Getting to Know Your Community Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

Blog_HeaderFor each city, each community, preparedness comes from a place of priority. If an emergency has never affected you or someone close to you, personally—it may make it difficult for planning to become a priority.

This is a topic that exists at the very core of funding for crisis preparation: Why would we plan for a storm if we don’t know WHEN or IF it’s even coming? See our first blog post for an explanation on why you should make preparation a priority for your household and company. In your area, an Emergency Operations Center serves the full-time function of analyzing the risks and providing hazard mitigation to the infrastructure, including businesses, energy, water, schools, and industrial plants. Their function is also in preparedness and educating the public about hazards in addition to providing information on early warning systems and notifying schools and businesses about necessary drills that should be performed regularly.

Knowing about your given EOC and its programming available to the public is one step to making sure you’re prepared. Many different Emergency Operations Centers are reaching out to the public in different ways. For instance, in New Orleans, nolaready.gov, the local New Orleans EOC, worked with the American Red Cross to canvas previously flood-vulnerable neighborhoods, talking with community members and discussing their needs on the ground to better customize programming for the individuals its serving. San Francisco recently took to a new approach to preparedness by coordinating a website through the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (each city or region has one) called http://www.72hours.org.

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The website involves clicking on icons that describe varying levels of planning, including ensuring household safety of your home, pets, planning “go bags” and information on proper storage of extra food and water. Additionally, it provides access to resources for training, volunteering and community planning so that you know how to contribute services to your best ability in the event of an emergency. Additionally, there are several response protocol listed for “in the event of” issues. Please see their icons below.

When the community reminds its constituents that it is important to prepare for your personal needs, it creates a ripple effect and embeds the goals of preparedness into the culture, which then creates better education and programming for each individual.

Emergency 101 Tip: Get to know your hazards. If you or your company need to prepare better, find your local EOC and explore the hazards it identifies and the measures it recommends to take in order to alleviate the possible repercussions that hazard may have.

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