This is actually a two-part question: 1) What does OES do before an emergency; and 2) What does OES do during an emergency?
What Does OES Do Before an Emergency?
First, the biggest part of what EOS does happens before an emergency. We work with not only first responder organizations, like law enforcement and fire agencies, we also work with area hospitals, schools, and other local, state and federal agencies to meet our mission of providing community-wide planning for disasters. We assist in organizing training and exercise events throughout the County to prepare the first responder community for a major disaster or emergency. Additionally, we work with community groups, churches, homeowner associations, businesses and just about anyone else to help promote disaster preparedness. Finally, we coordinate with disaster relief agencies like the American Red Cross and Salvation Army to help ensure a coordinated response to large-scale emergencies.
What Does OES Do During an Emergency?
During a large-scale emergency, OES takes a support and coordination role in the overall response to the emergency. Our job during an emergency is to manage the County's emergency operations center (EOC) in order to support the first responders and coordinate outside help from State, Federal, and private disaster agencies. OES can coordinate emergency shelters, public warning and information, disaster declarations, acquiring non-traditional resources, and many other services as required by the incident. As the emergency enters the recovery phase, OES will coordinate disaster aid that may become available to residents, businesses and local government agencies.