The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (ODEMHS) prepares for, responds to, recovers from and mitigates against disasters and emergencies. The department maintains the State Emergency Operations Center which serves as a command center for reporting emergencies and coordinating state response activities. ODEMHS delivers service to Oklahoma cities, towns, counties, tribes and other public and private sector entities through the network of more than 300 local emergency managers.
ODEMHS also maintains, regularly updates and exercises the State Emergency Operations Plan. The department provides funding and/or assistance to local emergency management departments throughout the state.
Community Preparedness: For more effective response to a disaster, ODEMHS helps plan, promote and conduct local, state and federal exercises to test response capability. The department also offers numerous training courses throughout the year.
Emergency Response: During emergencies, ODEMHS coordinates state emergency operations including:
- Monitoring potentially severe events
- Evaluating the possibility for securing state, federal disaster assistance
- Managing state and local resources
- Providing emergency public information
- Developing and distributing situation reports
- Conducting preliminary damage assessments
Disaster Recovery: Following a state or federal emergency or disaster declaration, ODEMHS is responsible for providing quick and efficient delivery of state and federal aid to those affected by the event. This includes coordinating the efforts of federal, state, local, volunteer and private organizations to provide relief and establish disaster recovery centers. The agency conducts public information, administers individual and public assistance programs as well as disaster mitigation projects.
Hazard Mitigation: The mitigation program is available to local communities across the state to assist them with identifying and implementing long-term hazard mitigation measures before, during and after major disaster declarations. Communities are encouraged to work with the state mitigation officer to develop an ongoing program to identify hazards and decide the best way to reduce or eliminate them.
Before Disaster Strikes, ODEMHS:
- Writes and updates comprehensive emergency plans.
- Offers assistance to governments and private industry in developing emergency plans and conducts emergency exercises to test those plans.
- Provides training opportunities to emergency management professionals, first responders and others.
- Promotes and advocates emergency preparedness and awareness.
- Works to improve technology and communications capabilities.
When Disaster Strikes, ODEMHS:
- Coordinates a fast, efficient and effective response by all state departments and agencies.
- Supports and assists the response efforts of more than 400 local governments.
- Facilitates and coordinates state resources such as generators and water to provide necessary assistance.
- Provides timely and accurate information to the public through the media and local emergency management.
- Works with appropriate federal departments and agencies to obtain needed resources.
After Disaster Strikes, ODEMHS:
- Supports and assists local governments with their recovery efforts.
- Develops public information messages to advise the public to report damage and file for assistance.
- Coordinates the implementation of federal assistance in a presidentially declared disaster.
- Creates or assists with mitigation projects to lessen the effects of future disasters such as drainage projects, Safe Room rebate programs, NOAA weather radios and reverse 911 systems.
History of the Department
ODEMHS was created as the Department of Civil Defense by legislative action in 1951. Soon after its creation, the Civil Defense agency and the Department of Emergency Resources Management were combined into one unified disaster aid organization. Today, the department serves as the state's liaison with federal and local agencies on emergencies of all kinds. The department is located on the State Capitol Complex.
In 2016, passage of the Oklahoma 9-1-1 Management Authority Act placed the office of the State 9-1-1 Coordinator within ODEMHS. The State 9-1-1 Coordinator reports to the ODEMHS director as well as the Oklahoma 9-1-1 Management Authority. Find more information on the Oklahoma 9-1-1 Management Authority website.
In 2020, Governor Kevin Stitt signed an executive order to place the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security within the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, creating the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security
Table of Organization
The ODEMHS director is appointed by and reports to the Governor.
Director - Mark Gower
Homeland Security Advisor - Col. Hiram Tabler
Recovery Director - Alden Graybill
Operations Director - Steve Palladino
State 911 Coordinator - Lance Terry
Administrative Services Director - Shimeka Mack
Chief Financial Officer - Sandy Henry
Deputy CFO - Brianna Thomas
Public Affairs Director - Keli Cain
Individual Assistance Manager - Luke Pratt
Public Assistance Manager - Mike Teague
State Hazard Mitigation Manager - Matthew Rollins
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security
2401 Lincoln Blvd - Suite C51
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
PO Box 53365
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73152-3365
Local: (405) 521-2481
Fax: (405) 521-4053
Office Hours & Additional Information
Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.