Erv Portis Named Next Assistant Director of Nebraska Emergency Management Agency

RELEASE DATE: Oct 21, 2021

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(LINCOLN, NEB.)  —  Ervin Portis has been tapped by Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, Nebraska Military Department adjutant general, to become the next assistant director of Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Portis who has served as city administrator for the City of Plattsmouth since 2007 will assume the post of assistant director from Bryan Tuma, who is retiring at the end of September. Tuma was named assistant director in 2014.

“Erv Portis brings a blend of experiences to the position of assistant director of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency that will ensure a smooth transition,” said Bohac, who as the Nebraska Military Department adjutant general, also serves as the director of NEMA. “I am impressed with his knowledge and experience in working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and his appreciation for the value of relationships at the local level. I look forward to working with Erv in serving the citizens of the state.”

Portis is a native of Walton and graduate of Waverly High School. He holds a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from the University of Nebraska Lincoln and Omaha and a Master of Arts in Political Science from UNL. Portis has worked as a police officer and Lieutenant with Lincoln Police Department and Chief of Police in Papillion.

"I am looking forward to working for the staff at NEMA as well as the citizens of Nebraska," Portis said. "I am excited about the opportunity. Having worked through multiple disasters here in Plattsmouth, I have come to appreciate the NEMA team and the important role it plays in recovery and resilience of communities. I want to be a part of that team."

In following Tuma as assistant director, Portis will assume the senior leadership role at NEMA. As the assistant director of NEMA, he will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the agency and overseeing the state’s response to state and federally declared disasters and emergencies.

During Tuma’s tenure as assistant director, he:

  • Oversaw the state’s response to its largest disaster – the 2019 floods;
  • Added a new incident management platform for use by NEMA, other state agency partners and local emergency managers through a partnership with the University of Nebraska Medical Center that is critical for facilitating communication for operational issues;
  • Established the Nebraska Watch Center and its project for data integration that improves delivery of real-time information for emergency managers and the public;
  • Added a long-term recovery program and plan that is critical to the state’s recovery from disaster and includes housing, agriculture, economics, infrastructure, health and social service, natural and cultural resources and cross-cutting issues;
  • Developed a relationship with the Nebraska Preparedness Partnership, which is crucial for assistance for long-term recovery.
  • Restructured and expanded staffing in the agency particularly in wake of the 2019 flooding. Enhanced the agency’s capacity to address public assistance, hazard mitigation, long-term recovery and FEMA individual assistance program requirements and recently added a community outreach unit;
  • Emphasized the agency’s relationships with other stakeholder agencies and partners; and
  • Created the states all hazards Type 3 incident management team composed of credentialed members from across the state to assist local entities when disaster response exceeds the resources of the local community.

“Bryan Tuma has been an outstanding partner and leader of the day-to-day operations at NEMA” Bohac said. “His work enabled NEMA to more effectively coordinate the state’s response to numerous emergencies, including: tornadoes, floods, blizzards and wildfire. He has provided excellent service to citizens, local emergency managers and the state.”

Prior to assuming his post at NEMA, Tuma spent 32 years with, and retired from, the Nebraska State Patrol. At the time of his retirement from Nebraska State Patrol, Tuma led the agency as its superintendent. During his time with NSP Tuma served on the Governor’s Leadership Group on Terrorism and as the Nebraska State Patrol’s point of contact on the coordination of homeland security efforts within NEMA. He is also a 1993 graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy

“We owe Bryan a sincere debt of gratitude for his unwavering commitment to the safety and welfare of all citizens of our great state,” Bohac said, “It’s been a privilege and an honor to serve with him."