October 27, 2015
Illinois’ program accredited since 2006
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ program for emergency preparedness and response retained its national accreditation status from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) following a rigorous review that found the program met all 64 required national standards. The week-long review of Illinois’ program was conducted by a team of certified assessors from across the nation in July.
Illinois first attained EMAP accreditation in 2006, becoming just the sixth state to achieve the designation. The program was reviewed and reaccredited in 2010. Illinois currently is one of 35 states accredited by EMAP’s voluntary program.
EMAP is an independent non-profit organization that fosters excellence and accountability in emergency management and homeland security programs by establishing credible standards applied in a peer review accreditation program. The accreditation process is voluntary.
“This reaccreditation is a tribute to all of the state agencies and our partner organizations that play key roles in the state’s emergency preparedness and response efforts,” said James K. Joseph, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. “It’s not easy to satisfy the program’s criteria, but it is worth the time and effort to know we are well prepared for any hazard that threatens the safety of people in Illinois.”
In an Oct. 21 letter to Joseph announcing the EMAP Commission’s decision to grant Illinois’ reaccreditation, Chairperson Barb Graff noted, “Accreditation recognizes the ability of programs to bring together personnel, resources, and communications from a variety of agencies and organizations in preparation for and in response to a disaster of any type. We applaud Illinois’ leadership and congratulate you on your commitment to achieve accreditation. More importantly, we recognize the dedication to the safety and security of the residents that it represents.”
In order to receive EMAP accreditation and reaccreditation, states are required to demonstrate 100 percent compliance with the Emergency Management Standard, which covers key areas such as program management; hazard identification, risk assessment and consequence analysis; hazard mitigation; prevention; operational planning; mutual aid; communications and warning; operations and procedures; training; exercises, evaluations and corrective action; crisis communications, public education and information; and more.