Knoxville-Knox Co. Emergency Management Agency

Emergency Management Director

Colin Ickes
[email protected]
(865) 215-1166

1630 Huron St.
Knoxville, TN 37917

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Knoxville-Knox County Emergency Management Agency (KEMA)
1630 Huron Street
Knoxville, TN 37917

What is KEMA?

The Knoxville-Knox County Emergency Management Agency (KEMA) is a shared City and County department responsible to the Mayors of the City of Knoxville and Knox County. 

KEMA serves as the central point of coordination for local government efforts to prepare for and respond to large-scale emergencies and disasters.

KEMA closely collaborates with many partners including:

• Local response agencies
- Fire
- Law Enforcement
- Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
- Rescue
• Non-profit groups
• Faith-based organizations
• Private sector businesses
• State agencies
• Federal agencies


Community Preparedness

KEMA offers Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training and hosts SKYWARN Weather Spotter training to City of Knoxville and Knox County community members to help inform and support individuals' preparedness efforts and improve community preparedness.

Community members interested in disaster preparedness information can:
   • Sign up for training information
   • Visit
   • View Emergency Preparedness [PDF]

Emergency Planning

KEMA leads the collaborative effort to develop and maintain a variety of emergency plans. These plans include the Knoxville-Knox County Emergency Operations Plan, Continuity of Operations Plan, Hazard Mitigation Plan, Family Assistance Center (FAC) Plan, Securing Accessibility for Emergencies (SAFE) Plan, and others plans which help to protect the community from and organize the response to major emergencies.

• The Knoxville-Knox County Emergency Operations Plan describes the roles and responsibilities of local organizations in responding to a disaster. It identifies personnel, equipment, resources, and organizational relationships that are used to coordinate the response to community needs during and immediately after a major emergency. The Knoxville-Knox County Emergency Operations Plan is applicable to all hazards that may impact the community and engages the whole community in its approach to response.

• The Continuity of Operations Plan outlines the procedures that ensure local government is able to continue to provide vital services to the community in the face of disaster when public facilities and critical infrastructure have been impacted.

• The Multi-Jurisdictional Local Hazard Mitigation Plan summarizes the collaborative effort of Knox County, the City of Knoxville, and the Town of Farragut to reduce the harmful effects and decrease the severity of disasters affecting the area. The FEMA-approved mitigation plan opens the door to grant funding to help reduce local hazards.

• The Securing Accessibility For Emergencies (SAFE) Emergency Operations Plan addresses the needs of community members with access and functional needs. The plan includes training for responders with emphasis on assisting people with disabilities. The plan also details resources available in an emergency which impacts many individuals with mobility impairments including durable medical equipment and transportation resources. The plan is maintained by a committee of subject matter experts, including the ADA Coordinators from both the
City of Knoxville and Knox County.

• The Family Assistance Center (FAC) Plan provides guidance about how the City of Knoxville and Knox County will coordinate organizations and resources in support of a Family Assistance Center. The FAC exists to provide help to survivors as well as family members and friends of victims of a mass-casualty incident.

In addition to developing and maintaining plans, KEMA also supports and participates in the Knox County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). The LEPC includes many private sector partners as well as emergency response agencies who collaborate to increase awareness about potential hazards in the community. The Committee
meets monthly and discusses emergency planning and preparedness efforts.


KEMA hosts and participates in many emergency exercises each year alongside Local, State, and Federal partners. The goal of these exercises is to practice and validate planning, training, and emergency response capabilities. During and after each exercise, participants and evaluators identify best practices as well as opportunities for improvement and further training.

Emergency Responder Training

KEMA facilitates National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) courses. Additionally, KEMA supports other types of training including Hazardous Materials, Damage Assessment, Search and Rescue, Hospital Incident Command System (HICS), and other emergency response related topics.


Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

During disasters and major emergencies KEMA activates and leads the Emergency Operations Center, which is the central point of coordination and support for the local government response. EOC staffing is driven by the emergency response needs and includes representatives from the City and County, local law enforcement, fire, rescue and EMS agencies. The EOC also includes partners and supporting agencies who represent public health, healthcare, non-government organizations (NGOs), nonprofits, State and Federal agencies, emergency communications, utilities, public works, and others.

Mobile Command Post

KEMA responds to the scene of major incidents with the mobile command post, which is a command, control, and communications vehicle. The mobile command post is available to use at emergency scenes as well as planned special events.

Duty Officer

A KEMA Duty Officer is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Duty Officers support the on-scene response to major emergencies by assisting with information sharing and situational awareness, providing additional resources, and coordinating inter-agency collaboration.