Homeland Security

Okay...what's the difference between Emergency Management and Homeland Security?

The simple answer is, for the most part, they're the same thing...but different.

(Hey, this is government...you don't expect a simple answer do you?)

The longer explanation is this...

When FEMA was formed, it absorbed what used to be Civil Defense along with a number of other agencies and responsibilities and most things operated under the umbrella of "Emergency Management." However, there were other emergency and disaster-related departments and agencies, and others still had programs relating to emergencies that weren't under the "FEMA" umbrella.

When "Homeland Security" came about...it absorbed FEMA and a whole lot of other agencies and departments at the same time...including Immigration, the Secret Service, the Coast Guard and others. So, at the national level Homeland Security as such is more than just "Emergency Management." However, FEMA continues to operate within the big tent that is DHS and a lot of what is done at the State and Local Levels still has a primary focus upon Emergency Management functions. So, while we work under the DHS tent, there are other's under the same tent but having different responsibilities.

In 2003, Wyoming's Legislature changed the state statute which had Emergency Management residing within the Wyoming Military Department and moved it the Executive Branch with the Director reporting to the Governor. At the same time, the wording in the statute which referred to "Emergency Management" or the few references to "Civil Defense" were all replaced with the words "Homeland Security."

Some Wyoming Counties then changed the name of their county-level entity from Emergency Management to Homeland Security. It was not a requirement, and Campbell County opted to keep the agency with the name Emergency Management. The Governor's appointment letter for the CCEMA Coordinator now refers to the the position as "The Homeland Security Act Coordinator."

The scope of the job was unchanged and your Campbell County Emergency Management Coordinator still works for the County Commissioners, while working with the State of Wyoming's Office of Homeland Security.

Wyoming's statute still says "homeland security" means the preparation for and the carrying out of all emergency functions essential to the recovery and restoration of the economy, by supply and re-supply of resources to meet urgent survival and military needs.

It then defines our scope as dealing with disasters which may be caused by:
  • Civil disorder or other hostile action
  • Earthquake
  • Enemy attack
  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Sabotage
  • Terrorism
  • Other natural causes and other technological, industrial, civil, and political events
And, it defines the "Emergency Functions" we are to work on as including without limitation, the coordination of :
  • Attack warning services
  • Communications
  • Emergency transportation
  • Emergency welfare services (civilian war aid)
  • Engineering
  • Evacuation of persons from stricken areas
  • Existing or properly assigned functions of plan protection
  • Firefighting services
  • Medical and health services
  • Mitigation activities in areas threatened by natural or technological hazards
  • Police services
  • Radiological events
  • Rescue
  • Temporary restoration of public utility services
  • Other functions related to civilian protection
To read the Wyoming Statute in more detail, please go to Title 19, Chapter 13