The Cook County Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security (EMRS) enhances the safety and security of Cook County and its residents by working to build capacity to prevent, protect against, mitigate the effects of, respond to and recover from all incidents, both human-caused and natural.
EMRS coordinates the County’s response to disasters and emergencies, with a focus on equity, inclusion, and collaboration. EMRS works closely with other Cook County Departments, Bureaus, and Offices Under the President to ensure a whole of Government response to any incident that exceeds local capabilities. EMRS partners with the County’s 134 local municipalities in strengthening their emergency management capabilities and supports the County’s 5.3 million residents in becoming more disaster resilient.
EMRS is responsible for the following key functions before, during, and after disasters:
Administration - EMRS works to hire and retain experienced emergency management professionals and to create a safe and supportive working environment. EMRS regularly reviews and updates internal policies and procedures to ensure professional and efficient operations.
Finance - During and after disasters, EMRS leverages available funding to support response and recovery efforts as appropriate. Additionally, EMRS receives, invests, and distributes essential homeland security, justice assistance, and emergency management related grant funds. These funds help strengthen regional preparedness and build local emergency management capacity.
Operations – EMRS monitors potential hazards and threats to Cook County municipalities and residents and maintains a high standard of readiness to assist municipalities during a disaster or emergency. EMRS manages and deploys assets and personnel to assist municipalities in disaster response and recovery activities as requested. Additionally, EMRS leverages its technological investments to promote information sharing, situational awareness, and mass communications before, during, and after disasters.
Planning & Preparedness – EMRS works to develop high-quality planning products, such as Emergency Operations, Continuity of Operations, Hazard Mitigation, and Recovery Plans. EMRS provides guidance and training to internal government and municipal partners in developing emergency management plans. Furthermore, EMRS enables residents and community-based organizations to be better prepared for disasters and emergencies.
Training – EMRS conducts critical training programs throughout the year to equip public safety partners in County government and in suburban communities with the skills and tools needed to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies and disasters.