The City of Huntington Beach has made public safety and disaster preparedness its number one priority. To this end, the Emergency Management & Homeland Security (EMHS) office was developed to prepare the:
(1) City's management team to manage large scale emergencies
(2) City employees to respond to emergencies
(3) Residents, schools and businesses of Huntington Beach to deal with emergencies until public safety personnel arrive.
The City of Huntington Beach EMHS Program was created by Municipal Ordinance 8.60 which designates the City Manager as the Director of Emergency Services and the Fire Chief as the Deputy Director. The EMHS staff works under the direction of the Fire Department.
The EMHS Office is responsible for coordinating the emergency preparedness activities of the city. The office serves the interests of the City Council and the public in all emergency management and homeland security matters. A major activity of the EMHS Office is to direct the development and approval of emergency response plans for the City. It also works cooperatively with neighboring cities, the County of Orange Sheriff Department Emergency Management Bureau, California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other government entities. It ensures that the City's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is in readiness condition 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and provides public information before, during, and after an emergency.
In addition, the office manages the city's Department of Homeland Security grants to include the Medical Metropolitan Response System (MMRS) grant, Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant, Emergency Management Program Grant (EMPG), State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP), and Local Hazard Mitigation Grants (LHMG). Since 2001, the city has received over $4 million that has been used to fund a HAZMAT Response Vehicle, Bear SWAT Vehicle, Mobile Command Post, responder training and much more.