Press Release

For Immediate Release





#PrepTalkNYC {Click to listen to  episode 34}


Prep Talk logo

July 9, 2019 — The New York City Emergency Management Department welcomes Commissioner Deanne Criswell. Commissioner Criswell brings a wealth of knowledge to the agency, with over 25 years of experience in federal, military and local government response to complex incidents and disasters, including six years at FEMA. Criswell is also a retired member of the Colorado Air National Guard, where she served 21 years as both a firefighter and Deputy Fire Chief. On the latest episode of “Prep Talk,” Commissioner Criswell discusses her experience, expectations, and goals in her new role.

“I’m incredibly lucky to be able to have served so many Americans in some of their darkest hours,” Commissioner Criswell said. “I coordinated FEMA’s response to flooding events in North Dakota and West Virginia, I responded to hurricanes in South Carolina as well as wildfires in Colorado, and I’ve been able to see the power in bringing the resources and services directly to those mostly affected, meeting them where they are, giving them assistance when they need it.”

Commissioner Criswell also chats about the plan in place to mitigate potential threats to the city, what type of emergency keeps her up at night, and the future of the emergency management field.   You can listen to the latest episode on  SoundCloudiTunes, and  Spreaker.



Deanne Criswell was appointed Commissioner of the New York City Emergency Management Department in 2019. Criswell is responsible for oversight of the City’s efforts to plan and prepare for emergencies, educate the public about preparedness, coordinate emergency response and recovery, and disseminate emergency information. 

Prior to joining NYC Emergency Management, Criswell served as the leader of one of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) National Incident Management Assistance Teams (N-IMAT) and as a federal coordinating officer. In this role, Criswell was the primary federal representative responsible for leading the agency’s response to and recovery from emergencies and major disasters, from severe flooding in North Dakota to hurricanes in South Carolina to fires in Colorado.  Criswell also served as the head of the Office of Emergency Management for the City of Aurora, Colorado, where she led strategic change in the city’s emergency and disaster planning. During her tenure there, Criswell coordinated transitional housing and family reunification efforts in response to receiving 2000 evacuees from Hurricane Katrina.

As an executive in the homeland security sector of the Cadmus Group LLC, Criswell served as a principal for clients at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as the private sector, providing exceptional technical expertise and the experience necessary to help her clients achieve their critical missions.

As a member of the Colorado Air National Guard, Criswell served 21 years as a firefighter and Deputy Fire Chief. In 2001, she deployed to Kuwait to serve as a fire officer in crash fire rescue efforts, and in 2010, she deployed to Qatar, Afghanistan and Iraq to advise senior leadership on fire protection requirements for new and existing military bases.

Criswell is a graduate of Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado with a bachelor’s degree in technology education and training and holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado, Denver and a master’s degree in homeland security from the Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security.



MEDIA CONTACT: Omar Bourne (718) 422-4888

STAY CONNECTED: Twitter: @NotifyNYC (emergency notifications); @nycemergencymgt (emergency preparedness info); Facebook: /NYCemergencymanagement