Douglas County Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
The Douglas County Emergency Management Agency maintains an Emergency Operations Center (EOC). This facility is located in the lowest level of the Civic Center and is used as part of a coordinated response to disasters and emergencies that takes place in our community. Since this facility is located underground, it is resistant to most all disasters.
The Emergency Operations Center was built after the 1975 tornado that struck the city of Omaha. It was decided that the facilities we were using were not sufficient to handle a major disaster.
The pictures show the working space of the Emergency Operations Center. We have the capability of electronically projecting television, maps, weather radar and other electronic visual inputs from local, national and international sources.
Each of the desks in the Emergency Operations Center is assigned to a different working group (i.e. Omaha Police, Omaha Fire, and Douglas County Sheriff's Department). This is where information can be passed to other agencies quickly and effectively.
The Emergency Operations Center is a two-story facility with just less than 25,000 square feet of operating space. There are over 50 dedicated phone lines that can be utilized during a disaster as well as two different message centers. We also have several rooms set aside for organizational meetings and situational briefings. On the first floor of the EOC, we have a large communications room where volunteer communicators can assist in facilitating emergency communications during emergencies. There are two message centers that can be used for agencies to conduct emergency communications. Adjacent to the EOC is a back-up 911 dispatch center. On the second floor of the EOC, there is a primary call center observation deck for agencies that need visual engagement of the EOC operations during telephone communications.
The Emergency Operations Center is self-supporting and has back up electrical power, a radio room, kitchen, and planning room for extended operations.
During the routine work-day, the department is staffed with three people: the Director of Emergency Management, the Assistant Director of Emergency Management and one department Administrative Assistant. During a disaster there can be up to 120 different people who work out of the EOC.
The communications room has the capability of direct communications not only locally, but throughout the state and worldwide. The EOC uses volunteer Amateur Radio Operators and Heartland REACT members to help assist with the vast number of radio communications and conversations that occur during any disaster. Below is a picture of one of the communications rooms located in the EOC and some of the equipment that the volunteer communicators use.