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Emergency Operations Centers & Incident Action Planning Process John Lindsay and Ann Stangby.

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Presentation on theme: "Emergency Operations Centers & Incident Action Planning Process John Lindsay and Ann Stangby."— Presentation transcript:

1 Emergency Operations Centers & Incident Action Planning Process John Lindsay and Ann Stangby

2 Session Objectives Explain the purpose and major functions of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Describe the process of information flow within the EOC. Discuss the operational hierarchy within the emergency management system. Explain the Incident Action Planning process.

3 Types of events Immediate threats to life and property. Loss of facility operating status. Facility support to other facilities or national problems. EOC Required?

4 Definition of an EOC An unfamiliar place where leaders of an organization go to make decisions in little or no time based on little or no information Snowshoe Thompson, 1856

5 Why Is an EOC Needed? Centralized direction and control Single point for collection, evaluation, display and dissemination of information Facilitates verification of information Provides a repository of data Makes maximum use of existing communications

6 Why an EOC is Needed (cont) Facilitates coordination Provides continuity and facilitates shift changes Provides for the identification of all available resources Provides a ready reference on the current situation

7 Major Functions of an EOC Information gathering and management – collection, evaluation, display, documentation Emergency policy-making Operations management / action planning –Communications and warning Coordination / support of resources Public information Hosting Visitors After: Perry, R. in T. Drabek, and G. Hoetmer (eds.) Emergency Management: Principles and Practice for Local Government. Washington: ICMA

8 Basic EOC Capabilities Activated quickly (within an hour ?). Remain operational. Afford space for other agencies. Offer communications per work space. Perform information processing, coordination and documentation functions.

9 EOC Staffing & Management

10 EOC Staff Agency administrator EOC Director –Public Information Officer, Liaison Officer General staff sections from ICS –Operations, Plans, Logistics, Finance Support (security, communications, etc.) Clerical

11 Management Principles Management by objectives. Clear management responsibilities (unity of command) and delegation of authority. Span of Control. Action Planning.

12 EOC Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Use of information processing systems. Communications with external entities. Managing resource requests. Preparing coordinated public information. Activation and establishing the EOC.

13 General EOC Activation Criteria Resources required beyond local capabilities The emergency is of long duration Multiple agency/jurisdictional involvement Unique or emerging problem(s) may require policy decisions A local state of emergency declared

14 Situation Reports Travel Orders Resource Activation Mission Assignments Computer Problems Work Environment Shift Schedules Conference Calls Inter-agency Liaison Incident Status Resource Status Office Supplies Briefings Shift Action Plan Parking/Bldg. Access Procurement/Budget Operations Section Activities ICS Management Functions Plans Section Logistics Section Finance Section

15 Managing Time Establishing the operational period Cycle of activities –First operational period –Remaining operational periods Shift change meetings Situation briefing Action planning meeting Brief supervisors on plan Track, coordinate incident progress Situation updates

16 Set Priorities Status briefing Establish/modify priorities Develop objectives Support priorities Resolve conflicts Develop plans Based on priorities and assigned objectives Implement plans Coordinate & execute Report accomplishments

17 EOC Communications Purpose: –Communication / Coordination / Direction –Information sharing –Decision making –Emergency activities Demands –High volume of information –Requirement for good communication between all parties

18 Communication Considerations Flexibility - able to fit different situations Redundancy - works when you need it Universality - in common with others Capacity - able to handle the volume Distribution of loads between alternatives –Speed - how long will it take to get there? –Priority - how long will it take to be acted on?

19 Types of Messages 4 types of messages: Inquiries asking for information Advisories providing information Requests asking for resources or decisions Orders directing resources or activities

20 Information Management Source(s) Telephone Radio FAX Mass Media Rumor Verify Analyze Log Synthesize Visual Displays Situation Briefings Action Plans Situation Reports Historical Records Distribute

21 Displays Situation Status (SITSTAT) Incident history Current status –Patients, facilities, weather Current objectives and assignments Resource Status –Assigned resources –Available (staged) resources

22 Common Mistakes Unworkable Emergency Operations Plan No knowledge of disaster resources Lack of visible leadership Not controlling information flow Untrained staff Key people leave Not focusing on what happens next !

23 Operational Hierarchy ESF Lead Agency EOC(s) HCF EOC(s) Network EOC(s) Local Govt / County EOC(s) State EOC(s) DHSs Regional EOC DHSs National EOC Incident Site(s) DHSs Disaster Field Office

24 Incident Action Planning Process

25 Action Planning Process MgmtPlans LogisticsFinance Business Continuity Safety & Security Equip, Plant & Util Health & Medical Operations Overall Objectives & Priorities Situation Tactical Objectives, Resource Needs Capability & Capacity Cost Plans Finalize Action Plan Mgmt Approve, Implement Action Plan

26 Operational Period The period of time scheduled for execution of a given set of actions specified in an IAP. Can be of any length, although rarely longer than 24 hours. Not necessarily related to shift length.

27 Briefing Topics Date/time of start of incident Type of incident Services involved Current incident status Current resource status Current strategy/objectives Communications systems being used Special problems/issues

28 Incident Action Planning Steps... Brief on current situation and resource status Set incident objectives Determine areas of operation Specify objectives and tactics for each group Specify resources needed by each group

29 IAP Steps (cont) Specify operating facilities and reporting locations Place resource and personnel orders Consider communications, medical, safety and traffic requirements Finalize, approve and implement

30 IAP Responsibilities: Management Provide general control objectives and strategy Establish policy for resource orders Approve completed IAP

31 IAP Responsibilities: Planning Chief Prepare for the Planning Meeting Conduct the Planning Meeting Coordinate preparation of the IAP

32 IAP Responsibilities: Operations Chief Determine area(s) of operation Determine tactics Determine work assignments Determine resource requirements

33 IAP Responsibilities: Logistics Chief Ensure resource ordering procedures are developed Ensure the IAP can be supported

34 IAP Responsibilities: Finance Chief Provide cost implications of control objectives, as required Ensure the IAP is within the cost limitations established by Management.

35 Elements of an IAP Name of event and operational period. Summary of the current situation. Statement of policy(s), overall objectives and priorities. Statements of operational period objectives for each major section. Action items to carry out the objectives. Current organizational chart/listing.

36 Questions? For more info see


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