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Emergency Management

Birmingham's Emergency Management System
The general nature of most emergency / disaster situations requires prompt response and effective action. This can best be obtained from existing agencies of federal, state, county and local government. For this reason, such governmental agencies constitute the basic framework of the emergency management system here in Michigan. However, many agencies do not normally operate in a manner directly suitable to emergency operations and must realign their structure and activities to meet emergency requirements. Special purpose units may be formed to perform activities related to disaster response and recovery. Individuals designated to serve in such units are detached from their regular assignment when these units are mobilized. In those situations where governmental agencies cannot accomplish all necessary emergency functions, the private sector augments existing forces.

The City of Birmingham has established its own Emergency Management Plan and works closely with the Michigan State Police Emergency Management Division and the Oakland County Emergency Preparedness Office. Our plan is a living document and is constantly going through revisions and updates as things around us change. The basic plan for the city covers the following areas:

  • To provide a single comprehensive plan for City of Birmingham government to perform the emergency management activities of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery, and to describe how the county relates with local, state, and federal levels of government during emergency or disaster situations.
  • To organize and coordinate the actions and resources of the City of Birmingham emergency management forces and to facilitate emergency operations in the event of an emergency situation or disaster.
  • To save lives, reduce casualties, and minimize damage to property.
  • To maintain the continuity of government.
  • To provide procedures and policies whereby the normal day-to-day operation of local government is organized into an effective emergency management organization.
  • To identify City of Birmingham departments and agencies various responsibilities and tasks for emergency situations and disaster response operations.

Pursuant to Act 390, P.A. 1976, as amended, and Ordinance #986 of the City Code, an Emergency Services Coordinator has been appointed by the City Manager. This person coordinates all mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities. The position of Emergency Services Coordinator is within the Fire Department. Emergency management duties are performed 25% of the time. This person also holds the title of Fire Chief. He reports directly to the City Manager. In the event the Fire Chief is unavailable or unable to exercise his/her duties, the line of succession for this position is: Assistant Fire Chief / Operations.

Each department has appointed a person to work with the Emergency Services Coordinator to coordinate the department's preparedness and response activities. These persons act as liaison between the Birmingham Emergency Services and their department.

At the state level, the Director of the Department of State Police is the State Director of Emergency Management. The Emergency Management Division, within the Department of State Police, coordinates all mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities within the state. Coordination between local emergency management programs and the Emergency Management Division is accomplished through an Emergency Management Division District Coordinator. The District Coordinator for District 2 North is located at CID Livonia, 18050 Deering, Livonia, Michigan 48152. At the federal level, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordinates all mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities. FEMA coordinates through the Emergency Management Division for the delivery of assistance.

Comprehensive emergency management activities are accomplished through these recognized single points of contact channels.

Skywarn Training Sessions
The Oakland County Homeland Security Division coordinates a Skywarn program. Skywarn training sessions are held to train individuals on how to accurately observe such weather phenomena as floods, hail, wind and its associated damage, cloud features that lead to tornadoes, and those cloud features that do not lead to tornadoes. The class covers what information to report and how to report it. Basic severe weather safety is also covered. Classes are FREE and last 1.5 hours. Download information about the 2017 Skywarn Training Sessions.