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TDEM Mission, Organization & Responsibilities

The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) had its roots in the civil defense programs established during World War II. It dates as a separate organization from The Texas Civil Protection Act of 1951, which established the Division of Defense and Disaster Relief in the Governor’s Office to handle civil defense and disaster response programs. The Division was collocated with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) in 1963. The organization was renamed the Division of Disaster Emergency Services in 1973. After several more name changes, it was designated an operating division of the Texas Department of Public Safety in 2005. Legislation passed during the 81st session of the Texas Legislature in 2009 formally changed the name of the organization to the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

Mission
TDEM is charged with carrying out a comprehensive all-hazard emergency management program for the State and for assisting cities, counties, and state agencies in planning and implementing their emergency management programs. A comprehensive emergency management program includes pre and post-disaster mitigation of known hazards to reduce their impact; preparedness activities, such as emergency planning, training, and exercises; provisions for effective response to emergency situations; and recovery programs for major disasters. Chapter 418 of the Texas Government Code lays out an extensive set of specific responsibilities assigned to the Division.