Preparing in advance for management of major incidents, the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) is assigned to the Fire Department. In some larger cities, the term "Office of Homeland Security" is used. The terms are synonymous.
An Emergency Management Plan(EMP) is constantly maintained to deal with disasters and major incidents. This plan is a guide and resource document for disaster management.
Mitigation, a process for limiting or eliminating problems before the disaster is a large part of the Emergency Management process.
Warning the public of impending danger is also a responsibility of the DEM. A weather spotting and early warning system, SKYWARN, is staffed by trained weather observers who work in direct communication with the National Weather Service (NWS)