Standardized Emergency Management System

​Standardized Emergency Management System

The Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) is the cornerstone of California’s emergency response system and the fundamental structure for the response phase of emergency management. SEMS is required by the California Emergency Services Act (ESA) for managing multiagency and multijurisdictional responses to emergencies in California. The system unifies all elements of California’s emergency management community into a single integrated system and standardizes key elements. SEMS incorporates the use of the Incident Command System (ICS), California Disaster and Civil Defense Master Mutual Aid Agreement (MMAA), the Operational (OA) Area concept and multiagency or inter-agency coordination. 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 Foundation - The purpose of the SEMS Foundation document is to summarize the fundamental integrated components of SEMS and its source documents that make up California’s integrated emergency management system. It is not intended to be a comprehensive or detailed reference to every aspect of the emergency management system. With few exceptions, the material found herein reflects a verbatim extraction from the source referenced documents. Any deviation from or clarification of the extracted material is explained by footnotes. In addition, key elements of SEMS have been highlighted for ease of reference.

SEMS Regulations-The SEMS regulations are described in the California Code of Regulations, Title 19, Division 2, Chapter 1.

Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) Guidelines-  The SEMS guidelines are intended to assist those responsible for planning, implementing and participating in SEMS.

Cover, Contents, and Introduction 

SEMS Guidelines    

System Description
Part 1-A
Part 1-B
Part 1-C
Part 1-D
Part 1-E
Part 1-F
Planning and Developing SEMS
Part II-A
Part II-B
Part II-C
Part II-D
Part II-E
PART III SEMS Maintenance System
PART III Action Planning
PART III Glossary of Terms

SEMS-NIMS Integration- 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.