Emergency Operations Center Training

Section IV: Activation/Drills

Emergency Operations Center Sequence of Actions - Example from Virginia Department of Health

EOC Level 5:

Daily operations
Office of Emergency Management monitoring events

  • Personnel activated: None 

EOC Level 4:

Events likely to be within the capabilities of local government and results in only limited need for additional department assistance. Typical daily activities continue while the event is monitored.

Examples of this type of activation include monitoring weather systems 5-7 days away from the County, days leading up to a large scale event, (e.g. mass vaccination, sporting events, etc.)

  • Personnel activated: Many times, we conduct "virtual" EOC operations which include short term forecasts, information sharing, and participation in state EOC conference calls.

EOC Level 3:

Involves any event that has the potential to develop into an emergency or disaster and will likely require the assistance of at least two or three supporting emergency functions. Personnel activated will be dependent upon the event and which ESF functions are needed to complete mission tasks.

Examples of this type of activation include opening for NASCAR or events that are expected to attract 25K+ participants (ticketed or not), weather events, regional or localized incidents. 

  • Personnel activated: At least ESF 5 (Emergency Management) is in the EOC to support incident or event operations. Depending on the needs of the incident, a Planning Section Chief may also be assigned to support multiple operational periods.

EOC Level 2:

Involves an event that has become, or is becoming, an emergency or disaster and requires significant local and state response assistance. All necessary emergency support functions will report to the EOC and remain on staff until notified by the Director of Emergency Management to demobilize. It is under the authority of the County Manager/Board of Supervisors to declare a Local Emergency.

Examples are escalating weather events, major regional impacts from an incident.

At this level, a local declaration is not yet in place, but may be placed soon. A declaration may or many not be made - all dependent on resource needs.

  • Personnel activated: At this level, this includes four or more agencies or ESFs working to support field operations.

EOC Level 1:

Involves a declared disaster, which requires an extensive Federal response, where the State and local resources are clearly overwhelmed. All necessary emergency support functions will report to the EOC and remain on staff until notfieid by the Director of Emergency Management to demobilize.

Any event that has an emergency declaration in place qualifies as this type of event.

  • Personnel activated: At this level, this includes six or more agencies or ESFs working to support field operations and recovery.