An Emergency Operations Center, or EOC, is a central command and control facility responsible for carrying out the principles of emergency preparedness and emergency management, or disaster management functions at a strategic level in an emergency situation, and ensuring the continuity of operation of the County. The EOC is responsible for the strategic overview, or "big picture," of the disaster, and does not normally directly control field assets, instead making operational decisions and leaving tactical decisions to lower commands. The common functions of an EOC is to collect, gather and analyze data; make decisions that protect life and property, maintain continuity of the organization, within the scope of applicable laws; and disseminate those decisions to all concerned agencies and individuals. When a large scale event has occurred, it is important that the response be coordinated. This generally means activating the Emergency Operations Center to assure central coordination, and support to activities such as; emergency alert and warning, care and shelter, evacuation, search and rescue, resource mobilization, and recovery operate effectively.
The Orange County EOC can be used to gather, analyze, and disseminate information to and from the County, cities, school and special districts, business and industry, volunteer organizations, individuals, and state and federal government agencies. It has the ability to function as a virtual EOC so that Operational Area jurisdictions may communicate between EOCs without co-location.
In addition, the EOC may become responsible for managing the tactical operations of regional resources designed to more efficiently use the pooled resources of Operational Area Members or external resources to benefit the Operational Area as a whole.
Activation of the OA/EOC is required by the California Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) under the following conditions:
On the request by a local government or county agency
Two cities proclaiming a local emergency
County Emergency Proclamation and a City Local Emergency Proclamation
Request by any member of the OA for Governor's Proclamation
State of Emergency proclaimed in Orange County or the State of California
Request for Outside Resources by a member of the OA
The County's EOC is located at Loma Ridge and is maintained in a constant state of readiness by the Emergency Management Division. The EOC can accommodate a staff up to 140 responders working in 12-hour shifts throughout activation. This emergency response and recovery staff is comprised of County agencies/departments personnel and members from the Operational Area. The EOC has emergency power, food, water and supplies to support emergency responders for an extended period of time in a catastrophic event.
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