About the Office of Emergency Management (OEM)
Under the leadership of the Mayor, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) assists the City of Houston in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disasters. As the chief coordinating body for the City, OEM works year-round with City Departments, regional emergency management and public safety officials, elected officials , private and social sector organizations to develop a plan to lessen the impact of disasters on City residents. OEM Staff come from various backgrounds and specializations, and work together in the four areas of emergency management: preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation.
OEM is a division of the Mayor's Office of Public Safety & Homeland Security.
OEM provides information to City residents and departments to develop plans to deal with the effects both natural and manmade hazards. This includes the publishing of the Disaster Preparedness Guide, updating of HoustonOEM.org and performing work within the community that encourages emergency preparedness.
The most visible work that OEM does is during an emergency As the chief coordinating body for City Departments, OEM works with various City, regional and State entities to respond to emergency situations. This includes bringing in supplies and equipment from neighboring jurisdictions through mutual aid agreements, coordinating evacuation response and management during catastrophic incidents, and providing recommendations to the Mayor on what actions should be taken to minimize the impact of a disaster.
After impact, OEM coordinates a response to ensure that individuals have what they need to survive; this includes the setting up of Points of Distribution (PODs) to provide basic supplies to individuals in need. An assessment of physical damage is also performed, this information is provided to governmental entities such as the State of Texas and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist in acquring funding to help residents recover from catastrophic incidences.
By developing programs that either minimize the impact of a disaster, or reduce the City's vulnerability to the disaster, lives and property can be saved. OEM participates in mitigation projects designed to do just that, including developing new flood control systems, and tools for the community to better understand the threats that could impact them.
City of Houston Office of Emergency Management
Houston Emergency Center
5320 North Shepherd Drive
Houston, TX 77091
*Please note that OEM offices are in a secure facility not open to the public.
P.O. Box 1562
Houston, TX 77091