Division Structure and Responsibilities
The Code of Iowa, Chapter 29C, established the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD) under the Iowa Department of Public Defense. HSEMD houses staff at its main office at Camp Dodge and at the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston.
Code of Iowa, Chapter 29C, also established the responsibilities of HSEMD, which are to support local entities as they plan and implement mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery strategies. HSEMD provides technical assistance, training, exercise facilitation, communications and other support necessary for establishing and maintaining local capabilities. HSEMD is the link and coordinating entity that ensures consistency and compliance with various federal and state requirements and regulations. (Also see Iowa Administrative Code, Section 605 and Rule Docket.)
Mark Schouten, the administrator of the Division, is appointed by the governor. A chief of staff and four bureau chiefs comprise the management team. A legislative liaison and executive assistant, along with public information and front desk staff, comprise the administrative team.
For more about each bureau, click on the tabs to open/close.
The Administrative and Grants Bureau is comprised of two sections, each of which has its own set of distinct and specific responsibilities. Those sections are non-disaster grants, and E911. The Division’s purchasing function is also under the purview of this bureau. There are several tasks the entire bureau undertakes:
- Assist with the implementation and tracking of non-disaster grants
- Develop necessary reports to ensure information is available when required or sought
- Provide operational support during disasters
This bureau also oversees the Division’s grant management activities. Grant staff is responsible for budgeting, financial management and coordination and management of all grants that are awarded through the state administrative agent (the HSEMD administrator serves in this capacity). The grant staff provides technical assistance and oversight.
Also under the purview of this bureau is the statewide Enhanced 911 program. Program staff members are responsible for the operation of Iowa’s E-911 system, including management and distribution of the wireless E-911 communication surcharge. E-911 staff also work with all entities involved in E-911 services, including the State E-911 Communications Council, local E-911 service boards, wireless carriers and telephone companies.
The Preparedness and Homeland Security Bureau is responsible for the Division’s ongoing mitigation, planning, training, and exercise efforts. The Preparedness Bureau coordinates statewide disaster response, mitigation and recovery planning requirements as assigned in the Iowa Code. Planners in this bureau serve as points of contact for Iowa's homeland security regions and planning districts.
The bureau is also responsible for the implementation of the Iowa Comprehensive Exercise Program. Bureau staff develops and conducts exercises and provides technical exercise and evaluation assistance to state agencies and local jurisdictions. Members of this bureau focus on training initiatives and assess the training needs of first responders and others who may become involved in a natural or human-made incident. Members of this bureau coordinate and conduct courses, conferences and other training activities, and coordinate with other disciplines and agencies on a regular basis to discuss training activities, needs assessments and strategies.
The Preparedness and Homeland Security Bureau is also responsible for oversight of the Division's activities concerning agriculture. Bureau staff work with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and other state and federal agencies on agroterrorism planning and agriculture security.
Homeland security staff works to coordinate organizations and entities that have a homeland security mission, including state-level departments and other public and private partners. Homeland security staff also collaborates with all bureaus on the implementation and tracking of homeland security grants and develops homeland security strategies and strategic plans. In addition, staff coordinate the state’s critical asset protection planning and infrastructure protection efforts, and participate in the state’s information and intelligence sharing efforts. Homeland security staff both coordinates and participates in the state’s information sharing and intelligence efforts with public and private sector partners.
The Readiness and Response Bureau is responsible for the readiness and initial staffing of the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC). Because a timely, coordinated response is the first crucial step in getting help to citizens impacted by disaster events, this is the bureau's key mission. This mission is achieved through coordination with local, state and federal government officials, voluntary and faith-based organizations, and representatives of business and private organizations to develop, maintain and improve working relationships toward a more effective response during times of emergency or disaster. The Bureau has staff members who serve as Duty Officers providing 24/7 coverage as needed to respond to resource requests or provide coordination assistance to partners.
This bureau oversees the Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) program. Activities include ensuring state and local governments are able to effectively respond to radiological incidents occurring at nuclear power plants, site-specific planning, and exercises and training for each of the power plants in or bordering Iowa. This bureau houses the State of Iowa Radiological Maintenance Facility. This facility offers complete calibration and maintenance service and works closely with the Radiological Emergency Preparedness program.
The Readiness and Response Bureau also oversees the GIS/GPS program and communication technology efforts, including maintenance and training on the division’s crisis information management software system (WebEOC) and statewide telecommunications activities.
The Recovery Bureau oversees the Division’s disaster recovery activities, including implementation and oversight of assistance programs.
Members of this bureau oversee claim processing and other fiscal matters for the federal Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation programs. Bureau staff are also responsible for oversight of the Presidential Disaster Declaration request process, including gathering of information needed to submit a request. Members of this bureau administer the Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation programs in coordination with state and local applicants, and serve as the coordination point between applicants and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.