Emergency Management

Unfortunately, there are some large scale public threats that cannot always be anticipated such as wildland fires, hazardous materials spills, riots, etc.

Bernalillo County’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, in coordination with Public Safety (Fire and Law Enforcement), routinely plans for such events and bases its response on several crucial factors: the type and location of the threat, the direction the threat is moving, and which part of the population is most likely to be affected. Quick decisions must be made to protect the public's safety and well-being. Some require people to seek shelter, while others require evacuations. In each case, it is important for the public to receive clear and concise instructions. The following is a basic outline of which steps we will take in each instance: 

Shelter in place

  • Notification of the event
  • Suggestions of what to do, along with instructions on how to secure your home
  • Recommendations on how to monitor for further instructions 


  • Notification of the event
  • Instructions of which route to take and which areas to avoid
  • Notice of where to go (collection points)
  • Guidance on how to monitor for further instructions 

There are multiple ways the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office is able to provide these instructions.

  • Through the media. Television, radio, and newspapers will receive timely updates and will relay the information to the public through news reports.
  • The Emergency Alert System (EAS) on local TV and radio stations will be deployed.
  • An auto dial emergency phone system allowing the Bernalillo County Emergency Communications dispatch center to call several hundred homes per minute will be activated.
  • A home emergency alert will be issued by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on all hazard/weather alert radios.
  • Citizens can also preregister to receive text and e-mail alert messages through the county's NIXLE program.
  • As a last resort, law enforcement officers will be sent to the disaster area to conduct house-to-house notifications.

In large scale events, every applicable method will be used.

For more information on how to prepare for a large scale threat go to READY.gov, or FEMA.gov.

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