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An emergency operations center (EOC) is a site where emergency management officials coordinate efforts and provide support for response personnel working in the field. The organization and configuration of most EOCs follow the National Incident Command System (NIMS), and the EOC is designed to expand or contract based on the complexity of the disaster. During the initial phases, the EOC may arrange to fill an immediate need of personnel, equipment and supplies to support ongoing field operations. As the duration of a disaster extends, the EOC evolves into an interagency decision-making command center. In this discussion, you will serve as the incident commander of a developing incident and identify an operating structure for EOC staff assignment.
Based on your reading in Chapter 5 in your Disaster Operations and Decision Making text, consider the following scenario and the roles and responsibilities you would assign within the EOC. As the incident commander, describe how you will organize the EOC and the key positions you will assign. Also, consider support positions such as media, liaisons, and policy support. Identify the activation level of the EOC (for example, level 3 monitoring, level 2 partial activation, level 1 full activation). Finally, explain why you selected your approach and any alternatives you considered.
Scenario: You are the county emergency manager for a mostly rural county and you were notified by a local emergency manager that the water treatment plant that provides water to two small communities in your area has experienced a power failure and the system will not be repaired for two days. The local emergency manager shares that the two communities are activating their EOCs, but their resources are limited, so they request the county activate the county EOC during the daytime to help coordinate the operations and personnel that will be needed in both communities. You agree to the request.
Respond to the posts of at least two fellow learners, providing substantive feedback to assist in building an EOC structure that will address the anticipated needs of the two communities. Offer suggestions that will strengthen the organizational structure and reflect on how other EOC structures differ from your own.
This activity will help you achieve the following learning components:
- Identify basic components of an EOP.
- Use the lexicon of the emergency management field.
- Describe how the overall structure and functions of the emergency planning cycle relate to disaster response efforts.
- Understand the planning team: what should be included as part of the plan, which groups constitute a core liaison group (law enforcement, EMT, fire, public works, IT, public health, medical).