Originally organized as Disaster Services (Civil Defense) by County Commissioner’s in February 1978, the name was changed to Emergency Management in 1989. In 2003, upon the recommendation of the US Department of Homeland Security, EMA officially changed the title to Darke County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management Agency (EMA).
The Darke County EMA was established in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code (ORC 5502) for the purpose of overseeing the planning, response, recovery and mitigation of any and all major disasters/emergencies that occur within the county. The Darke County EMA serves all political subdivisions within the county including all townships, villages and municipalities.
The EMA has the responsibility for maintaining the county's Emergency Operation Center (EOC) located at the Darke County Sheriff’s Office complex, 5183 County Home Road in Greenville. The agency is also charged with the establishment and updating of the county's Emergency Operations Plan. This plan is the county's formal outline of emergency response to all types of
disasters/emergencies likely to occur here including flood, tornado, winter storms, drought, earthquake, hazardous materials releases, transportation crashes, civil disorder, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and radiological emergencies.
Darke County EMA is the central point of coordination within the county for response and recovery to disasters. The primary focus of the agency when not in a response or recovery mode is to ensure that the county and the 50,000 citizens residing in it are prepared to respond to an emergency or disaster and to lead mitigation efforts against the effects of future disasters.
In the past, emergency management had focused primarily on preparedness. Often this involved preparing for enemy attack. Today 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.