Columbia, S.C. –The South Carolina Emergency Management Division has been granted full, national accreditation by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program. This national certification program examined the state’s ability to respond to and prepare for disasters. SCEMD was first accredited in 2008 and reaccredited in 2013.
“SCEMD staff have worked diligently to continuously improve our capabilities to respond to disasters” said Kim Stenson, SCEMD director. “It is important that we maintain this accredited status because it shows our commitment to protect the lives and property of South Carolina residents.”
This process has involved all of Team South Carolina, including partner state agencies and local emergency managers.
“There’s not a better team in existence in the United States than what we have right here in South Carolina,” said Governor Henry McMaster.
“This national reaccreditation signals the end of a very intensive review process, but for us it’s a beginning: The beginning of holding ourselves to an even higher standard than we have before,” said Brigadier General Brad Owens.
The Emergency Management Accreditation Program sets national standards for all aspects of a qualified emergency management program. SCEMD’s abilities to plan for a disaster, to reduce the impacts of a crisis, and to assist in the state’s recovery from devastation have all been rigorously examined to ensure sixty-four national standards are met by this Division. S.C.’s emergency management system has demonstrated, through program assessment, documentation and on-site assessment by an independent team, that this state’s program meets these national standards.
The Emergency Management Accreditation Program is a voluntary accreditation process for state, territorial and local government programs that coordinate preparedness and response activities for disasters, both natural and man-made. It recognizes the ability of a state or local government to bring together personnel, resources and communications from a variety of agencies and organizations in preparation for and in response to an emergency. It is the only accreditation process for state and local emergency management preparedness.
South Carolina is one of 36 states with a nationally accredited emergency management system.