A: Emergency management is a process that protects communities from hazards or threats to life or property. This process involves four, often overlapping, phases.
The Salt Lake County Emergency Management Bureau coordinates the development and implementation of a countywide emergency management program designed to protect life and property. The Bureau maintains an Emergency Operations Plan that establishes how the community will respond to disasters. This comprehensive plan addresses all hazards (both natural and man-made) through all four phases of emergency management.
The Emergency Management staff responsibilities include:
The staff takes pride in the important work they do for the citizens of Salt Lake County.
A: Salt Lake County citizens are fortunate to have an EOC that is staffed with well-trained personnel from the County Emergency Management Bureau. The Salt Lake County EOC also houses other Unified Fire Authority divisions and the Unified Police Department's Dispatch Center.
The EOC's main function is to become the center for coordination of response, resources, and recovery activities, should a man-made or natural disaster occur within the county or across the state and nation. We are ready to staff the EOC on a 24/7 basis. Numerous back-up systems are in place to maintain operability even during major disasters.
Under a non-emergency event, the EOC is staffed during the normal business week. We have Duty Officers on-call 24 hours a day.
The EOC is a secure building, which means that visitors must sign-in at the front-desk, wear visible identification at all times, and be escorted through the building.
Many rooms in the EOC are designed and equipped for specific emergency functions, such as:
Representatives from various agencies will report to the appropriate location during an emergency. However, the EOC also serves as a location for many other functions, including training, planning, and other meetings.
The EOC can optimize communication and coordination by effective information management and presentation. EOC and operational staff utilize the Incident Command System (ICS) to maintain a standardized operational structure. This provides a useful and flexible management system that is adaptable to incidents involving multi-jurisdictional or multi-disciplinary responses, as it provides the flexibility needed to rapidly activate and establish an organizational format around the functions that need to be performed.
The management of response and recovery operations involves a tremendous amount of information. A strong information management system is essential. The EOC serves as a location where officials and responders collect this information to manage and control response activities. Typically, the information flow would follow this order of performance:
1. An incident occurs,
2. Notification is sent to staff,
3. Status is evaluated by EOC Managers,
4. EOC is activated,
5. Incident log is opened,
6. Standard Operating Procedures are implemented,
7. Tasks are assigned according to the Emergency Operations Plan,
8. Resources are allocated,
9. Tasks are performed,
10.Status briefings and updates given to stakeholders.
Working together during smaller emergencies, each agency in county government performs its specialized tasks according to the agency's in-house Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). During major emergencies, however, there is an increased need to coordinate all activities relevant to the emergency response as they relate to the event as a whole. This operation takes place at the County EOC.
The Emergency Support Function (ESF) concept was developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the late 1980s to address the potential management concerns that would be necessary to coordinate a federal response to a catastrophic earthquake in California. FEMA subsequently implemented the ESF concept in the development of its National Response Framework.
Each ESF Group is composed of a lead agency and one or more support agencies based on similar activities performed by those agencies. The lead agency is responsible for the coordination of the ESF group as a whole; individual agencies perform their emergency missions as they otherwise would, except that they are being coordinated by the lead agency.
Each agency is responsible for developing its own respective plans and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for use in deploying that agency's assets and resources in times of emergency. The lead agency, however, is also responsible for the following:
Assigning each ESF to one of six primary ICS-based sections or groups allows for utilization and implementation of many ICS concepts within the EOC itself during activation. Agencies with emergency responsibilities are consolidated into ICS sections to maintain an effective span of control.
ESF 1, Transportation
ESF 2, Communications
ESF 3, Public Works and Engineering
ESF 4, Firefighting
ESF 5, Emergency Management
ESF 6, Mass Care, Emergency Assistance, Housing and Human Services
ESF 7, Resource Support
ESF 8, Health and Medical
ESF 9, Search and Rescue
ESF 10, Oil and Hazardous Materials
ESF 11, Agriculture and Natural Resources
ESF 12, Energy
ESF 13, Public Safety and Security
ESF 14, Long-term Community Recovery
ESF 15, External Affairs
The Policy Group may include the following:
Storm Ready is a National Weather Service (NWS) program which helps a community become more informed, better prepared, and receive timely information of an impending weather condition. Severe-weather warnings issued by the NWS may contain critical information which if not immediately heeded, could lead to loss of life. (avalanche, thunder & lightning, flooding, traveling conditions, tornado, etc.) The Storm Ready program requires local government to meet strict requirements. It is closely checked and monitored by the NWS before a community can be recognized as being Storm Ready. Salt Lake County Emergency Management was recently recognized for becoming a Storm Ready facility