The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) is the lead state agency for coordination of comprehensive emergency preparedness, training, response, recovery and mitigation services in order to save lives, protect Delaware's economic base and reduce the impact of emergencies. DEMA is a division within the Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS) and is authorized by Delaware Code, Title 20,Chapter 31§3101-3130.
During World War II, the Civil Defense Preparedness Office in the Department of Defense established state offices to protect and prepare American Citizens from attacks by Axis Forces. The Delaware Office of Civil Defense was located in a former coastal defense bunker within Fort Delaware on the Delaware River. With the passing of the Cold War Threat, emergency management shifted focus to address mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery from natural hazards and weather-related incidents, and from technological and human-related disasters, such as chemical spills, biological hazards and radiological releases from power plants.