Director of Emergency Services/Operational Area Coordinator
The Director of Emergency Services is the ultimate authority for the County and Operational Area during and after emergencies. In emergencies involving earthquakes, tsunamis, civil disturbances, energy crises, nuclear power plant emergencies, terrorism and acts of war, the Sheriff-Coroner is designated as the Director of Emergency Services (DES). Similarly, the Fire Services Director is designated as the DES for fires, mass casualty incidents or hazardous material releases. The County Executive Officer is the DES for emergencies including, but not limited to flood, storm, dam failure, a coastal oil spill, a threat or declaration of an epidemic, and ongoing recovery for all disasters.
The Emergency Management Division is led by the Division Director, who is also designated as the County Emergency Manager. The County Emergency Manager:
Directs the daily coordination and cooperation between the emergency management staff and the emergency organization of the County,
Serves as staff to the Emergency Management Council,
Ensures a plan exists to provide information on disaster preparedness to the County,
Ensures the Orange County Emergency Plan described in the Emergency Organization Ordinance is developed and maintained,
Ensures personnel who are part of the emergency organization are trained, and arranges for all necessary exercises to prepare for potential disaster conditions,
Maintains the Emergency Operations Center in a constant state of readiness, and
Notifies the Emergency Management Council and Board of Supervisors of Emergency Operations Center activation as soon as practical, and keeps the Board of Supervisors informed on all aspects of a current emergency situation as soon as information is available.
County-specific Coordination and Planning
Emergency Management Council
The Emergency Management Council is the county disaster council mandated by the State of California to develop the local emergency plans for any type of natural or manmade disaster. Members of the Emergency Management Council include a member of the Board of Supervisors and appointed members from the County Executive Office, Orange County Public Works, Orange County Fire Authority, Health Care Agency, Sheriff-Coroner Department, Social Services Agency, Probation Department, Orange County Waste and Recycling, Orange County Community Resources, and the Orange County Transportation Authority.
Regional Coordination and Planning
Under the California Emergency Services Act § 2409, the County and all of its political subdivisions compose an “Operational Area” to manage and coordinate information, resources, and priorities among the local governments within the geographic area of the County, and to serve as the coordination and communication link between the local government level and the regional level of the State; and to use multi-agency or inter-agency coordination to facilitate decisions for overall operational area level emergency response activities
Operational Area Executive Board
In Orange County, the Operational Area Agreement creates an Executive Board which reviews and approves emergency plans for the Operational Area and makes recommendations to improve emergency management for the entire region. This Board meets on a quarterly basis. The Operational Area Executive Board consists of representatives from the County Board of Supervisors, the Orange County City Engineers’ and Public Works Directors’ Association, the Orange County Fire Chiefs’ Association, the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Coordinator, the Independent Special Districts of Orange County, the Orange County Health Care Agency-Health Care Mutual Aid Coordinator, the Orange County Police Chiefs’ and Sheriff Association, the Orange County Public Works-Public Works Mutual Aid Coordinator, the Orange County-City Manager’s Association, and the League of Cities, and one joint representative from the Orange County Superintendent of Schools, Community Colleges and School Districts.
Orange County Emergency Management Organization
The Operational Area Agreement also establishes a permanent subcommittee to the Operational Area Executive Board called the Orange County Emergency Management Organization (OCEMO). OCEMO is composed of emergency service coordinator representatives from public, private, and non-profit organizations from all political subdivisions in the County of Orange, including cities, school districts, and special districts. OCEMO meets on a monthly basis to discuss emergency management related business in the county.
The Emergency Management Council and Operational Area Executive Board meet on a quarterly basis. These meetings are open to the public and agendas are posted below. Please contact us using the email link below if you would like additional information regarding the meetings or any of the agenda items.
Making Orange County a safe, healthy, and fulfilling place to live, work, and play, today and for generations to come, by providing outstanding, cost-effective regional public services.
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