Division of Emergency Management


Miami District Chief

Miami District Chief in command of a warehouse fire.

Miami District Chief in command of a warehouse fire

Miami Fire Captain

Miami Fire Captain after a residential fire.

Miami Fire Captain post residential fire.

Flood Car Accident

A Miami firefighter on a call regarding a car accident in the flooded streets of Downtown Miami.

Miami Firefighter on a call regarding a car accident in the flooded streets of Downtown Miami.

Downed Trees

Miami Firefighters cut teams clear debris and downed trees post Hurricane in order to restore traffic flow.

Miami Firefighters cut teams clear debris and downed trees post Hurricane in order to restore traffic flow.

Thunderstorm Flooding

Flooding during a thunderstorm in Downtown Miami.

Flooding during a thunderstorm in Downtown Miami

Wildland Fire

Miami Fire Rescue mutual aid on the west coast of Florida.

Miami Fire Rescue mutual aid on the west coast of Florida

Miami Fire Rescue's Division of Emergency Management (DEM) is responsible for coordinating disaster planning, preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation concerns for all City departments. This section creates, updates, and administers the City’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP), which provides the blueprint for the City’s response to all disasters whether natural or man made. As part of its response duties, DEM is responsible for the activation and management of the City of Miami's Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The EOC is activated to maintain the continuity of municipal services any time a disaster threatens or occurs. The EOC becomes the operational link to both the public and private sector resources that would be required to successfully deal with a catastrophic event.

Assistant Fire Chief Adrian Plasencia
Emergency Manager



What is Emergency Management? 

The primary objective for Emergency Management in Miami is to provide a coordinated effort from all supporting City departments in the preparation for, response to, and relief from injury, damage and suffering resulting from either a localized or widespread disaster. The Miami Emergency Manager is the focal point for City emergency management activities. However, Emergency Management responsibilities extend beyond this office, to all City government departments, and ultimately, to each individual citizen.

Please watch this short video from the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Team of the states of NY, NJ, CT and PA on what the field of Emergency Management is and what the duties and responsibilities are of an Emergency Manager. 

Four Phases of Emergency Management

Since World War II emergency management has focused primarily on preparedness. Often this involved preparing for enemy attack. Community preparedness for all disasters requires identifying resources and expertise in advance and planning how these can be used in a disaster. However, preparedness is only one phase of emergency management. Current thinking defines four phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. There are entire courses on each of these phases.

The City of Miami will meet its responsibility for protecting life and property from the effects of hazardous events by acting within each of the following four phases of Emergency Management: 

  1. Mitigation. Mitigation efforts include activities that will prevent or reduce the impact of emergency/ disaster results on people, property and environment. Efforts include building codes, land use planning, training and education, structural and non-structural safety measures. Any actions accomplished to prevent an emergency/disaster from occurring or to reduce the effects of an emergency/disaster is mitigation. City departments will enforce all public safety mandates of the Miami City Code to include land use management and building codes; and recommend to the Mayor and City Commission, legislation required to improve the "disaster resistance" of the community.
  2. Preparedness. City departments will remain vigilant to crises within their areas of responsibility. City emergency service departments will prepare for emergencies by maintaining existing or developing detailed emergency plans and procedures to enable first responders to accomplish the tasks normally expected of them. All City departments will prepare for disasters by developing departmental plans and procedures to accomplish the extraordinary tasks necessary to integrate the department’s total capabilities into a City disaster response. City departments will ensure that their employees are trained to implement emergency and disaster procedures and instructions. Departments will validate their level of emergency readiness through internal drills, and participation in exercises selected by the City.  Other government jurisdictions within, and outside City boundaries will also be encouraged to participate in these exercises.  Exercise results will be documented and used in a continuous planning effort to improve the City’s emergency readiness posture. This joint, continuous planning endeavor will culminate in revisions to this plan in the constant attempt to achieve a higher state of readiness for an emergency or disaster response. 
    Preparedness consists of almost any pre-disaster action which is assured to improve the safety or effectiveness of disaster response. Preparedness consists of those activities that have the potential to save lives, lessen property damage, and increase individual and community control over the subsequent disaster response.
  3. Response. The active use of resources to address the immediate and short-term effects of an emergency or disaster constitutes the response phase. This phase is the focus of department emergency and disaster standing operating procedures and instructions, mutual-aid agreements, and this plan. Emergency and disaster incident responses are designed to minimize suffering, loss of life, and property damage, maintain essential government services (continuity of operations) and to speed recovery and restoration of essential services. When any City department receives information about a potential emergency or disaster, it will conduct an initial assessment, determine the need to alert others, and set in motion appropriate actions to reduce risk and potential impacts. Emergency response activities will be as described in departmental plans and procedures and may involve activating the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for coordination of support. City departments will support first responders by providing warnings and emergency public information, and helping to save lives and property, supply basic human needs, maintain or restore essential services, and protect vital resources, and the environment.  Responses to declared emergencies, and disasters will be guided by this plan.
  4. Recovery. Emergency and disaster recovery efforts aim at returning to pre-disaster community life. Recovery activities include detailed damage assessments, debris management, restoration of essential services, critical facilities and infrastructure, rebuilding of homes and businesses and financial assistance. There is no definite point at which response ends and recovery begins. However, generally speaking, most recovery efforts will occur after the emergency organization is deactivated and City departments have returned to pre-disaster operation and are integrated with day-to-day functions.

