Preparedness and Response Section

​The mission of the Preparedness and Response section is to enhance West Virginia's readiness through strategic planning, comprehensive training, effective communication, geographic data analysis, and coordinated emergency response.

This mission is carried out through the following staff and programs:​

Area Liaisons: The Area Liaisons serve as the linchpin between the state emergency management agency and local communities and agencies. Their primary mission is to cultivate and maintain relationships with local stakeholders, fostering effective communication and collaboration during times of crisis.

By serving as a conduit for information exchange and resource mobilization, Area Liaisons play a pivotal role in ensuring a coordinated and cohesive response effort that meets the unique needs of each community.

State Emergency Operations Center: At the nucleus of the Preparedness and Response Section resides the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC). As the nerve center for managing and coordinating statewide emergency response and recovery operations, the SEOC serves as the focal point for decision-making and resource allocation.

Staffed by dedicated emergency management professionals, the SEOC ensures a swift, coordinated, and effective response to emergencies, safeguarding the well-being of communities across the state.

State Emergency Response Commission: The State Emergency Response Commission serves as the key player of state-level emergency response coordination. Charged with overseeing and coordinating responses to emergencies, this commission ensures seamless collaboration among various agencies and departments.

GIS Department: At the core of informed decision-making lies the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Department, dedicated to providing precise geographic data and analysis. By harnessing cutting-edge technology and spatial analysis techniques, the GIS Department delivers critical insights that support informed decision-making during emergencies.

Radiological Emergency Preparedness: WVEMD's Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) program plays a critical role in safeguarding public health and safety in the event of a radiological emergency. The REP program is designed to ensure that communities located near nuclear power plants are adequately prepared to respond to and recover from potential radiological incidents.

State Planning Officer: At the heart of the Preparedness and Response Section is the State Planning Officer, tasked with orchestrating strategic and operational planning endeavors. Through meticulous coordination, the State Planning Officer ensures that all aspects of emergency preparedness, response, and recovery are meticulously mapped out.

Training, Exercises, and Search and Rescue: WVEMD's Training, Exercises, and Search and Rescue (SAR) team plays a pivotal role in enhancing the state's emergency response capabilities. Committed to continuous improvement and readiness, this multifaceted team develops and delivers comprehensive training programs tailored to equip emergency responders with the skills and knowledge needed to effectively mitigate, respond to, and recover from a wide range of emergencies and disasters.

Through the design and execution of realistic exercises and drills, the team ensures that responders are prepared to effectively coordinate and execute response efforts in high-stress situations.

Additionally, the SAR component of the team provides intensive search and rescue training, including advanced SAR canine and handler courses. These courses improve SAR outcomes across the state.​

Page update January 26, 2024