• Emergency Management

Emergency Management

What is Emergency Management?

A Disaster or Emergency can be defined as a serious disruption to the functioning of a community or a society caused by widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses which exceeds the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources.
Emergency Management involves the organisation and management of resources and responsibilities to deal with all aspects of emergencies across prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

This site provides an overview of the Emergency Management arrangements at the National level, State level and the Local level. It also provides information on the Natural Disaster Resilience Program grants available for projects that aim to build safer and more sustainable communities that are better able to withstand the effects of natural disasters. 

Australia's Approach to Emergency Management 

The Commonwealth government is committed to developing national emergency management capabilities, and also to assist States and Territories in responding to disasters and emergency incidents within their jurisdiction.

COAG 2002 Review of Natural Disasters

In 2002, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) commissioned a high level review of Australia's approach to natural disaster relief, recovery and mitigation against disasters. The review recognised that current emergency management arrangements could be improved through a fundamental shift in focus towards cost-effective, evidence-based disaster mitigation. This represents a historic move beyond disaster response and reaction, towards anticipation and mitigation.

The Review has established 12 Reform Commitments that aim to establish a unified national approach to natural disasters under which governments, households, businesses, volunteer organisations, insurers and others with a part to play operate in concert to;

  • create safer, more sustainable communities and regions in social, economic and environmental terms,
  • reduce risks, damage and losses from natural disasters, 
  • find the right balance among mitigation, preparedness, response, relief and recovery activities, and
  • recognise the investment and savings opportunities provided by mitigation.

The COAG 2002 Natural Disasters in Australia: Reforming Mitigation, Relief and Recovery Arrangements Reform Commitments is available by clicking here.

Emergency Management Australia (EMA)

 At the Australian Government level, EMA is the agency responsible for emergency management policy, and to provide a strategic coordination role. For example, EMA facilitate the implementation of Council of Australian Governments (COAG) review recommendations impacting on the emergency management sector, and monitors emerging threats such as those that may be brought about by greater urban development, increased sophistication of technology, terrorism and climate change that all contribute to the changing nature of risks posed to communities.

For further information visit the Emergency Management Australia website by clicking here.

Australian Emergency Management Institute

The Australian Emergency Management Institute (AEMI) conducts a range of Australian Government funded education and training activities designed to improve Australia's capability to cope with disasters. For further information on Education and Training programs visit the EMA website by clicking here.

To nominate for AEMI courses please contact:

Diana MacMullin
Manager, Training and Organisational Development
SA State Emergency Services
Phone: 08 8463 4068 or email