The New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) was originally formed in 1996 as part of the Mayor's Office under Rudolph W. Giuliani. By a vote of city residents in 2001 it became an independent agency, headed by a Commissioner who reports to the Mayor. In 2006 the office was reorganized under the Deputy Mayor for Administration by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
The agency is responsible for oversight and development of the City's emergency management plans. OEM regularly tests plans by conducting drills and exercises, and responds to emergencies to ensure that other agencies not only follow these plans, but to foster communication amongst the responding agencies. OEM also operates the City's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) where city, state and federal agencies join representatives from the private and nonprofit sectors to coordinate complex responses to emergencies and disasters.
The agency also developed and runs the Notify NYC emergency alert program, by which citizens can sign up to receive phone and email alerts about emergencies and events happening in their neighborhoods.
The current Commissioner of OEM is Joseph Esposito, a former New York Police Department Department Chief.