The City's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) addresses the need to respond to various crises that can occur in our community. Weather-related events that have affected the City have magnified the need for a centralized Emergency Response Center.
The EOC brings together resources and personnel to make decisions and coordinate the flow of information and strategy required to deal effectively with an emergency. A number of different government agencies and organizations participate during an EOC activation, depending upon the severity and nature of the emergency.
Communications during an emergency will be coordinated with the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department, the Laurel Volunteer Rescue Squad, the Prince George's County Office of Homeland Security, Maryland Emergency Management Agency, and Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Activation of the EOC
Response to an event is the function of Fire-Rescue Departments, Emergency Medical Services, Law Enforcement, Public Works and First Responders. When a large-scale event has occurred, it is important that the response be coordinated. This generally means activating the Emergency Operations Center to assure central coordination. Official public advisories, shelter/ evacuation, search and rescue, and resource mobilization are all part of the response mode.
Automatic EOC Activation normally occurs when:
- The Mayor, the County Executive or the Governor proclaims a state of emergency affecting the City of Laurel due to weather, hazardous materials, terrorism, etc.
- The safety and/or security of residents, businesses, employees, etc. are in peril.
- Significant City/critical infrastructures are in peril.
- When the City activates their EOC and requests significant mutual aid resource support (such as establishing Care and Shelter Facilities)
Levels of Operation
- Level 1 - Normal – Regional activities are monitored by the Operations Officer.
- Level 2 - Watch - When an event/disaster is predicted to occur - notification is made to Agencies and support staff who would need to take action as part of their responsibilities.
- Level 3 - Partial Activation - Limited activation of EOC when an event/disaster is very probable or following an event which doesn't require full activation. All primary or lead staff will be notified and will staff the EOC.
- Level 4 - Full Scale Activation - All primary and support agencies are notified. All EOC Support personnel will staff the EOC.
- Level 5 - Federal Response - All EOC Support Personnel will staff the EOC 24 hours - a Federal Emergency Response Team will be activated to support the event activities.
(View of T. Howard Duckett Dam)
All Gates Opened - June 7, 2003
The City partnered with Prince George’s County to develop an All-Hazard Plan with 4 basic principles:
- Organize resources (members of community, technical resources, etc.)
- Develop Risk Assessments (potential hazards)
- Develop strategies goals, objectives and actions to reduce hazards
- Implement plan and monitor progress
The Emergency Services Director is responsible for coordinating all components of the Emergency Management System for the City. The components consist of activities related to mitigation, preparedness, response, assessment and recovery.
All Emergency Operations Center staff are responsible for supporting and coordinating all aspects of emergency response for emergencies. Additionally, they are responsible for the management of the Emergency Operations Center and provide the on-scene Emergency Management Team with information relevant to the emergency, as well as coordinate regional mutual aid.
Preparing for Emergencies
Disasters can and do strike without warning. It can force you to evacuate your home/neighborhood/business or confine you to your home or place of business (Shelter in Place) for an extended period of time. What would you do if basic services--water, gas, electricity or telephones--were cut off? Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away. Make plans before a disaster occurs--Be Prepared. Click here - "Disasters - Are You Prepared?" - for important tips and information on preparing a Family and/or Business Disaster Plan.
Emergency Alert System (EAS)
Consider purchasing a personal battery-operated, tone-activated emergency alert radio. The stations - click here for a list of stations - are part of the Regional Emergency Alert System. Radio and television provide the fastest means to access information during an emergency.
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