The Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department (HSEMD) has been working to make Iowa more prepared for disasters since it began as the State Civil Defense Agency in 1965. The focus of emergency management and the hazards faced by Iowans may have changed in some ways since that time, but what hasn’t changed is our commitment to making our state more prepared for any emergency or disaster.
Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Department, then a Division under the Iowa Department of Public Defense, was directed by the Governor to coordinate Iowa’s homeland security efforts. While this broadened our mission, our underlying priority of ensuring Iowa is prepared and ready to respond to any disaster drives all we do.
While the likelihood of a terrorist act being committed in Iowa is unknown, we will continue to be affected by floods, tornadoes, snow storms, plane crashes, and other natural and human-caused disasters. HSEMD approaches these and other emergency situations with an emphasis on maximizing resources by using and expanding upon current capacities and building core capabilities that ensure we are prepared for all hazards.
HSEMD Mission: Lead, coordinate, and support homeland security and emergency management functions in order to establish sustainable communities and ensure economic opportunities for Iowa and its citizens.