The adoption of the Town of Bethlehem Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP), and its appendix, results from the recognition on the part of town government that a wide-ranging and comprehensive plan is needed to enhance the Town of Bethlehem's ability to manage and survive emergency and/or disaster situations. Town officials working in conjunction with Albany County Emergency Management personnel, in a planning effort recommended by the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), prepared the document. Authority to undertake this effort is provided by both Article 2B of State Executive Law and the New York State Defense Emergency Act. The development of this plan included an analysis of potential hazards that could affect the town and an assessment of the capabilities existing in the town to deal with these potential problems.
Dealing with Disasters
Dealing with disasters is an ongoing and complex undertaking. Through implementation of risk reduction measures before a disaster or emergency occurs, timely and effective response during an actual occurrence, and provision of both short- and long-term recovery assistance after the occurrence of a disaster, lives can be saved and property damage minimized. This process, called Comprehensive Emergency Management emphasizes the interrelationship of activities, functions, and expertise necessary to deal with emergencies. The role and responsibilities of town departments and related agencies, both emergency and non-emergency management related, are outlined in the town plan. Assignments are made within the framework of the present Town of Bethlehem’s capability and existing organizational structure and responsibilities. The Emergency Management Office is designated to coordinate all emergency management activities of the town.
National Incident Management System
The Town of Bethlehem intends to use the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to coordinate responses to emergencies. NIMS is a core set of concepts, principles, and terminology for incident command and multi-agency coordination. Compliance with the components of NIMS, as required by Presidential Declaration, offers a system for incident management as promulgated through the Department of Homeland Security for nationwide usage. The plan provides a general management guide for all hazards, using existing town departments and related organizations to allow the Town of Bethlehem to meet its responsibilities before, during, and after an emergency.