What is an Emergency Operations Center (EOC)?

  • An EOC is not an on-scene incident command post (ICP) where the emphasis is on tactics to deal with the ongoing emergency. An EOC is used to support on-scene operations through the prioritization of activities and the allocation of resources. The main function within the EOC is communications between the emergency response team, business continuity team, crisis communications team and company management.
  • A large conference room can be used as an emergency operations center and primary team meeting location. It must be outfitted with furniture, telephone and internet access and be in close proximity to photocopiers, network printers, fax machines and other office equipment. The emergency operations center should be activated whenever there is a major incident that causes significant property damage, potential or actual business disruption or has the potential to cause a significant impact on the business.  

Miami Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Activation Levels

  • Level 3 – Monitoring Phase.  The responsibility for control of the incident rests with the responding department.  The Emergency Operations Center is at normal monitoring condition.  Notification will be made to those agencies and Emergency Support Functions (ESF’s) who would need to act as part of their everyday responsibilities.
  • Level 2 – Partial activation.  This includes limited department/emergency response team activation.  All primary or lead ESF’s are notified.  The EOC will be staffed by Emergency Management personnel, key staff and selected ESF personnel.  EOC may require 24-hour staffing.  Contact is made with Miami-Dade County EOC.
  • Level 1 – Full activation.  In a full-scale activation, all respective ESF’s with 24- hour staffing response to the EOC and all other operational facilities.  A City representative is assigned as a liaison to the Miami-Dade County EOC.  A declaration of a local state of emergency may not be in effect but will be anticipated.  Level 1 is maintained during landfall of severe weather storm (hurricane).  This level is maintained throughout the recovery phase until the disaster is downgraded back to a Level 2 or 3.


EOC 4.jpg



Storms and Hurricanes

Details about emergency preparation, hurricanes, storms, flood preparedness, clean up and more can all be found in our new Hurricane Guide

Information about residential healthcare facilities can be found on Miami Dade's site. 


During a Disaster

Shelter in Place

Sheltering in place during a disaster or an emergency can be nerve wrecking. Sheltering in place whether at home, work or any other place may be necessary when faced with an unforeseen disaster or emergency. The length of time you are required to take shelter may be short, such as during a tornado warning, or during a pandemic. In all cases, it is important that you stay informed and follow the instructions of local authorities. If sheltering in place requires a prolonged stay, you will need to manage water and food supplies to make sure you and your family have what you need to get by. This is why we recommend having a family emergency plan and an emergency supply kit ready.  Read more about sheltering in place on the link below.

After a Disaster

Additional Emergency Resources


Heat Awareness and Health

Extreme Heat Warnings and Safety: What You Should Know & What You Can Do

The City of Miami is experiencing more heat than ever before, and climatologists predict significant further increases in record-breaking temperatures for our city in the future.  By definition, extreme heat is a period of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least two to three days.  Learning about heat’s impacts on your health is important. 

Because Miami is subtropical, the dangers of heat are often underestimated. High temperatures are linked to increased hospitalizations, deaths, and many other adverse health impacts. In fact, nationally, extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards.

