NEMA Policy


National emergency management policy engagement is one of the key reasons for NEMA’s establishment. Influencing national policy on behalf of states and the emergency management community is where we excel. Through NEMA, states are able to come together, unify around a position, and make a positive difference in national policy impacting emergency management.

From Congressional testimony, policy position papers, formal comments on federal policies, programs and rules, to joint letters with partner organizations on common issues – NEMA is a powerful influence on behalf of our members.



The majority of NEMA’s policy work occurs within its standing committees. State emergency management directors are the voting members of each NEMA committee. A liaison from the NEMA Private Sector, Legal Counsel, and Past Presidents Committees serve as non-voting members of each policy committee. Committee chairs are appointed by the NEMA president.  

NEMA committees meet in conjunction with forums to discuss, debate, and take positions on national policy issues.  Throughout NEMA’s history, its policy statements have influenced national policies, programs and legislation to benefit the states.  

EMAC Committee

Implementation of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). Integration of Non-State Resources into EMAC Process; Collaboration with Stakeholders to Provide Education and Recommendations on EMAC Utilization; EMAC Training Programs; Mutual Aid Policy and Operations; Development of Mission Ready Packages (MRPs) within the Mutual Aid Support System MASS 3.0; Integration of Interstate, Intrastate and International Mutual Aid. Coordination with the EMAC Advisory Group.

Resilience Committee

National Mitigation Framework; Hazard Mitigation Grant Program; Flood Mitigation Assistance; Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning; Pre-Disaster Mitigation; Natural & Technological Hazards Risk Reduction; National Flood Insurance Program; Risk Analysis & Mapping; National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program.National Incident Management System (NIMS); Emergency Management Performance Grant Including Collaboration with Legislative Committee on Annual EMPG Return-on-Investment Report; FirstNet; IPAWS; Education and Training including the Emergency Management Institute (EMI); Public Information; Standards, Assessment and Accreditation including the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP); Radiological Emergency Preparedness; Extreme Weather Adaptation.

Private Sector Committee

Public/Private Partnerships, Private Sector Integration into EM, Technical Assistance to NEMA Board of Directors, Committees and State Directors.

Response & Recovery Committee

National Response and Disaster Recovery Frameworks; Federal Disaster Assistance Programs; National Hurricane Program; FEMA Public Assistance Re-Engineering; State Representation on FEMA PA Steering Committee; Functional and Access Needs; Mass Care; FEMA Policy Review; National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program. 

Diversity & Equity Committee

Diversity and Inclusion in the Workforce; Equity and Accessibility through Emergency Management Policies and Programs.

Legislative Committee

The NEMA Legislative Committee plays a critical role in the development and execution of NEMA's legislative strategy. The Committee members represent each of the other NEMA Committees and bring unique perspectives to the table to ensure the Association can engage proactively on a diverse issue portfolio. 

Legislation Tracking and Analysis; Congressional Communications Development such as Letters Regarding Important Legislation; Education/Advising
Congressional Committees and Staff on Priority Legislation; Regular Alerts to States on Important Congressional Activity and Key Bills; Development and Implementation of NEMA Congressional Relations Strategy; Coordination as needed with other Organizations, Associations and Entities on Legislative Strategies/Efforts; Coordination with other NEMA Committees on Policies/Issues. 

Homeland Security Committee

National Prevention and Protection Frameworks; Homeland Security Grant Programs; Existing and Emerging Threats; Information Sharing; Critical Infrastructure Protection, including Energy Assurance; Cyber, Border, Port and Transportation Security; Coordination with the National Homeland Security Consortium.

Legal Counsel Committee

Existing and Emerging Emergency Management and Homeland Security Legal Issues; Identification and Sharing of Best Practices; Legal Counsel Training; Legal Support to EMAC; Assistance to other NEMA Committees/Work Groups as needed.

Past Presidents Committee

Strategic Planning and Implementation; Leadership Development; New Director Training and Development; Committee Support; Awards and Recognition; Overall Organizational Support.

NEMA’s active role in the legislative process has helped to strengthen the national
emergency management system through greater recognition by Congress of the importance
of emergency management and increased funding for state and local programs.

Government Relations


Policy and Legislative Leadership

NEMA is regularly asked by Congress to provide feedback and information that reflects states’ on-the-ground experiences for emergency management-related legislation.  Since 1974, NEMA has played a role in every piece of major legislation impacting the emergency management and homeland security landscape including the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000; Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act (2006); The 9/11 Act (2007); Sandy Recovery Improvement Act (2013); and Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018.

NEMA is actively engaged with policy leaders on the Hill, the federal interagency, and states to strengthen national resilience to disasters through increased mitigation actions, improved responses, and stronger and faster recoveries when disaster strikes.



NEMA considers emergency management a team sport and works to bring stakeholders together to discuss and debate national policy issues.  Collaborative partnerships are important to emergency management and NEMA. They often happen through the National Homeland Security Consortium, Stafford Act Coalition, Flood Map Coalition, Hazards Caucus Alliance, NEMA-ASTHO-GHSAC Joint Policy Work Group, and others as new issues emerge.

Emergency management can’t be successful working in a vacuum.  Intergovernmental partnerships are vital to addressing the many complex issues facing states, and the nation