As part of the FORS 200 - Forensic Seminar guest lecture series, Jim Davidsaver, Director of Lincoln-Lancaster County Emergency Management, discussed his work in emergency management. Davidsaver, a 28-year veteran of the Lincoln Police Department with 10 years as a crime scene technician, now teaches UNL’s Survey of Criminal Justice in addition to his other duties.
Davidsaver provided a brief history on the background of Emergency Management in the USA and reported that their mission areas are: prevention, protection, and mitigation followed by response and recovery. He works with/under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Emergency Support Functions (ESF) that fall under their purview include: transportation, communications, public works and engineering, fire-fighting, emergency management, mass care, emergency assistance, housing and human services, public health and medical services, and search and rescue, among others.
There are several levels of emergency activation with level 3 being the lowest (severe weather watches) and level 1 being the highest (worst case scenarios). Their unit has vehicles that serve as mobile command posts, portable hospitals, for response/triage, rehabilitation, decontamination, and light towers.
Davidsaver’s advice for being prepared in an emergency? Be aware, not paranoid. Have a plan of action. Ask yourself, do you have what you need to take care of yourself for 3 days? During severe weather season, have alerts turned on.