“We conduct programs and activities designed to provide Wichita County residents with the ability to prepare for, cope with, and recover from the effects of any hazard. This is achieved through information and resource exchange, working with the public and private sectors, and all levels of government through the utilization of modern technology.”
“The Wichita County Emergency Management Office is committed to professionalism and providing the highest quality of emergency services and protection.”
Emergency Management is responsible for coordinating Wichita County’s preparation for and response to emergency situations.
Wichita County is exposed to many hazards, which have the potential for disrupting the community, causing damage and creating casualties. Natural hazards include tornadoes, floods, and severe storms. As a major manufacturing and distribution center, Wichita County also faces the threat of hazardous material accidents involving the transportation, manufacture and storage of chemicals on the highways and in the industrial areas.
To address these potential threats, the Emergency Management Office maintains the county’s emergency management plan. This plan provides the framework upon which Wichita County prepares for, responds to and performs its emergency response functions during times of natural or man-made disasters or national emergencies. The plan is based on the four phases of Emergency Management which are:
- Mitigation – Those activities which eliminate or reduce the probability of disaster.
- Preparedness – Those activities which governments, organizations and individuals develop to save lives and minimize damage.
- Response – Those actions to minimize loss of life and property damage and provide emergency assistance.
- Recovery – Those short and long-term activities which restore city operations and help return the community to a normal state.
When the County faces an emergency and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is activated, the emergency management office works with appropriate county departments as well as various city, state, and federal agencies to respond effectively and quickly and provide for the continuity of services to the public. In addition, should it become necessary to establish a command post at the site of a major incident, the County will deploy a specially equipped vehicle known as the Mobile Incident Command Post (MICP)
This specialized vehicle has been designed to be an extension of the emergency operations center. It is a state-of-the-art mobile command post equipped with radio equipment, computers, telephones, video systems, and other specialized equipment to assist in the management of a major incident at or near the incident location.
Since severe weather emergencies could be caused by tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, floods, extreme cold and ice, and extreme heat, we monitor the County area radar on a continual basis. The emergency management office can communicate with local amateur radio operators throughout the area as part of the Regional Skywarn Network, as well as emergency operations centers in adjacent counties and the state.
Emergency management personnel, working with the National Weather Service, monitor regional and national weather information for its potential impact on the County. This is particularly true during the tornado season (March – June). The emergency management office also provides public education and training. We plan and hold training exercises with county departments and outside agencies. We advise the public through the media, and the Emergency Alert System (EAS), about the severity of the situation and the response and recovery under way. In addition we are available to make presentations to civic and business groups on emergency preparedness.
For more information, call (940) 763-0820 during normal business hours.