For more information and tips to beat the heat, visit:





  • Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.
  • Humidity, as measured by the heat index, increases the danger of high temperatures.
  • Heat is variable, and parts of Miami with less shade and more concrete and asphalt for example, may be much hotter. People may also be exposed to more heat because they work outside or in hot conditions, their commute or because they do not have air conditioners or live in poorer quality housing. 

In extreme heat, your body works extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. Everyone is at risk from heat, but some people face increased risk:

  • Older adults are at greater risk of death in heatwaves and are generally more at risk for illness and death in higher temperatures, even when no heat emergency has been declared.
  • Heat puts extra strain on the heart and other organs and people with circulatory or respiratory conditions as well as people who are overweight are more at risk of heat illness.
  • Babies are at risk from heat illness because their bodies are poor thermoregulators. Children are also vulnerable and may be exposed to more heat or be slow to realize or say they are thirsty dehydrated.  
  • Exposure to high temperatures for pregnant people has been linked to premature birth, low birth weight and even stillbirth. Pregnant women are also more vulnerable to heat stress themselves.
  • People who work in hot conditions, such as agricultural or construction workers, are at greater risk and they should take additional protective steps such as breaks and frequent access to water and shade. 
  • Heat can have negative impacts on mental health.  People taking certain drugs, such as some antidepressants, and consumption of alcohol or recreational drugs can also increase risk of heat illness or death.
  • Across the United States, studies have found that marginalized communities, often communities of color or low-income communities, live in hotter neighborhoods, hotter housing and have less resources to protect themselves from heat, for example through air conditioning. Low income workers often work in hot conditions that merit work accommodations, especially when pregnant. 

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Learn about CERT & Apply to be a Volunteer

CERT Background with Seals 2.png

The City of Miami's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program helps train volunteers to assist first responders in emergency situations.


City of Miami Hospitals

Coral Gables Hospital
3100 Douglas Road
Coral Gables, FL 33134

Doctors Hospital
5000 University Drive
Coral Gables, Florida 33146

Holtz Children's Hospital
1611 NW 12 Avenue
East Tower, Suite 6006
Miami, FL 33136-1096

Jackson Memorial Hospital
1611 NW 12 Avenue
Miami FL 33136

Mercy Hospital
3663 South Miami Avenue
Miami FL 33133

Miami Children's Hospital
3100 S.W. 62nd Avenue
Miami, Florida 33155

Mount Sinai Medical Center
4300 Alton Road
Miami Beach, FL 33140

South Miami Hospital
6200 SW 73 Street
South Miami, Florida 33143

University of Miami Hospital
1400 NW 12 Avenue
Miami FL 33136


Port of Miami

1015 North America Way, 2nd Floor
Miami, Florida 33132
Fax: 305-347-4853
Customer Service: POMSERVICE@miamidade.gov  
Website: https://www.miamidade.gov/portmiami/home.asp


Miami International Airport

2100 NW 42nd Ave, Miami, FL  33126
MIA Information Phone: (305) 876-7000
Website: http://www.miami-airport.com/home.asp



Metro-Mover https://www.miamidade.gov/global/transportation/metromover.page

Metro-Rail https://www.miamidade.gov/global/transportation/metrorail.page

City of Miami Trolley https://www.miamigov.com/Services/Transportation

Miami-Dade County Bus Routes https://www.miamidade.gov/transportation-publicworks/routes.asp

Railroad https://fecrwy.com/

Florida Department of Transportation news and questions please dial 511


Public Safety 

Miami Police Department  https://www.miami-police.org/

Miami Fire Department https://www.miamigov.com/Government/Departments-Organizations/Fire-Rescue



City of Miami https://www.miamigov.com/Home

City of Miami specific questions please dial 311


Greater Miami Convention Bureau

Hotel Hotline 305-468-5900

Over the past years, the Red Cross has helped tens of thousands of people whose lives were uprooted by massive disasters.  The Red Cross is working tirelessly to provide food, shelter, comfort and support where it is needed most.  Rest assured, your local Red Cross is prepared to respond to any disasters in South Florida, large or small.

In an effort to encourage the community to prepare for any type of emergency and learn ways they can respond, we are offering free virtual programs for adults and children. These online classes are offered at no cost and are available in English and Spanish. 

 For more information, please visit: https://www.redcross.org/local/florida/south-florida/about-us/our-work/virtual-emergency-preparedness-programs.html