Whitley County Emergency Management/Department of Homeland Security is the discipline of dealing with and avoiding risks. It is a discipline that involves preparing for disaster before it occurs, disaster response (e.g. emergency evacuation, quarantine, mass decontamination, etc.), as well as supporting, and rebuilding society after natural or human-made disasters have occurred.
In general, Emergency Management is the continuous process by which all individuals, groups, and communities manage hazards in an effort to avoid the impact of disasters resulting from the hazards. Actions taken depend in part on perceptions of risk of those exposed. Effective emergency management relies on thorough integration of emergency plans at all levels of government and non-government involvement. Activities at each level (individual, group, community) affect the other levels.

Emergency Management is one of a number of terms which, since the end of the Cold War, have largely replaced Civil Defense, whose original focus was protecting civilians from military attack. Modern thinking focuses on a more general intent to protect the civilian population in times of peace as well as in times of war.