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Students gain a greater understanding of Emergency Operation Center (EOC) coordination and procedures through the classroom lectures and case study discussions, as well as small-group planning sessions and practical exercises.  For the emergency exercise, each participant is assigned a role similar to their current jurisdiction position. IEMCs are designed to help individuals and communities identify potential deficiencies in emergency plans, staff knowledge, and EOC operations so that these weaknesses can be corrected prior to an actual emergency.

Instructional methods used in the classroom are designed to challenge individuals and communities to examine emergency policies, plans, and procedures and to identify needed improvements. In this manner, corrective actions can be taken prior to major emergencies or catastrophic disasters.

Planning Sessions

Planning sessions among participants directly impact how the three elements of the simulated EOC function during the course exercises. Planning sessions are held the first two evenings during the week of the course.

Three Elements of the EOCThe Policy Room (including such personnel as elected officials, legal counsel and key department head) develops policy statements that answer questions such as:
  • Who declares a state of local emergency?
  • What authority does a declaration of emergency give policy makers?
  • How will information be communicated to the public?
  • Will purchase regulations be suspended during the disaster?
  • What are recovery and mitigation priorities?
An EOC Room manages resources to establish anticipated resources during the preparedness phase, during the response phase.  In addition, they shift resources to restore infrastructure and services during the recovery phase. This room uses the policy statements as a foundation for developing a comprehensive emergency management plan to deal with issues such as:
  • What resources are available to prepare for and respond to unplanned events?
  • How resources can be coordinated to meet local needs and maintain normal response capability?
  • What kinds of agreements must be made among various resource providers prior to emergencies?
  • How resource management can support long-term recovery and mitigation activities?
The Operations Room made up of first responders and personnel from public works, volunteer organizations and utilities develops standard operating procedures, based on the operations plan to address such problems as:
  • What is the chain of command among individual disciplines (e.g. single incident, unified command)?
  • How individual disciplines can coordinate to ensure efficient handling of all events during an incident?
  • How information should flow between and within individual organizations and disciplines?
  • How information should be disseminated to the general public through public information officers and JICs?
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