February 14, 2024
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Seneca County Has Achieved State Emergency Management Accreditation

Governor Hochul Announces Seneca County Has Achieved State Emergency Management Accreditation

Accreditation Program Evaluates and Provides Opportunities to Improve Local Programs Aimed at Disaster Planning and Response

Developed by the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services in Partnership with the New York State Emergency Management Association

Seneca County is the 19th County or Municipality to Achieve Accreditation

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced Seneca County achieved accreditation through New York State's Local Emergency Management Accreditation Program. The program is a state-level opportunity for county and local emergency management agencies to be assessed for overall proficiency and potentially improve or enhance programs related to disaster planning efforts.

“New Yorkers deserve to have the resources needed to respond when an emergency situation occurs,” Governor Hochul said. “From storms to flooding to high winds, Seneca County will be provided with opportunity to have resources on-hand for disaster response.”

Since the program’s inception in 2017, 19 counties and municipalities have achieved accreditation, including Albany, Broome, Chemung, Erie, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Nassau, Niagara, Oneida, Saratoga, Seneca, Steuben, Suffolk, Washington, Wayne, and Wyoming counties, and New York City.

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services facilitates this voluntary accreditation program in partnership with the New York State Emergency Management Association. Accreditation is valid for five years, with an opportunity to obtain reaccreditation after the five-year period. The Division administers the program on behalf of the Local Emergency Management Accreditation Council, which serves as the governing body for the program. Local government must meet a series of standards and best practices and engage community stakeholders, including governmental and non-government partners.

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, “New York’s diverse threat landscape makes it essential that local emergency management operations are aligned with national best practices and have the processes in place needed to effectively respond when disaster strikes. I congratulate our partners in Seneca County on their accreditation and commend them for always working so hard to keep their residents safe.”

New York State Emergency Management Association President and Cattaraugus County Emergency Management Director Chris Baker said, “I am very pleased with Seneca County Emergency Management attaining the status of Accredited Agency. I applaud the efforts of the office recognizing the high standards that this brings. It is a continuous joint partnership with NYSEMA and DHSES to have Emergency Management reach the next level.”

Seneca County Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Michael Enslow said, “The people of Seneca County could not be more proud of our emergency management team. Their hard work and dedication are proven with this outstanding achievement of becoming an accredited emergency management agency. They rise above during our community's hardest times and help pick up the pieces to move us forward. On behalf of the Board of Supervisors, I congratulate them on this monumental achievement.”

Seneca County Emergency Management Director Melissa Taylor said, “The Seneca County Office of Emergency Management is extremely proud to be among the 19 counties who have received the recognition of being accredited by New York State's Emergency Management Accreditation Program. Achieving this accreditation continues to ensure our office is among those most prepared for any emergency. When this accreditation program was announced, it immediately became a priority for us. With a team of just two, it was a very challenging goal to accomplish. The process covers over 20 subject areas in emergency management and requires all of our emergency plans to have been updated within the last five years. We took it one step further and re-wrote most of these plans. Real-world events like COVID response slowed us down, but we continued to stay on track to complete our goal of developing a robust emergency management program that allowed us to ultimately achieve accreditation. Thank you to our partners in NYS DHSES for all your support in helping us accomplish this huge milestone!"

Montgomery County, which was accredited by the program in 2018, was also recently awarded reaccreditation by demonstrating compliance with the program’s standards and objectives.

Additional information about the New York State Local Emergency Management Accreditation Program including program guidance, eligibility, and standards can be found on the DHSES website here. Local emergency management offices looking to achieve accreditation should complete the application form and submit it to DHSES at [email protected].

About the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) provides leadership, coordination, and support to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate disasters and other emergencies. For more information, follow @NYSDHSES on Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly known as Twitter) or visit dhses.ny.gov.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418
New York City: (212) 681-4640

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