Emergency Management 101

Emergency Management OceansideWhat is an emergency?

An emergency is defined as a present or imminent event or circumstance which:

  • Is caused by accident, fire, explosion, technical failure or the forces of nature.

  • Requires prompt coordination of action or special regulation of persons or property to protect the health, safety or welfare of a person, or to limit damage to property.

What is an Emergency Operation Centre?

It is a central location (facility) from which local governments can provide interagency coordination and executive decision-making action plans in support of incident response and recovery operations.

Emergency Management Oceanside provides a regional emergency management service to the Town of Qualicum Beach and the City of Parksville, while also offering support to neighbouring communities and First Nations. As required in the Emergency Program Act, EMO has developed the necessary emergency operations response plans, has in place emergency program coordinators, and has established a method of program delivery that utilizes the four pillars of emergency management: prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

The purpose of this service is to provide a framework for supporting local governments and emergency responders during an emergency or disaster. This may be in the form of additional management support, resources to address the incident or incidents, or activation of an EOC. In other words, during an emergency EMO provides support only; it is not the first responder. When an EOC is required, it will take a team of trained staff and volunteers to activate and operate. The primary person responsible in an EOC is the EOC director, and a chief administrative officer typically fills this role. Elected officials play a key role as the Policy Group supports the EOC director and/or chief administrative officers during all stages of an emergency.

Why open an Emergency Operations Centre?

  • Event exceeds the capacity of day-to-day first responders.
  • Provide support and coordination to a large-scale emergency or a multiple location event (disaster).
  • Provides coordination and support for a large scale, pre-planned public event such as Canada Day, a large car show, contentious public meeting, etc.

What are the levels of EOC activation?

LEVEL 1 - Small event with one site and two or more agencies involved. EOC may be mobile or stationary with limited staffing.

Example - larger structure fire, planned public event.

LEVEL 2 - Moderate event with two or more sites, multiple agencies involved. EOC activated to staff Section Chief and above positions with potential for multiple days. Example - flooding, landslide, extreme weather event.

LEVEL 3 - Major event with multiple sites and agencies across multiple jurisdictions. EOC activated to staff all positions for multiple days and potential 24/7 response. Example - Interface wildfire, earthquake.