Emergency management, emergency preparedness, and/or civil defense have been a part of the infrastructure of Elkhart County dating back to the 1940s. Like many areas throughout the country (with the exception of very rural areas), civil defense and emergency management were handled at the local/city level from the beginnings of World War II until the late 20th century. Keeping emergency preparedness agencies at a local level proved to be a successful method of handling emergency situations for a number of years due to the technology of the time.
As technology in weather, news, and intracommunity communications improved and expanded in the early 21st century, many municipalities and county governments began to rethink the city/town-based approach to emergency management. The rapid growth and utilization of cellular and internet-based communication allowed communities to combine their efforts to a centrally, county wide-based emergency management system. This became an efficient and cost-effective method to serve a community's needs. Elkhart County saw an opportunity to combine these services and collaborated to make this possible.
Elkhart County adopted a county-wide emergency management agency around 2005 to utilize the talent from the Elkhart and Goshen community and consolidate their efforts to serve the County population. Elkhart County Emergency Management continues to grow and expand its efforts for the over 200,000 residents of this great county.
As a part of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), local emergency management agencies form Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs). Elkhart County is one of the3,000 designated local emergency planning districts in this country. Elkhart County Emergency Management created their LEPC to better serve the public in the case of an emergency.
A LEPC serves as another means to assist and inform the public about environmental emergencies that may occur. The LEPC is responsible for developing an emergency response plan, to review the plan at least annually, and provide information about chemicals in the community to residents. More information about LEPC can been viewed by clicking the button below