Emergency Management Committee


To provide APWA members with resources and a forum for exchanging and developing ideas, knowledge, and technologies for mitigating from, preparing for, responding to, and recovery from all hazards (manmade and natural disasters). The committee also intends to foster recognition of public works' important role(s) in emergency management.

A Message from the Chair

About the Committee

First Responders

Today, as recognized First Responders, we are an integral part of the “All-Hazards” and “Whole Community” approach to both emergency management and homeland security.We are constantly being reminded that we must be prepared to stand on our own for the first 72 hours. Change will continue to be forthcoming for public works professionals. Technological and policy changes in our daily operations and emergency management will be dotted across our future. Committee members represent APWA on many diverse committees on some of these issues such as:

  • FirstNet Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network
  • National Homeland Security Consortium
  • FHWA’s Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Program
  • and others

In the following video, Philip Mann, Public Works Director for the City of Gainesville, Florida, discusses the Public Works First Responder symbol and how public works professionals and emergency managers can work together to restore services after a disaster.

Resources for Members

The Emergency Management Committee has developed the following resources for members:

Chapter Resource - APWA Emergency Management Committee
One of the goals of the APWA Emergency Management Committee is to support APWA Chapters in the education of homeland security and emergency management topics.

Peer Resource Directory
A resource for APWA and CPWA members is the APWA Emergency Management Peer Resource Directory, which contains information on volunteer public works professionals with direct experience in various aspects of emergency management who are willing to provide advice or information on emergency management matters.

Emergency Management Knowledge Team

APWA’s Emergency Management Committee is committed to finding new ways to engage APWA members on topics of interest in Emergency Management. The Emergency Management Knowledge Team has been created to expand volunteer opportunities to those who may be interested in contributing on a national level to the Emergency Management Committee and the APWA membership. Knowledge Team members will have a unique opportunity to share their input with the Emergency Management Committee and have a primary role in shaping the future of APWA and public works leaders. Members of the Knowledge Team will commit to share information with APWA members through working on projects such as writing articles, presenting Click, Listen, and Learn sessions, speaking at PWX and other conferences, and other methods. If you are interested in joining the Emergency Management Knowledge Team, please contact Rita Cassida.

View roster >

NIMS Training

Collaboration between APWA and FEMA/Emergency Management Institute (EMI) led to the creation of four public works-centric online courses, available as web-based independent study programs. Compliance with National Incident Management System (NIMS) requires that all agency responders complete:

Together with the following four, a well-rounded training base is available to all organization staff—at no cost, other than the commitment of time.

The Emergency Management Committee urges each public works professional to take the lead in working with your fellow first responders. Utilize disaster drills and planned special events as training opportunities for you and your staff to integrate into your community’s Incident Command System (ICS).

Health Issues and Public Works

In 2014, the big health issue was Ebola. Then in 2016 and 2017, Zika was on the forefront of public works leaders' conversations. This mosquito born virus has become a challenge to health providers. It also continues to present problems to public works agencies that have mosquito control programs as we must deal with the growing fear and misinformation being spread. Over the coming year, public works agencies will work with Health Departments to continue to address this growing problem.

Share and Discuss

Members also have the opportunity to network and discuss these and other issues electronically via Emergency Management infoNOW community in APWA Connect.

View committee meeting summaries