If not, it certainly can be by receiving accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP). EMAP is considered the “gold seal” among organizations involved in the prevention of, mitigation against, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from disasters and emergencies. This includes state, local, tribal emergency management agencies; federal and international programs; higher education institutions; and private sector organizations.

EMAP, an independent, non-profit organization, fosters excellence and accountability in emergency management and homeland security programs by establishing credible standards applied in a peer review accreditation process. The process evaluates emergency management programs on compliance with requirements in sixteen areas. Among them are planning; resource management; training; exercises, evaluations, and corrective actions; communications and warning; and administration.

Things to know about EMAP:

  1. EMAP defines “emergency management” in the broadest sense, meaning it encompasses all organizations with emergency/disaster functions in a jurisdiction, rather than only one agency or department.
  2. There are five steps to the EMAP accreditation process. Though rigorous, many organizations have followed these steps and obtained this completely voluntary, but highly regarded certification.
  3. To achieve accreditation, applicants must demonstrate through self-assessment, documentation and peer assessment verification that its program meets the Emergency Management Standard. The emergency management program uses the accreditation to prove the capabilities of their disaster preparedness and response systems.
  4. EMAP accreditation is valid for five years and the program must maintain compliance with the Emergency Management Standard to preserve its accreditation during that time.

Make no qualms about it. Obtaining EMAP accreditation isn’t easy. It requires a lot of time, preparation and funding, and can put a strain on personnel (especially for smaller jurisdictions or organizations). Still, as others can attest, it’s a goal worth pursuing, even if you must bring in outside support to help you work through the process.

Start by subscribing to EMAP online. This simple action gives you immediate access to the Program Assessment Tool and other services. Also, consider taking part in EMAP Emergency Management Standard Training. For information regarding training opportunities, consult the EMAP Events Calendar or contact EMAP staff at emap@csg.org.

With EMAP accreditation, you too can carry the gold seal of emergency management and join the ranks of the many across the country and around the globe who are working to create safer communities for all.

BOLDplanning’s experienced and highly credentialed consultants, coupled with its online planning platform, routinely support organizations wanting to obtain EMAP certification.