The county emergency management agency is the first line of defense in responding to emergencies in its jurisdiction.
State law (TCA 58-2-110) requires counties to develop a county emergency management plan consistent with the Tennessee Emergency Management Plan (TEMP) and emergency management program to ensure an effective response and recovery. This plan, called a Basic Emergency Operations Plan (BEOP), must be periodically reviewed by TEMA.
Conceptually, local emergency managers deal with emergencies in their jurisdictions with their own assets and with as much additional support that may be provided under intrastate mutual aid or assistance (TCA 58-8-101).
When the emergency exceeds the local jurisdiction's capability, the county may request additional assistance from higher levels of government. The mayor or the mayor's authorized representative (typically the emergency management director) may request formal assistance from other jurisdictions, including state and federal help