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Emergency Operations Center How-to Quick Reference Guide

An updated version of the Emergency Operations Center How-to Quick Reference Guide PDF has been released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to replace the version released in August 2021.

This all-hazards guide can provide state, local, tribal and territorial jurisdictions with information and guidance related to emergency operations center (EOC) set up, operation, maintenance and deactivation. While all jurisdictions have their own unique set of hazards, vulnerabilities, capabilities and requirements for an EOC, this how-to guide can help a jurisdiction meet its needs in accordance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) framework and principles.

The EOC How-to Quick Reference Guide covers how to:

  • Conduct preliminary hazard and vulnerability and capability assessments for your jurisdiction, to determine EOC requirements. This section highlights FEMA’s updated Resilience Analysis and Planning Tool (RAPT), a free, public GIS mapping tool that supports visualization and analysis of data for critical emergency management decisions.
  • Select the physical site of your EOC.
  • Assess EOC capabilities and requirements.
  • Design the EOC room to maximize operational efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Plan and implement secure EOC infrastructure for communications and information management.
  • Develop EOC Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
  • Plan for the entire preparedness cycle, including training EOC staff and conducting exercises for EOC preparation, testing and assessment.
  • Manage resources during an incident.
  • Use an EOC self-assessment tool to identify operational gaps and areas requiring improvement.

The EOC How-to Quick Reference Guide is part of the Emergency Operations Center Toolkit, a collection of guidance and tools on NIMS and EOCs developed by FEMA. The EOC guide and related documents in the EOC Toolkit are accessible on FEMA’s NIMS Components — Guidance and Tools page, under the “Emergency Operations Centers” topic area.

Download the full guide

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