The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is the support center for emergency personnel in the event of a hurricane, emergency, or other disasters in the area. The EOC’s primary purpose is to support the incident commander at the incident location. The various divisions of the EOC work to devise plans for future emergency situations and develop strategies to recover from the emergencies.
Richland’s EOC is organized with the guidelines of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as outlined in the National Incident Management System. This ensures maximum operational effectiveness between all levels of government. Under the Homeland Security guidelines, there are four sections outlined as Operations, Logistics, Planning, and Finance, with each section having a chief and several divisions. If a disaster occurs, the EOC Situation Analysis Team will evaluate and decide which divisions need to be activated to best support the emergency. If the type and severity of the incident calls for it, operational divisions can include Police and other Law Enforcement, Fire, Rescue, Hazardous Materials, Public Health, Entergy, and Communications. http://www.msema.org/
Every family is responsible to protect themselves. Your family should establish a disaster plan and prepare a Disaster Supply Kit. It is crucial for you and your family to make provisions beyond FEMA’s recommended Basic Disaster Supply Kit. Below are important steps that you and your family should take right now to prepare for an emergency or disaster in your region:
- Decide where your family will regroup and how your family will make contact after a disaster. You must consider that cell phones will may work.
- Make sure you know how to turn off the water and other utilities at your home.
- Have a supply of at least 5-gallons of water, at least a 5-day’s supply of non-perishable food, a manual can opener, and food and drink for each person in your home. More is always better.
- Have a flashlight, portable radio, extra batteries, and first aid kit.
- Keep your vehicle’s gas tank as full as possible at all times.
What You Should Do in an Emergency
- Act on your personal and family disaster plan.
- Listen for and act on all instructions from your elected City officials and other local authorities.
- Access information via all functioning media, which includes radio, TV, and your City’s method of communication with its citizens.
- If so instructed, go to the shelter nearest you.
- If so instructed, evacuate.
- If you are instructed to evacuate and do not have transportation, call 911.
- Bomb or Other Explosion: Exit the building and the area quickly. Do not use elevators. Cover your nose and mouth and do not inhale dust and particles. If you are trapped in debris, do not move except to tap on the wall or nearby surface so rescuers can hear where you are.
- Biological: Follow the instructions of doctors and public health officials. Practice good hygiene and cleanliness to avoid spreading germs. If needed, seek medical advice or attention.
- Chemical: Get out of the building and get away from the area. If needed, seek medical advice or attention.
- Radiological: Contaminated radioactive material can injure your body both externally and internally. Move as far as possible away from the suspected area. Cover your nose and mouth. Stay indoors, close all windows and doors, and turn off your air conditioner. Bring your pets inside. Notify your neighbors of the alert via phone. Listen and watch local news.
What the City Will Do in an Emergency
The Mayor, the Office of Emergency Management including the EOC, and the incident commander, will lead and manage the crisis. The Office of Emergency Management works in conjunction with emergency responders to maintain a flexible evacuation plan based on the situations that may impact us. There are no specific evacuations routes for each type of hazard due to the extreme variability of Richland’s hazards. In the event that evacuation is necessary, evacuation routes will be announced. There are many factors that influence how each storm develops, floods flow, fires move, and chemical plumes expand, so as situations are assessed the appropriate teams of first responders will be dispatched. The City’s 911 call center will answer questions.