To ensure that Lancaster County is prepared to respond to, and recover from, natural and man-made emergencies.
Our department vision is to build an unparalleled capability for governmental, volunteer, and private organizations to successfully work together to prevent, protect, mitigate, respond to, and recover from all-hazards emergencies and disasters.
This department will provide the leadership and support to reduce the loss of life and property through an all-hazards emergency management program by achieving the following goals:
Plan and Prepare
- Assess, identify, and assist in the mitigation of natural and human-caused hazards.
- Develop and maintain plans for major emergencies / disasters that build on and complement operational policies and procedures of local emergency response agencies.
- Comply with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) requirements for receipt of Federal and State program funds.
Train, Educate, & Exercise
- Maintain and operate a state-of-the-art Public Safety Training Center to support all emergency response disciplines in Lancaster County.
- Establish an annual training and exercise program that develops and maintains local emergency management skills, including conducting exercises to assess & validate local municipality as well as organizational emergency response plans and procedures.
- Expand our community resilience training programs throughout the County, including Stop-the-Bleed and CERT training.
Communicate and Inform
- Gather and disseminate information to and from the public, media, and local government agencies to assist in the protection, prevention, mitigation, response to, and recovery from all-hazards emergencies and disasters.
Respond and Coordinate
- Serve as the focal point for coordination and liaison of activities between local, state, and federal government in the response to and recovery from major emergencies / disasters.
- Provide the direction and coordination to identify and manage the additional resources needed for a major emergency / disaster response.
Lancaster County Emergency Management Agency (LEMA) is located in Manheim, which is in northern Lancaster County. We are co-located with Lancaster Countywide Communications, the county’s 911 call center. Emergency Management has eight full time employees. The staff positions consist of:
History of Emergency Management
Emergency Management, formerly known as Civil Defense, was created by the Civil Defense Act of 1950. The primary responsibility at that time was to plan and prepare for nuclear attack. As time went on, and the threat of attack subsided, a restructuring took place. In 1979, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created, which consolidated five federal agencies that were dealing with several types of emergencies. Since that time, many state and local organizations, including Lancaster County, have accepted this approach and changed to the emergency management structure. Along with the change came a new approach in preparedness. No longer was planning done for single or narrowly defined categories of hazards, but towards an all-hazards approach, including attack, natural, and technological threats.
Emergency Plan Management
The Lancaster County Emergency Management Agency maintains emergency plans for facilities that use or produce hazardous materials, as well as plans for:
- Dam failures
- Nuclear facilities
- Several other types of man-made or natural disasters
The office’s primary responsibility is to provide support and coordination to local municipalities and all emergency service organizations such as fire, police, and emergency medical services during large and small incident and events as needed. This support and coordination are performed at the emergency operations center located within our facility. These activities are performed in close cooperation with the county commissioners and local elected officials when needed.