About Us: The Office of Emergency Management


The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) reports to the Deputy Assistant Secretary, Public Safety, Resource Protection and Emergency Services. OEM carries out the Secretary’s responsibilities for a Department-wide emergency management program and serves as the focal point for guidance and oversight of emergency management and continuity of operations​ at Interior.

The Director oversees three divisions with 28 employees: Preparedness and Response, Continuity Programs and Emergency Operations (Interior Operations Center). The responsibilities of each division complement one another to fulfill our mission.    

OEM is headquartered in Washington, DC.


Office of Emergency Management
Director: Tom Balint 
  • Coordinates Departmental emergency management activities.
  • Develops emergency management policy consistent with Federal emergency management laws, regulations, guidance and direction. 
  • Coordinates activities undertaken by the Departmental bureaus and offices during serious emergency incidents.
  • Serves as principal point of contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other departments and agencies pertaining to overall emergency management, continuity of operations and national security emergency programs.
  • Provides oversight of bureau and office emergency management programs and plans to ensure policy compliance, readiness and effectiveness.
  • Issues policy bulletins providing direction on the Departmental emergency management program.
Preparedness and Response Division
Division Director: Christine Howlett
Continuity Programs Division
Division Director: Emily Price
  • Manages planning and preparedness to ensure the performance of Departmental essential functions during incidents.
  • Manages policy, planning and implementation efforts required by national continuity policy and provides oversight of continuity planning efforts in bureaus and offices. 
  • Develops training and provides testing and evaluation for continuity plans. 
  • Supports readiness activities ensuring Departmental support to meet critical needs during any national security emergency. 
Emergency Operations Division (Interior Operations Center)
Division Director: Marshal Bickert
  • Provides situational awareness of emergency management activities for Departmental senior leadership.
  • Establishes policy, procedures and systems to ensure timely and accurate information exchange among bureaus, offices and other departments and agencies. 
  • Serves as the focal point for reporting of significant incidents to the Secretary; sharing of emergency information with the National Operations Center, Department of Homeland Security; and the dissemination of alerts, warnings and other emergency information to bureaus and offices. 
  • Manages the emergency and operational information requirements of programs within the Office of Emergency Management.
  • Integrates emergency information from other bureaus and offices with emergency management activities into a daily Common Operating Picture (COP) to meet Departmental and interagency requirements for information sharing.


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