Standardized Emergency Management Systems
Overview of SEMS
Why the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS)?
In order to respond to frequent and multiple disasters occurring anytime and anywhere in the state, it is important that emergency response agencies operate within a clear and consistent organizational structure. Public agencies are increasingly required to manage the costs of emergencies more effectively with fewer resources. Many different agencies must work together effectively to protect lives, property, and the environment during disasters. SEMS facilitates priority setting, interagency cooperation, and the efficient flow of resources and information.
What is SEMS?
SEMS is the cornerstone of California’s emergency response system and the fundamental structure for the response phase of emergency management. The system unifies all elements of California’s emergency management community into a single integrated system and standardizes key elements.
- Incident Command System (ICS) – A field-level emergency response system based on management by objectives.
- Multi/ Inter-agency coordination – Affected agencies working together to coordinate allocations of resources and emergency response activities.
- Mutual Aid – A system for obtaining additional emergency resources from non-affected jurisdictions.
- Operational Area Concept – County and its sub-divisions to coordinate damage information, resource requests, and emergency response.
Cal OES has developed a SEMS Maintenance System to address the need for changes. The three-tiered system encompasses an Advisory Board, Technical Group, and Mutual Aid Regional Advisory Committees (MARACs). Collectively, these multi-agency groups make changes to the system when necessary. They include representatives from all disciplines involved in emergency response. The Cal OES Emergency Management Systems Unit (EMSU) supports these multi-agency groups to ensure methodical review, evaluation, and approval to any improvements.
The California Emergency Services Act 2021 Edition (ESA) requires SEMS for managing multiagency and multijurisdictional responses to emergencies in California. State agencies are required to use SEMS and local government entities must use SEMS in order to be eligible for any reimbursement of response-related costs under the state’s disaster assistance programs.
SEMS Technical Group Meeting
Date: Thursday, September 8, 2022
Time: 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Future Quarterly Meeting Dates:
Thursday, December 1, 2022
Thursday, April 6, 2023
Thursday, July 13, 2023
SEMS Advisory Board Meeting
Location: Virtual via Zoom Conferencing
Participant Call-In Number:
View or Listen to SEMS Advisory Board Meeting Live via Zoom:
Public Notice/Agenda: SEMS AB Public Meeting Notice for March 9, 2022.pdf
New Online Course at CSTI.org
SEMS Introduction (SEMS G606) Online Course – 1 hour
This course provides a comprehensive discussion of the components of SEMS and how SEMS is used in California. Content includes mutual aid, multiagency coordination, the operational area concept, and how the five levels of government communicate, interact and share resources.
This course meets the requirements of CCR Title 19 §2446 (Training) and §2428 (Minimum Performance Objectives).
CCR Title 19 §2446 (Training)
Local governments, operational areas, and state agencies shall document SEMS training provided to its emergency response personnel pursuant to §2428.
CCR Title 19 §2428 (Minimum Performance Objectives)
- Emergency response agencies shall determine the appropriate level(s) of SEMS instruction for each member of their staff, based upon the staff member’s potential assignment during an emergency response.
- Emergency response agencies shall ensure that their emergency response personnel can demonstrate and maintain, to the level deemed appropriate, the minimum SEMS performance objectives required by their agencies’ training programs. Agencies shall use the Minimum Performance Objectives contained in the Approved Course of Instruction (ACI) Syllabus dated March 1, 1995, which are hereby incorporated by reference, as the basis for their training programs. Minimum Performance Objectives are contained in Paragraph D of each Course Module description.
- SEMS minimum performance objectives shall be met through completion of materials from the ACI, completion of equivalent courses of instruction, or through incorporation of the objectives into exercises.
Note: Authority cited: Section 8607(a), Government Code. Reference: Sections 8607(a) and (e), Government Code.
EOC Credentialing Guidelines
The SEMS related documents below includes EOC credentialing Guidelines. For more information, please contact Justin Freiler at Justin.Freiler@caloes.ca.gov. The Cal OES NIMS web page provides information on the Federal NIMS update.
SEMS Intake Issues Tracker
|INL-2021-001||9/27/2021||July 14, 2021, MARAC IV meeting: Recommended that the SEMS Advisory Board meet on the schedule that is written into SEMS guidelines.||The next Advisory Board Meeting has been scheduled for 3/9/22 from 1:30 to 4 p.m.||Ongoing|
|INL-2021-002||9/27/2021||Request for a fact sheet/guidance document describing Geographic Operations (GeoOps) and request that a GeoOps committee include MARAC input and participation at the appropriate time.||Issued was also discussed at the 10/20/2021 SEMS Tech Meeting. Mike Massone advised more work needs to be done||Ongoing|
|INL-2021-003||9/27/2021||EMMA Committee members requested for a formal motion to place EMMA on the agenda for SEMS Advisory. (It has already passed through SEMS Tech)||10/20/2021: The EMMA Plan will be on the agenda of the upcoming SEMS Advisory Meeting per the SEMS Tech Group. 12/15/2021: Advisory Board Meeting scheduled for 2/23/2022||Completed|
SEMS Related Documents
- SEMS Trifold (2022)
- EOC Credentialing FAQ v4 (2021)
- EOC Resource Guide v2 (2022)
- EOC Credentialing Type I Task Book v3 (2022)
- EOC Credentialing Type II Task Book v3 (2022)
- EOC Credentialing Type III Task Book v3 (2022)
- Volunteer Coordinator Position Guidance (2015)
- Volunteer Coordinator Position Credential (2015)
- Volunteer Deployment Guidance (2015)
SEMS Guidelines - Part I System Description
Standardized Emergency Management System Part 1 General System Description
Standardized Emergency Management System Part 2 Field Response Level
Standardized Emergency Management System Part 3 Local Government Level
Standardized Emergency Management System Part 4 Operational Level
Standardized Emergency Management System Part 5 Regional Level
Standardized Emergency Management System Part 6 State Level
SEMS Guidelines - Part II Planning and Developing SEMS
Standardized Emergency Management System II Part A Field Response Level
Standardized Emergency Management System II Part B Local Government Level
Standardized Emergency Management System II Part C Operational Level
Standardized Emergency Management System II Part D Regional Level
Standardized Emergency Management System II Part E State Level
Standardized Emergency Management System II Part E State Level
SEMS Handbooks and Guides
Local Government EOC Finance Handbook
Local Government EOC Participant Reference Manual
Local Government EOC Logistics Handbook
Local Government EOC Management Handbook
Local Government EOC Operations Handbook
Local Government EOC Planning Handbook
Operational Area EOC Management Handbook
Operational Area EOC Finance Handbook
Operational Area EOC Logistics Handbook
Operational Area EOC Operational Handbook
Operational Area EOC Planning Handbook
SEMS Guidelines for Special Districts
Volume 1 Emergency Planning Guide
Volume 2 Model City Plan
Volume 3 Model County Plan
The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is responsible for coordinating and monitoring the overall statewide integration of the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to meet federal NIMS requirements and timeframes. NIMS was developed by the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) pursuant to Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-5 to ensure that all levels of government across the nation have the capability to work efficiently and effectively together, using a national approach to domestic incident management.
SEMS-NIMS Integration Documents
California Implementation Guidelines For The National Incident Management System
SEMS NIMS Integration Section III
SEMS NIMS Integration Section IV
SEMS NIMS Integration Section V
SEMS NIMS Integration Section VI