. It recognizes the ability of emergency management programs to bring together personnel, resources and communications from a variety of agencies and organizations in preparation for and in response to an emergency, in addition to obtaining the ability to measure those capabilities.

DEM was the lead agency responsible for ensuring the state’s accreditation, which is a means of demonstrating through program examination, documentation and on-site assessment by an independent team that a program meets national standards.

DEM met stringent criteria and went through a rigorous yearlong program of evaluation, documentation and review. The EMAP process evaluates emergency management programs on compliance with 64 national standards in 16 functional areas, including: planning; resource management; training; exercises; evaluations and corrective actions; and communications and warning. 

History of DEM

  • Nov. 28th, 1861, territorial Gov. James Nye signed off on the “An Act in relation to the Militia of the Territory of Nevada” and established the Nevada National Guard.
  • The Nevada Territory acquired statehood in 1864
  • The Nevada Division of Emergency Management was established in 1953.
  • From 1953 to 1967 DEM was under the Nevada department of Defense before converting into the Nevada Department of the Military in 1967.
  • In 1993 the Nevada Department of the Military was renamed the Nevada Office of the Military
  • DEM was under the Nevada Department/Office of the Military from 1967 to 1999. In March 24th, 1999, Governor Guinn approved NRS 414.040 which states: 
     “A division of emergency management is hereby created within the department of motor vehicles and public safety.”  
     “The chief of the division is appointed by and holds office at the pleasure of the director of the department of motor vehicles and public safety.” 
     “The division is the state agency for emergency management and the state agency for civil defense for the purposes of the compact ratified by the legislature pursuant to NRS 415.010.” 
     “The chief is the state’s director of emergency management and the state’s director of civil defense for the purposes of the compact.”  
  •  In January 2010, Office of Homeland Security merged with the Division of Emergency Management.

Past Legislative Actions

  • AB 715 (9/01/1988)
    Require division of emergency management to establish procedures of reports of spills or accidents involving hazardous materials.  
  • SB 533 (9/01/1988)
    Allow funding of local emergency response planning committees.  
  • AB 445 (9/01/1988)
    Authorize employment of additional deputy director of department of motor vehicles and public safety.  
  • BDR 53-1007 (9/01/1988)
    Allow emergency response commission to have access to certain records of employment security department.  
  • SB 329 (01/13/1989)
    Various changes concerning board of Search and Rescue.  
  • AB 351 (02/07/1989)
    Create funds for division of emergency management.
  • Ch. 269 (02/07/1989)
    Appropriation to the division of emergency management to update state’s disaster preparedness plan.
  • AB 933 (06/09/1989)
    Appropriation for support of Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety.  
  • AB 124 Ch. 483 (08/14/1990)
    Required consideration of certain hazards to populated areas in planning and zoning.
  •  SB 458 (01/24/1991)
    Require division of emergency management to establish program for earthquakes education for school children.
  • AB 109 (06/11/1992)
    Create a State Emergency Operations Center within Division of Emergency Management of Department of the Military.  
  • BDR 43 (02/13/1995)
    Creates Divisionof Special Services within the Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety.  
  • AB 626 (08/19/1998)
    Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety- Emergency Management; Makes changes concerning emergency management.  
  • SB 193 (10/16/1998)
    Revises procedures under which local government may receive services related to emergency management.  
  • SB 441 (2001)
    In 2001, a NRS was passed to determine that the division of emergency management is created within the department of public safety.  
  • AB 441 (2003)
    Legislature passed Assembly Bill 441 which created the Office of Homeland Security and the Nevada Commission on Homeland Security
  • SB 39 (12/20/12)
    Revises provisions governing the Nevada Commission on Homeland Security. (BDR 19-342)
  • SB 44(12/20/12)
    Revises provisions relating to allocations from the Disaster Relief Account.

DEM Chief's

  • David W. Fogerson: October 2020
  • Justin Luna: August 2019 to October 2020
  • Caleb S. Cage: July 2015 to July 2019
  • Christopher B. Smith: October 2011 to April 2015
  • James Wright: Interim Chief March 2011 to October 2011
  • Frank Siracusa: 1997- 2011 
  • Tom Manning: Deputy Chief in 1997 
  • Charles W. Owen: 1997
  • James P Hawke: May 1993-1997
  • Bill Langley: April 1993 
  • Joe Quinn: March 1993
  • David McNinch
  • Bob King
  • Bob Andrews: Executive Director of SERC
  • General Tony Clark
  • Major General James May: 1953 to 1967