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Who We Are

Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) works to reduce the vulnerabilities of the people and communities of Nebraska to damage, injury and loss of life and property resulting from natural, technological or man-made disasters and emergencies. NEMA coordinates the response to large-scale events, such as a tornado, flood or wildfire, and ensures effective response and recovery.

NEMA works with local communities to respond to emergencies. Response begins with the citizens, first responders and local officials of a community. When the resources and capabilities of the local government are exhausted, the governor can proclaim a state emergency and sign a declaration. This declaration formalizes the state response and aggregates all the state’s resources. During a disaster response, the State Emergency Operations Center at NEMA opens and the emergency support function coordinators work together to provide the state response to the needs of the affected local jurisdictions. When Nebraska’s resources are exhausted, the state can request a presidential disaster seeking assistance from the federal government.

Daryl BohacAssistant Director Erv Portis

NEMA is part of the Nebraska Military Department and the state’s Adjutant General Daryl Bohac serves as the director of the agency. He is the senior uniformed National Guard officer responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating policies, programs and plans affecting more than 4,500 Army and Air National Guard personnel. Appointed by the Governor, Maj. Gen. Bohac serves as a principal on the Governor's staff and is director of the Nebraska Military Department and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency. He serves as the state’s official channel of communication with the National Guard Bureau to the Departments of the Army and Air Force. Day-to-day operations of NEMA are managed by Assistant Director Erv Portis. Prior to serving as assistant director, Portis was city administrator for Plattsmouth, Nebraska. He served as Chief of Police in both Jackson Michigan and Papillion, Nebraska. Portis previously served on the Lincoln Police Department for 20 years.

NEMA is a small agency, with less than 60 full-time employees and is structured into four performance areas: Administration, Preparedness and Operations, Recovery, and Communications.NEMA is the state administrative agency for the Department of Homeland Security and has responsibility for overall funding, fiscal responsibility, program management and integration with other state agencies to enact and carry out the state program. NEMA supports the lieutenant governor in his role as state homeland security director.

The Preparedness and Operations Section is responsible for planning, exercise and training, hazard identification and risk assessment, grant funding, the watch center, technical hazards response and community outreach. The section manages the state response to disasters in support of local communities that have exceeded their capacity for response.

The Recovery Section assists state and local governments through the recovery process following disasters. Public assistance, individual assistance and hazard mitigation funds are administered through this section.

The Communications Section is responsible for communications, information technology, geographic and information systems.

The Administration Section provides continuity between all sections. The assistant director maintains daily supervision and oversight and establishes policy direction and compliance with federal and state statutes for agency activities.