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City of Memphis Office of Emergency Management

The Memphis Office of Emergency Management is the city emergency management agency. We are the primary agency for disaster mitigation, planning, preparedness, response and recovery efforts. We coordinate resources and incidents and assist other departments in day to day events, and during emergencies and disasters. In short, Memphis OEM is similar to FEMA, but a local agency, which is extremely beneficial to the community since all disasters happen locally.

OEM Roles and Responsibilities

OEM performs many roles on a daily basis. You can explore our website to find an abundance of information, but we have summarized a few examples here of what we do:

OEM is responsible for the city’s Emergency Operations Center, commonly called the EOC. This is the multi-agency coordination point for major emergencies and disasters, and includes emergency service coordinators and others who provide immediate support and coordination for a large incident.

During disasters and events, OEM can staff a 24/7 operations center that works closely with city 9-1-1. OEM’s emergency management staff are in charge of monitoring incidents, processing calls and notifying various department crews as needed to any variety of incidents around the city. OEM has field response personnel that assist on the scene of an incident and serve as liaisons for emergency personnel and others. Our field response personnel also assist and are on the scene of many different special events throughout the city.

OEM personnel continuously monitor for severe weather, terrorism alerts and other developing situations. OEM is the city’s primary warning and activation point for the outdoor warning sirens when a tornado warning is issued by the NWS for Memphis/Shelby County.

OEM works with the City of Memphis Division of Fire Service’s grants team to apply for and coordinate federal grants for various programs, Grant Team personnel are responsible for various aspects of working with grants, including but not limited to applying, reporting, equipment acquisition and inventory.

Emergency planning is a large part of emergency management. OEM is responsible for creating, reviewing, revising, distributing, and coordination and collaboration of many different emergency plans. This includes but is not limited to the city’s Emergency Response Plan, the Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan and many more. Once these plans are completed, OEM coordinates training on and exercising of the plans with various stakeholders.

As part of the emergency preparedness cycle with planning is always training and exercising. OEM has access to a variety of training opportunities either locally or in other locations for emergency personnel. Personnel can also come and assist, observe, stand by during your exercises/drills. If you need an OEM representative present in exercise planning meetings or during an exercise, please contact office as far in advance as possible.


The Emergency Operations Center is responsible for the strategic overview, or big picture, of any disaster or incident.

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Emergency planning for city government is a large task. Memphis OEM has created the comprehensive Emergency Response Plan (ERP), which is the city's resource for any potential disaster.

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Be Ready

OEM encourages all residents to make emergency preparedness a top priority by joining the nationwide “Be Ready”effort.

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Alerts & Warnings

Receiving timely information about weather conditions or other emergency events can make all the difference in knowing when to take action to be safe.

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There are resources available to help you locate family and friends that have been affected by a disaster.

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Following a disaster, many people are looking for ways to volunteer. You should make sure that you are needed before going to a disaster site. Check first with an organization to see if they need volunteers.

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