Why Have and EOC?
- The entity shall develop an incident management system to direct, control, and coordinate response and recovery operations.
- The incident management system shall describe specific organizational roles, titles, and responsibilities for each incident management function.
- The entity shall establish applicable procedures and policies for coordinating response, continuity, and recovery activities with stakeholders directly involved in response, continuity, and recovery operations.
- The entity shall establish applicable procedures and policies for coordinating response, continuity, and recovery activities with appropriate authorities and resources, including activation and deactivation of plans, while ensuring compliance with applicable statutes or regulations.
- Emergency operations/response shall be guided by an incident action plan or management by objectives.
These activities need to occur and an EOC is the best facility for supporting thee activities.
- The capability to direct, control, and coordinate response and recovery operations.
- An incident management system.
- Identified specific organizational roles, titles, and responsibilities in an emergency operations plan.
- A mechanism to determine the level of implementation of the incident management system according to the magnitude of the incident and the capabilities of the entity.
- Procedures and policies for coordinating response, continuity, and restoration activities with appropriate authorities and resources while ensuring compliance with applicable statutes or regulations.
Understanding the EOC’s Mission
- Communication and Intelligence. The EOC must be able to effectively communicate and receive information. It is critical to inform everyone about an event and to communicate amongst the parties involved. It is equally important to undertake intelligence gathering to manage an incident and to provide notification to responders and the public.
- Command and Control. The EOC must provide the command and control functions necessary to put multiple response and recovery plans into action – triggering them as needed, providing the triage structure required to deploy resources and personnel, and assuring effective direction of the response operations.
- Coordination and Documentation. The EOC must create a mechanism to coordinate all of the steps taken to respond to an event and create a record of the actions taken to protect employees, infrastructure, and stakeholder value... as well as demonstrate adherence to “best practices” by documenting all information received and steps taken.
The EOC is ultimately a center for information management, decision-making, and resource allocation. Its primary purpose is to gather and process all of the information required to plan for and respond – quickly and effectively – to emergency incidents. Within the EOC, staff are typically organized according to the Incident Command System. The Communications team is responsible for gathering incoming messages and situation reports and sharing them in order to optimize decision-making. Incident information is posted to an Operations Log. The EOC functions to select or prepare an incident action plan most appropriate to that incident. This plan should be developed with the involvement of all impacted parties and provide the guidance you’ll need to apply appropriate response personnel and resources. The EOC serves as the vehicle for this decision-making.