Mission And Authority
PEMA’s mission is to save lives, reduce suffering, and protect property and the environment by leading and coordinating commonwealth agencies and resources to prevent, protect, prepare, respond, and recover from any man-made or natural disaster.
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council establishes policy and direction for the emergency management program statewide. The council membership includes the governor, the lieutenant governor, the secretaries of the various state departments with emergency response and recovery capabilities, the leadership of the General Assembly, and representatives of county and municipal government associations, labor, business and industry, and the private sector. The council meets at least three times a year and within 72 hours after the governor declares a disaster emergency.
In addition to the council's responsibilities set forth in the Code, the council also reviews and approves certain actions required under other laws, such as the Radiation Protection Act. Under that Act the council approves annual programs of work and spending plans for counties in emergency planning zones by the five nuclear power generating stations affecting the Commonwealth.
The council also acts as the State Emergency Response Commission which oversees the various hazardous materials emergency preparedness and response requirements contained in the federal Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA Title III).