Wednesday, October 4, 2023

BISMARCK, N.D. – For its commitment to excellence in disaster planning and response, as well as high-level organization and collaboration among more than 26 partner agencies, the State of North Dakota has earned consecutive accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP). The EMAP Commission met Sept. 27 to officially confer the designation after conclusion of its on-site assessment. North Dakota’s was one of 13 emergency management programs to receive the designation last month.

EMAP 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.

“Year after year, the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services has successfully led our state’s whole-of-government response to natural disasters and other emergencies with the utmost professionalism and preparedness. These consecutive accreditations are a testament to the extremely high level of services provided by the DES team and their emergency management partners across our state,” Gov. Doug Burgum said. 

The N.D. Department of Emergency Services first spearheaded the effort to achieve accreditation for the state in the early days of the program. North Dakota again earned accreditation status in 2017. To achieve accreditation, applicants must demonstrate through self-assessment, documentation and peer assessment verification that its program meets the Emergency Management Standard. Accreditation is valid for five years and the program must maintain compliance with the Emergency Management Standard and is reassessed to maintain accredited status.

“There were a lot of dedicated team members putting in additional hours to ensure North Dakota had a successful assessment,” said Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, N.D. Department of Emergency Services director. “This accreditation proves our state partners’ ‘Work as One’ mindset. We all work together so that when North Dakotans are having their worst day, we are ready to respond to save lives and property.”

The state’s participation in EMAP generates many benefits, including streamlined processes that reduce duplication of effort and increased understanding of processes and resources by partners. It also provides staff familiarity with equipment operations and continuity of operations plans that provide direction when a hazard threatens to disrupt operations, such as a cyberattack or power outage. 

Complying with EMAP standards has also helped position North Dakota for enhanced mitigation plan status. Enhanced status ensures North Dakota is eligible to receive increased funding under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. It gives the state twenty percent of the total estimated eligible Stafford Act disaster assistance, rather than 15 percent, following a presidentially declared disaster.

EMAP is an independent, non-profit organization that fosters excellence and accountability in emergency management programs by establishing credible standards applied in a peer review accreditation process. EMAP Standards encompass program administration and evaluation; coordination; administration and finance; laws and authorities; hazard mitigation; prevention; continuity of operations planning; operational planning; incident management; resource management; communications and warning; facilities; training; exercises; and public information.