Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security
The Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) is charged with developing, administering, and coordinating a comprehensive and integrated statewide emergency management and homeland security program that encompasses all human-made and natural hazards, and includes prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery components to ensure the safety and well-being of the citizens of Connecticut.
The duties of DEMHS are outlined and Connecticut General Statutes Title 28 and include Coordinating with state and local government personnel, agencies, authorities and the private sector to ensure adequate planning, equipment, training and exercise activities by such personnel, agencies, authorities and the private sector with regard to emergency management and homeland security; Coordinating, and as may be necessary, consolidating homeland security communications and communications systems of the state government with state and local government personnel, agencies, authorities, the general public and the private sector; distributing and, as may be appropriate; Coordinating the distribution of information and security warnings to state and local government personnel, agencies, authorities and the general public; and establishing standards and security protocols for the use of any intelligence information; and Providing a coordinated, integrated program for state-wide emergency management and homeland security. DEMHS maintains an Emergency Management and Homeland Security Statewide Strategy, developed in coordination with stakeholders from state, local governments and private response and recovery organizations.
Critical missions of DEMHS include terrorism prevention, coordination of emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation, and administering federal emergency management and homeland security grant programs, including disaster aid. DEMHS puts into place measures to respond to emerging threats, including developing within the Office of Counterterrorism (OCT) a fully operational and staffed State Fusion Center.
DEMHS manages the state’s response to emergencies in coordination with local municipalities, other state agencies and federal and nongovernmental partners. This may include operation of the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) if activated by the Governor.