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During an emergency that poses a threat to life or property, or in the aftermath of such an emergency, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is activated.

The EOC is where a coordinated response to emergencies and disasters begins. Key personnel from emergency response groups like Law Enforcement, Fire/EMS, Public Works, The Red Cross,   volunteer organizations, government officials and Emergency Management come to the EOC to manage and coordinate the efforts of response workers in the field.  Each organization has a part to play in the response and recovery stages of any disaster. Reports from field emergency workers are recorded and forwarded to the appropriate agency or departmental representative in the EOC to aid in the decision making process.

The EOC is an information and communications center where elected officials and agency managers can obtain current and relevant information about a situation as it develops so that proper decisions can be made to protect the public, and resources can be allocated to the appropriate locations. Information is also passed on to the news media immediately so that the public can be informed of emergency situations and decisions in a timely manner.

The EOC is the place where the establishment of priorities occurs and where those priorities are matched with emergency response functions and resources for the maximum benefit to the community. During emergencies or disasters, a determination must be made of the greatest needs in our community and resources must be committed to handle those needs. It is important that all of the  agencies involved be able to coordinate and maximize their resources and personnel so that an effective and efficient response and recovery can occur in all affected areas.

In the event that an  emergency or disaster occurs which exhausts all of the city’s and/or county’s resources, mutual aid may be requested from outside the county.  Additional equipment and/or personnel assets may be required from another county, the State of Kansas or the Federal government. The request for mutual aid and support must always come from the Emergency Management Agency.