Disaster strikes anytime and anywhere. It takes many forms -- a tornado, a flood, a fire or a hazardous spill, an act of nature or even an act of terrorism. It may build over days or weeks, or could just as easily hit suddenly and without warning. Every year, millions of Americans face disaster, and its terrifying consequences. Quite often, Anderson County residents become affected by these type events.
During times of crisis and disaster, there are three things that are vital to protect lives and property. First and foremost in a disaster is the speed of response. Second is communication to those involved in disaster and recovery. Third is the efficient management of personnel and resources to expedite aid and assistance to those that are affected.
The Emergency Operations Center, or an EOC, is the physical location where emergency management and support personnel come together during an emergency to coordinate response and recovery actions and resources.
In 2012, the new Anderson County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was opened. This building houses not only the EOC, but also is the location for the Anderson University School of Criminal Justice and Homeland Security program. The building is called the “Center for Excellence” and is also the location for the Joint Information Center for updating media in the event of an emergency and other news events.
The facility has a number of various functional rooms, plus the multi-media joint information center, that provide an efficient location for training of individuals in Emergency Managment, Law Enforcement, 911 Dispatch, and other county orgnizations and concerns.
The Anderson County Emergency Operations Center is staffed by individuals that represent various emergency functions from the public safety sector and even the private sector community.
The Emergency Operations Center is frequently made operational during major weather events, natural disasters, and other situations where there is risk to life and property.
The EOC brings together decision-makers to coordinate the flow of information and strategy development. A variety of organizations and government agencies send representatives during EOC activations, depending on the type and severity of emergency. Anderson County also has a Unified Mobile Command Center that can be taken on site to coordinate activities of first responders and emergency management personnel, if circumstances require.
Equipped with high tech communications, radio, video, satellite, Internet, Ham Radio facilities and conference rooms with "Smart Screens," the EOC can function, even in the event of total power and conventional communications failure.