About Us: The Office of Emergency Management


The Office of Emergency Management reports to the Deputy Assistant Secretary, Public Safety, Resource Protection and Emergency Services. The Director oversees three divisions, the Preparedness Response Division, the Continuity Programs Division, and the Emergency Operations Division (Interior Operations Center).  The individual responsibilities of each division complement each other to fulfil our mission.    

For a more in-depth look at our office structure, see our organizational chart.


Director, Office of Emergency Management: Tom Balint 

The Director of the Office of Emergency Management is the principal official responsible for:

  • Coordinating Departmental emergency management activities.
  • Developing emergency management policy consistent with Federal emergency management laws, regulations, guidance, and direction. 
  • Coordinating activities undertaken by the Departmental bureaus and offices during serious emergency incidents.
  • Serving as principal point of contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other departments and agencies as pertaining to overall emergency management, continuity of operations, and national security emergency programs.
  • Providing oversight of office and bureau emergency management programs and plans to assure policy compliance, readiness, and effectiveness.
  • Issuing appropriate policy bulletins to provide updated policy and direction on the Departmental Emergency Management program.

Preparedness and Response Division
Division Director:
 Christine Howlett

  • Develops policies and procedures to plan and prepare for all-hazard response and recovery activities for emergencies that impact Departmental lands and facilities, including Tribal Lands and Insular Areas.
  • Manages Departmental activities related to implementation of Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness, Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5: Management of Domestic Incidents, and implementation of the National Incident Management System.
  • Assures effective planning and execution of Departmental responsibilities under the National Response Framework and the National Disaster Recovery Framework, and coordinates the activities of bureaus and offices assigned specific responsibilities under the Frameworks and subsequent Interagency Operations Plans.

Continuity Programs Division
Division Director: Emily Price

  • Manages planning and preparedness to ensure the performance of Departmental essential functions during incidents which disrupt normal operations. 
  • 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
Interior Operations Center (24/7): doi_watch_office@ios.doi.gov, 202-208-4108

  • Provides situational awareness of emergency management activities for Department 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 principal 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 Common Operational Picture to meet Departmental and interagency requirements for information sharing.

Contact Us

Send us an email

Office of Emergency Management
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street NW, Mail Stop 3428
Washington, D.C. 20240


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