Emergency Operations Center Checklist

Chapter 252, Florida Statutes, contains the provisions for establishing an effective emergency management capability in the State of Florida. It confers upon the Governor, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, and the governing body of each political subdivision of the State certain emergency powers to deal with, reduce vulnerability to, and recover from emergencies and disasters; to provide for the common defense and to protect the public peace, health, and safety; and to preserve the lives and property of the people of the State. (§252.31 F.S.). Section 252.38(1), states that each county must establish and maintain an emergency management agency and shall perform emergency management functions within the territorial limits of the County within which it is organized.

Although the jurisdiction’s elected government is ultimately responsible for the safety and well-being of their residents, this responsibility is delegated during an emergency to the jurisdiction's emergency management director who normally serves as the Incident Commander for most events. As the Incident Commander, the Emergency Management Director also serves as the County Coordinating Officer.

When a disaster threatens or has impacted a jurisdiction, the Emergency Operations Center is normally activated using aspects of the Incident Command System (ICS). The EOC provides a centralized location for coordinating the preparation for, response to, and recovery from a disaster, and will the location from which the County Coordinating Officer will operate.

DSI has developed Standard Operating Guidelines (SOG) to provide guidance for any jurisdiction's Coordinating Officer. Similar to the State Coordinating Officer who has the delegated authority to respond to any emergency or disaster impacting a State, the jurisdiction's coordinating officer has the same level of responsibility at their level. This SOG details the incremental actions the jurisdiction should take as an event escalates through time.

This is a very valuable item for all directors of emergency management to have in their arsenal of tools needed to effectively guide a community through an event.